Publisher/author Judy Mazzeo Zocchi was intent on providing kids with ‘a positive cross-cultural understanding of earth and community’ when she introduced her New Jersey-based company’s (dingles&company) new imprint TreeHouse Court this October.
The Adventures of Paulie & Sasha: Circus or Not-Here We Come (US$15.95), the first title to be released under the THC imprint, teaches kids how to deal with rejection. In this oversized picture book targeted to children ages five to nine, Paulie, a bear from New Jersey, fails to make the local circus troupe. Consequently, he runs away and soon finds himself on cargo ship bound for Russia, where he meets up with another bear, Sasha, who has sustained a similar rebuff. To accentuate the travel concept, dingles has included a faux passport that kids are encouraged to fill up with stickers that they can obtain by contacting d&c.
For dingles, which launched operations just over a year ago, trying to get Circus beyond local authors sections and onto the shelves of the major book retailers becomes its long-term goal. In the short-term, it is taking the book to those outlets that its target consumers are most likely to frequent, such as airport bookstores and, in the case of Jinka Jinka Jellybean -d&c’s only other published title, which deals with the subject of death, to funeral homes. Zocchi is also targeting the educational markets by developing supplemental P&S school activity workbooks. Additionally, dingles has inked a deal with Long Branch, New Jersey-based prodco O’Plenty Animation to produce a seven-minute pilot on the forthcoming Book 3 of the P&S series. O’Plenty and dingles plan to start shopping the pilot early in the new year.