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Children’s Books

John August to Script ‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’

Scary StoriesJohn August has signed on to write the script for a film adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.

August frequently collaborates with Tim Burton. Two of those movies were created for child audiences, The Corpse Bride (2005) and Frankenweenie (2012). At the moment, no director has been hired for this project.

Here’s more from Deadline: “The three-book children’s series that’s sold more than 7 million copies worldwide began with 1981′s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, continuing with More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones(1991). The collection of folk tales and urban legends also memorably haunted generations of youngsters with its surreal and nightmarish illustrations by award-winning artist Stephen Gammell.”

New James Patterson Children’s Book Inspires Animated Web Series

Collective Digital Studio will develop a five-part animated web series inspired by James Patterson’s forthcoming book, House of Robots. The story follows a fifth grader named Sammy and his robot named E (which stands for “Error”).

Here’s more from the press release: “It was never easy for Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez to fit in, so he is less than thrilled when his genius mom insists he brings her newest invention to school: a walking, talking robot he calls E—for ‘Error.’  The web series brings to life several scenes from the book as Sammy discovers the amazing secret E holds that could change him and his family forever…if all goes well on the trial run!”

The video embedded above features the House of Robots book trailer. The first episode will debut on the FЯED YouTube channel on November 28th. Each subsequent installment will be posted on Fridays.

Chris Grabenstein, Patterson’s collaborator for the I, Funny and Treasure Hunters series, served as the co-author for House of RobotsJuliana Neufeld, the artist behind the Treasure Hunters series, created the illustrations for this new project. Little Brown Books for Young Readers will publish the book on November 24th.

Small Town Council in Poland Bans ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ From Playground

Winnie the Pooh 200The town council of Tuszyn, Poland have banned Winnie-the-Pooh from a local playground. The politicians who made this censorious decree first examined A.A. Milne’s famous bear when they were trying to appoint a famous character as the face of this public space.

This group found Pooh’s lack of pants and questionable gender to be offensive and “wholly inappropriate for children.” All four Winnie-the-Pooh short story collections feature illustrations by artist E. H. Shepard; Shepard’s artwork consistently depicts Pooh not wearing pants.

Here’s more from the The Independent: “The meeting of officials was sneakily recorded a councillor and leaked to local press, according to The Croatian Times. One unnamed councillor can be heard discussing Pooh’s sexuality, arguing that ‘it doesn’t wear underpants because it doesn’t have a sex’ before another, Hanna Jachimska starts criticising Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne.” (via Jezebel)

Disney Unleashes Trailer For ‘Cinderella’ Movie

Disney has unleashed a new trailer the live-action Cinderella film adaptation. Thus far, it has drawn more than 50,000 ‘likes” on Facebook.

The video embedded above offers glimpses of Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, Cate Blanchett as the Evil Stepmother, and Lily James in the titular role. This movie is scheduled to hit theaters on March 13, 2015. (via BuzzFeed)

Dan Gutman Pitches a Book With a Rap Song

Have you ever tried to pitch your book using an unconventional method? Writer Dan Gutman recorded himself performing a rap song about a new project starring a musical dinosaur named “Rappy the Raptor“.

Thinking outside the box worked in Gutman’s favor; he signed a contract for a six-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books. The video embedded above features his “pitch” song—what do you think?

Artist Tim Bowers created the illustrations for Gutman’s picture book. The publishing house has scheduled a release date for April 21, 2015.

‘The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs’ Turns 25

The True Story of the Three Little PigsThis year marks the 25th anniversary of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, first published this book back in October 1989.

Author Jon Scieszka and illustrator Lane Smith’s parody picture book was inspired by a classic fable. In honor of this occasion, we’ve put together a list of three ideas on how fans can celebrate.

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Andersen Press to Publish UK Edition of Patrick Modiano’s Children’s Book

Catherine CertitudeAndersen Press has acquired the exclusive UK and Commonwealth rights to Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano’s only children’s book, Catherine Certitude.

The Bookseller reports that the United Kingdom-based company plans to make some early copies available for the holiday season. The official publication date has been scheduled for March 2015.

Gallimard, Modiano’s publisher in France, first released the book in 1988. French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé (a.k.a. Sempé) created the illustrations.

David R. Godine, a Boston-based publishing house, released an English edition in the United States in 2001William Rodarmor served as the translator for that project. Follow this link to read an excerpt. (via The Guardian)

Bryan Cranston Narrates ‘You Have to F***ing Eat’

You Have to Fucking EatBreaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston recorded a four-minute audiobook of Adam Mansbach‘s new children’s book for adultsYou Have to F***ing Eat. In an interview with The New York Times, Mansbach commented that Cranston “reads with such nuance.”

Audible has made the digital audiobook available for free until December 12th. Follow this link to download it.

Pulp Fiction actor Samuel L. Jackson served as the narrator for the audiobook edition of Mansbach’s previous titleGo the F*** to Sleep. Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton read the story out loud during an appearance on the Rooster Teeth podcast; click here to watch a video that captured Burton’s recitation.

‘The Circus’ Hits Kickstarter

Artist Sarah Kaufman created a series of paintings and became inspired to use her pieces for a new children’s book entitled The Circus. She hopes to raise $9,000 on Kickstarter to cover the cost of self-publishing.

Kaufman’s artwork features whimsical subjects including a floating ship, flying dogs, and elephants walking on stilts. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“The book will also be submitted for consideration for major children’s book awards (Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and Moonbeam Children’s Book Award). The design and layout of the book has already begun. It will be approximately a 12X12 hardcover with nice, big illustrations for the kids to enjoy, and maybe the grown ups too.”

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Peter Rabbit Becomes The Face of The Hop to Health Initiative

Peter RabbitWhere is Peter Rabbit jumping off to? Beatrix Potter’s famous character will be the face of the new Hop to Health initiative.

Penguin Young Readers Group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the National AfterSchool Association, and Nickelodeon came together to launch this venture. The organizers behind Hop to Health have made it a mission to promote healthy eating habits, endorse an active lifestyle, and fight against childhood obesity.

Here’s more from the press release: “This fall, 60,000 free copies of a new special edition Peter Rabbit book, On Your Mark, Get Set, Hop!, will be distributed to more than 300 out-of-school time providers across the United States. The books will be accompanied by posters and placemats, empowering children and families to develop healthy habits for life. This new book features art inspired by Nickelodeon’s Peter Rabbit CG-animated series, which is based on the characters created by Beatrix Potter in her classic children’s book collection The Tales of Peter Rabbit.”

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