Scholastic Acquires Bestselling Author Eric Litwin and Bestselling Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld’s ‘Groovy Joe’
Tracy van Straaten
First of Three Groovy Joe Picture Books to Be Published in Fall 2016
New York, NY—September 3, 2015—Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, has acquired at auction world rights to three “Groovy Joe” picture books, plus rights to additional “Groovy Joe” board and novelty books, by bestselling author Eric Litwin and bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld. The first picture book, Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs, will be published in fall 2016. The deal was negotiated by Amy Rennert from the Amy Rennert Agency for both Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld, and Liza Baker, VP/Executive Editorial Director for Cartwheel and Orchard Books at Scholastic.
Groovy Joe is a first-time collaboration of two of today’s most brilliant and successful children’s book creators: Eric Litwin, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the first four Pete the Cat series books, and Tom Lichtenheld, the #1 New York Times best-selling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. These two seasoned talents have joined forces in creating the Groovy Joe character and world, and have united with Scholastic to build an exciting new publishing franchise that will launch in picture books and expand to include leveled readers, board books, novelty books and more.
“I am so enthusiastic about joining forces with the incomparable Eric Litwin, and the gifted Tom Lichtenheld, to launch this groovy new character-based franchise at Scholastic,” said Liza Baker. “Eric’s unparalleled storytelling magic grips kids and ignites their imagination—he’s the Pied Piper of the children’s book set. Combined with Tom’s unique gift for creating rich and whimsical characters and worlds, with plenty of playful mischief, this is a powerhouse pairing that we are just thrilled to publish.”
“Groovy Joe is a fun-loving, guitar-strumming doggy with a playful perspective,” said Eric Litwin. “He is always ready to make a new friend and sing a cool song. I am excited to bring Groovy Joe and his musical stories to life with talented artist Tom Lichtenheld and delighted to be working with Liza Baker and Scholastic.”
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Groovy Joe team,” said Tom Lichtenheld. “Eric has a way of writing for children that's lyrical and speaks at their level, yet still has a strong conceptual foundation. His talent, combined with Scholastic's high standards and passionate editorial and design team, made this an irresistible project.”
Groovy Joe is an irresistible music-loving doggy who is both endlessly enthusiastic and undeniably cool. Groovy Joe is living the dream, and loves learning new things! He is on a mission to share his wisdom, his message of kindness, and his playful spirit with everyone he meets. Best of all, he manages to have a “groovy” time wherever he goes. Each Groovy Joe story offers readers an unforgettable read-aloud adventure that weaves in rhyme, rhythm, repetition, call and response and a musicality that will have every child reading, singing and dancing along. Every Groovy Joe story features a gentle learning concept infused with music, movement, and a positive messages of acceptance and kindness and each book includes a free original downloadable song to get kids grooving.
About Eric Litwin
Eric Litwin is a # 1 New York Times Best Selling Author who merges music and early literacy together. He is the author of the first four Pete the Cat picture books and the exciting new musical series The Nuts. Eric’s books have sold over 6.5 million copies and won 18 state and national awards including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award. Eric is a popular performing artist who plays guitar, sings, tells stories and brings books to life. He has recorded several award winning music CDs. Eric likes music, books and coffee. For more information, visit him at www.Ericlitwin.com.
About Tom Lichtenheld
Tom Lichtenheld is the illustrator of New York Times bestsellers I Wish You More, Stick and Stone, Duck!Rabbit!, Exclamation Mark, Steam Train, Dream Train, Shark vs. Train, and Goodnight Goodnight, Construction Site, which has been on the bestseller list for over three years. His newest book published this fall is Friendshape. He has also written and illustrated a number of books, including What Are You So Grumpy About?, Cloudette, and E-mergency, a Publishers Weekly and Boston Globe Best Book of 2011. For more information, visit him at tomlichtenheld.com.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children's media. Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at www.scholastic.com.
Groovy Joe illustration by Tom Lichtenheld © 2016.
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