Starting next spring, Walker Books will be grouping all media-related and media-inspired publishing, including TV and film tie-in titles and celebrity publishing, under the banner of Walker Entertainment. The imprint will be known as Candlewick Entertainment in the US. Australia will carry both lines.
The new imprint is under the direction of Helen McAleer, head of the Walker Group’s global rights and development division as established last year. The group rights and development division already houses Walker Productions, founded by McAleer in 2007 to develop Walker and Candlewick-owned content for other media platforms. It has since gone on to develop and sell three international series. All three are currently on air in the UK: Henry Hugglemonster (Disney Junior), Tilly and Friends(CBeebies) and Fleabag Monkeyface (CiTV).
The imprint is also acting as a licensee to third-party properties. Walker Entertainment’s first deal is for a title based on Bristol, England-based Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep called Mossy Bottom Farm.
As for Walker Productions it’s currently teamed with Kindle Entertainment and DHX Media to produce Hank Zipzer, a live-action series that will air on CBBC next year. The group rights and development division is also home to the group’s licensing activity across major brands such as Guess How Much I Love You, Tilly and Friends and Maisy.