Friday, December 09, 2011

Random House Expands Nickelodeon Roster

From Publishers Weekly:
Random House Expands Nickelodeon Roster

Random House is adding three new properties to its Nickelodeon publishing program, with books for each debuting in January 2012. They include the preschool shows Team Umizoomi and Bubble Guppies, as well as the tween mystery series House of Anubis.

Formats for Team Umizoomi and Bubble Guppies will be under the coloring and activity and Little Golden Books umbrellas. The latter will feature a retro style that marries the TV show imagery with the vintage look of the Poky Little Puppy and other Little Golden Book characters. Random House has created a similar look for some licensed Disney/Pixar titles in the past, but “Nickelodeon has really jumped on board with it,” says Chris Angelilli, v-p and editor-in-chief of Golden Books.

Angelilli says both properties excited the publisher from the first glimpse. Team Umizoomi, which combines animation and live-action, “is interactive and high-energy,” he says. While initially a bit concerned that the math theme might turn off young readers, Angelilli notes that the educational content is integrated organically into the series, which is also very entertaining. “Only Nickelodeon could make a show about math so fun,” he says. “We’re following Nickelodeon’s lead in terms of the mix of math and fun [in the books].”

As for Bubble Guppies, Random was so taken with the property that it wanted to publish even before the show went on the air, rather than waiting the requisite year after the January 2011 premiere. “They’re just really, really cute, and the show is extremely well-written and extremely funny,” Angelilli says.

Meanwhile, the first two House of Anubis novelizations cover the initial season of that series. The show is set in a boarding school in the U.K., where a group of students investigates the disappearance of a classmate. “It’s refreshing to see an episodic series that’s a mystery,” Angelilli remarks, “rather than all the tween comedy series that seem to be the trend today.”

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