Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is preparing a new publishing program and partnering with schools for its property Carmen Sandiego, ahead of the new animated series launching on Netflix on January 18. Produced by HMH together with Canada’s DHX Media, the new Carmen Sandiego series is based on the 1990s toon and tracks Carmen around the world, revealing her as a modern-day Robin Hood.
To extend the property beyond the show, HMH is launching a new publishing program this year, starting with Who in the World is Carmen Sandiego? on January 22. Available in both Spanish and English, the book features a foreword by Gina Rodriguez (who voices the titular character in the animated series). That book will spin off into a series based on the Netflix show. Then, in the summer, HMH will publish graphic novel The Sticky Rice Caper and middle-grade story book Clue by Clue. Four additional Carmen books, ranging in format, will follow later this year.
Carmen Sandiego originally began as an edtech brand, and HMH is taking it back to its roots by launching resources and opportunities for geography, history and culture teaching tools. It includes Google Earth and Google Expedition games, original digital content and Carmen-themed instructional videos designed for classrooms, as well as a school-focused Carmen Sandiego webpage with free resources and downloadable activities.
The 20 x 22-minute show is based on a computer game created in 1985 that was then turned into a kids game show for PBS called Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? It ran from 1991 to 1995, generating five seasons and 295 episodes.
Netflix and HMH are also partnering on a previously announced Carmen Sandiego live-action feature film starring and produced by Gina Rodriguez. It is slated for a 2020 release.