The Jim Henson Company announces the creation of a new internal publishing division, Jim Henson Publishing, which will launch with the Enchanted Sisters book series in partnership with Bloomsbury Children’s Books.
The Jim Henson Company announced the formation of Jim Henson Publishing, a new banner with a mission to develop publishing projects with engaging characters and storytelling in the tradition of the Jim Henson legacy.
The new division within The Jim Henson Company will launch with the publication of the Enchanted Sisters series, a new property created by The Jim Henson Company under the direction of Halle Stanford, EVP, Children’s Entertainment, together with veterans of the publishing and TV worlds: author Elise Allen and character designer Paige Pooler. The new chapter book series targeting newly independent readers—girls ages seven through nine—will be published by Bloomsbury Children's Books beginning with the first book Autumn’s Secret Gift, in August 2014.
The Enchanted Sisters series tells the stories of the four Sparkles: Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer—who, along with Mother Nature, are responsible for each turn of the season. When they are not keeping all of nature in balance, the royal sisters play, imagine, and explore their way around their enchanted world. Creating unrest and mischief in the Sparkles’ lives are Bluster Tempest, the ruler of the Barrens where chaos and disorder rule, and the Weeds, Bluster’s wild boys who constantly try to thwart the sisters from changing the season.
Stanford elaborates, “When we imagined the concept of Enchanted Sisters, our goal was to create a deep fantasy world with strong female characters in the vein of Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, spreading the idea of individuality and what you believe in. What we have created is a rich imaginary world full of adventure, quest, friendship and authenticity. The books empower and encourage young girls to be creative as they explore the wonder of possibility.” She adds, “Debuting the Enchanted Sisters via a chapter book series is an ideal way to introduce this new world and characters, and engage our audience in such a way that they will seek out their stories across multiple platforms.”
“The Jim Henson Company is beloved by kids and parents alike,” says Cindy Loh, U.S. Publishing Director for Bloomsbury Children’s Books, “and pairing their insight and creativity with our publishing expertise and platform will craft a very special, unique experience for children who are just finding their way into reading on their own. We are proud to be their partner and ambassador for literacy.”
The first Enchanted Sisters book to be released will be Autumn’s Secret Gift, in which Autumn receives a gift she must keep safe for Mother Nature. When Autumn loses the treasure, the girls embark on a quest to find this special gift. They must work together using their intelligence, problem solving skills, and magic to find it before Mother Nature’s big party. The second book in the series features Winter, the most daring of the sisters, who loves to play with her siblings and her giant pet polar bear, Flurry. During one of the pair’s icy escapades, they discover a baby arctic fox. Winter immediately befriends the fox, unintentionally making Flurry very jealous. When he runs off to play with the Weeds instead, Winter needs the help of all of her sisters and even a little magic to get him back! The following two chapter books, to be written by Stanford, will feature the adventures of Spring and Summer and will debut in 2015.
Elise Allen is the author of the novelization Anna’s Icy Adventure (Disney Frozen). She is also author of the young adult novel Populazzi; co-writer with Hilary Duff of The New York Times bestselling Elixir trilogy; and a longtime collaborator with The Jim Henson Company. Elise has written for both the Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train animated series.
Eight time Emmy-nominated children's television producer Halle Stanford is in charge of creating children's entertainment at The Jim Henson Company. She currently serves as the Executive Producer on the award winning series Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train, and Pajanimals, as well the Company’s new series, Doozers.
Illustrator and character designer Paige Pooler’s clients include The Jim Henson Company, Disney, Nickelodeon, Mattel, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic and Harper Collins. You can find Paige’s artwork in American Girl magazine, and the Liberty Porter, Trading Faces, and My Sister is a Vampire middle grade book series.
Source: The Jim Henson Company
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.