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Little, Brown reads up on licenses and novelty formats

AS format innovation and licensed characters continue to drive significant growth in kids publishing, New York's Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is getting into novelty books with the launch of LB Kids. This new imprint is devoted to interactive books, new formats and entertainment licenses, and its first titles will start hitting retail this fall. 'We feel that the time is right to branch out more into the mass market,' says Liza Baker, executive editor and director of special projects. 'I think the market is changing, and the expectation and definition of what constitutes a book is shifting.'
April 1, 2005

AS format innovation and licensed characters continue to drive significant growth in kids publishing, New York’s Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is getting into novelty books with the launch of LB Kids. This new imprint is devoted to interactive books, new formats and entertainment licenses, and its first titles will start hitting retail this fall. ‘We feel that the time is right to branch out more into the mass market,’ says Liza Baker, executive editor and director of special projects. ‘I think the market is changing, and the expectation and definition of what constitutes a book is shifting.’

One of the first titles to come out of LB Kids will be the Cranium Big Book of Outrageous Fun (US$19.99) activity book. Based on the immensely popular Cranium board game series, this hybrid book/game for ages seven-plus has 40 write-on/wipe-off activity pages that send kids out to explore their environment. In ‘Hold the Mold,’ for example, kids must smell-test the contents of their fridge in search of the most overripe, past-its-date leftover for scientific observation.

Eight additional Cranium titles will start rolling out in spring 2006, and the plan is to develop a leveled portfolio to challenge a wide variety of age groups.

LB Kids has also taken on book rights to Todd Parr’s animated TV series ToddWorld, which began airing on Discovery Kids last November. Launching this fall, the publishing program will consist of two 8×8 storybooks, two reusable 9×12 sticker books and an interactive novelty book for preschoolers with pop-up, lift-the-flap and touch-and-feel features.

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