On October 12, 2010, join fellow demigods and go back to Camp Half-Blood with the most-anticipated new series of the season, The Heroes of Olympus, by bestselling author Rick Riordan. Disney Book Group (DBG) reveals plans for the largest gathering of demigods via a live webcast on the October 12 laydown for the first book in the series. The Lost Hero has a 2.5 million copy first printing and will be available simultaneously in hardcover, audiobook and eBook formats. The eBook teaser chapters of The Lost Hero has had more than 10,000 downloads to date.
The dedicated website for the series, www.heroesofolympus.com launched today with a first look at The Lost Hero book trailer, webcast viewing information, never-before-seen character art, tour information, and much more. Fans can join The Lost Hero celebration with Rick Riordan at Camp Half-Blood live, via a free webcast through the website. The event kicks off at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific on October 12. Fans signed into the webcast will have the exclusive opportunity to experience the launch festivities including a very special announcement from Rick Riordan. Downloadable event kits will be available on the website for fun ideas and activities to host your own The Lost Hero launch party.
“Excitement for Rick’s new series is a testament to his loyal fanbase,” said Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president, group publisher Disney Publishing Worldwide, “Kids, parents, teachers, librarians and bookstores have supported Rick and his books since Disney Book Group published his first children’s book, The Lightning Thief, in 2005. And this October, we’re so proud to bring fans The Lost Hero, the first book in his third children’s book series, The Heroes of Olympus.”
In Heroes of Olympus, Rick Riordan returns to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they’ll need the help of some familiar demigods. The Heroes of Olympus is a five book series and will have a new book published each year through 2014. In support of the release of The Lost Hero, Riordan will embark on an 11-city tour launching in Austin, Texas and continues on to Houston, TX; St Louis, MO; Kansas City, MI; Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; Portland, OR; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; and San Antonio, TX.
20 million books are in print in the US across Riordan’s two series, Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Kane Chronicles and the books have been sold into more than 35 countries. Both series are mainstays on the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and IndieBound bestseller lists. The official Percy Jackson fan page on Facebook has more than 240,000 “likes,” and will include a tab for The Heroes of Olympus.
In just a few short years, BOOM! Studios has already had enormous successes with adapting many Disney and Pixar favorites to comic format, most recently with the Disney Afternoon cult classic Darkwing Duck.
Today BOOM! announced that, starting in December, it will begin producing an ongoing series based on Darkwing contemporary Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. Penned by Darkwing Duck writer Ian Brill and illustrated by Leonel Castellani (Marvel Superhero Squad), issue #1 will be released with two variant covers (with a 50/50 distribution) by Leonel Castellani and Magic Eye Studios plus a 1-in-10 incentive cover featuring Zipper by Jake Myler as pictured below.
“After the overwhelming success we’ve had bringing Darkwing Duck back, BOOM! knew it was time to continue the excitement and imagination of the Disney Afternoon revolution in comic book form ,” said Darkwing Duck writer Ian Brill. “It’s an honor to continue the adventures of Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers for both the generation of fans that enjoyed the show the first time and for a whole new generation of comic book fans!”
BOOM! Studios’ ‘The Muppet Show’ by Roger Langridge was recently awarded a Harvey award for Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers.
On the heels of the success and industry recognition in the U.S. for its innovative format with the recently launched “Toy Story 3” app as well as with its “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” and “The Princess and the Frog” read-along apps, Disney Publishing Worldwide has created its first ever international versions of the “Toy Story” read-along app for iPad.
Launching on July 20th in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, the “Toy Story” apps will each feature songs and movie clips in French, German, Italian and Spanish. The app will have special promotional pricing for a limited time at €2.99 through August 31st; pricing will then shift to €6.99. The Disney-Pixar feature film Toy Story 3 will launch in Europe throughout late July.
“Disney Publishing’s Storybook apps have seen tremendous consumer success and have been critically lauded for their amazing graphics and wide array of interactive features,” said Russell Hampton, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We are pleased to deliver original Toy Story content for iPad to kids and families across Europe and look forward to similar success in these countries.”
Toy Story iPad App Highlights:
- This cinematic, interactive storybook app features Buzz, Woody, and the gang from Toy Story.
- Two interactive reading modes allow kids to follow along as the story is read aloud, or explore at their own pace. Children can also select ‘Younger Reading Mode’ to simplify page turning.
- Children can record their voice reading the story and hear it played back as narration.
- Children can tap characters and objects for sound effects and fun surprises.
- An interactive coloring feature that lets kids finger-paint and share their masterpieces with friends and family.
- Kids can sing along in French, German, Italian and Spanish to songs from the movie.
- A visual page index allows kids the ability to jump to their favorite page.
- Children can turn pages manually and move back and forth through the story as they wish.
Disney Book Group will publish a middle-grade baseball series written by National Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and co-authored by Baltimore Sun sportswriter Kevin Cowherd. The series will feature characters from a Babe Ruth League team named the “Orioles”. The agreement for world rights was negotiated by Stephanie Owens Lurie, Editorial Director, Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group, and Ian Kleinert, of Objective Entertainment.
The first book in the series—Hothead—will be published in Winter 2011 under the Disney-Hyperion imprint. It centers on all-star third baseman Connor Sullivan, who has a big problem: his temper. The story was inspired by Cal’s own struggle with frustration as a young player. Additional books will follow every year.
“Working with Kevin and the team from Disney has been a pleasure,” said Ripken. “Connor is a character that I was able to help develop with Kevin based on my experiences as a kid who struggled with his emotions. I hope that the kids reading it find it to be fun and take away a few lessons from it.”
“Cal Ripken Jr. is a living legend, of course, and in his work with kids he has demonstrated a commitment to being a positive influence,” says Lurie. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to share Cal’s love of baseball and his can-do outlook with young readers.”
Cal Ripken, Jr. was a shortstop and third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles for his entire career (1981-2001), a rare occurrence in Major League Baseball today. Nicknamed “The Iron Man” for his relentless work ethic and reliability on the field, Ripken is most remembered for playing in 2,632 straight games over 17 seasons, shattering New York Yankee Lou Gehrig’s previous record of 2,130 games. He was also a 19-time all-star and is considered to be one of the best shortstops that professional baseball has ever seen. In 2007, when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, he received the most votes in the history of the Hall of Fame. Since his retirement Ripken has worked as President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc. to nurture the love of baseball in young children on a grassroots level. In August of 2007 Ripken was named American Public Diplomacy Envoy and has since been traveling the world to bring baseball to people everywhere. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.
Kevin Cowherd has been a writer for the Baltimore Sun since 1987, is nationally syndicated by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post news service, and is the author of Last Call at the 7-Eleven, a book of selected writings published by Bancroft Press. In 1990 he was honored by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors for excellence in feature writing. He currently writes a sports column and blog for the Baltimore Sun. As a sportswriter he is curious about athletes’ private thoughts and emotions. He is also a humorist, and an experienced Little League coach. He lives with his wife and three children near Baltimore.
OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and digital content to libraries and schools, today announced a preliminary agreement with Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com) that will enable libraries to offer access to Disney’s comprehensive library of books online. Young library patrons and their parents will be able to enjoy — for the first time — unlimited access to over 600 new and classic Disney books for kids of all ages with just an Internet-connection and library card. The extensive library features hundreds of digital books available at the click of a mouse, including favorites from popular Disney franchises such as Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Disney Princess, Cars, and Hannah Montana, along with many other classic and contemporary Disney stories.
“Disney Digital Books subscriptions allow libraries to provide instant, simultaneous access to Disney’s magical reading experience through their existing OverDrive-powered website,” said Erica Lazzaro, licensing counsel for OverDrive. “This interactive, browser-based service is the first multimedia offering of its kind for libraries and will enable them to reach more young readers with premium content.”
“Disney Digital Books takes innovation and technology and merges it with Disney characters and stories for a revolutionary experience,” said Yves Saada, vice president, Digital Media, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We are thrilled to help libraries continue to provide children with new ways to experience books and foster a love of reading.”
Disney Digital Books is an innovative way for children to experience the joy of reading in a robust and safe online environment. The site offers children of all ages, reading levels, and interests a broad selection of books and features including Look and Listen titles that allow children to hear a story read aloud; a Story-Builder feature so kids can create and share their own stories; and an age-appropriate dictionary that lets children click on any word to hear it read aloud, select unfamiliar words, and read simple definitions.
Libraries will be able to add a subscription to Disney Digital Books using their OverDrive Content Reserve account. Users will authenticate on the existing OverDrive-powered library website, and then the Disney Digital Books website will launch in their browser. The service is PC and Mac® compatible and does not require a download.
OverDrive provides digital distribution services for more than 10,000 libraries, retailers, and schools worldwide with support for Windows®, Mac, iPod®, iPhone®, iPad™, Sony® Reader, nook™, Windows Mobile®, Android™, and BlackBerry®. To see if your public library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com.
OverDrive also operates the Digital Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com), a high-tech 18-wheeler traveling North America on behalf of public libraries to raise awareness about free library downloads.
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan will make a rare public appearance at Borders bookstore at Columbus Circle in New York City on April 27 to promote her children’s book The Sandwich Swap.
In the story, based on part of the Queen’s own personal experiences, Lily and Salma are best friends. They play together and stick together through thick and thin. But who would have ever thought that ordinary peanut butter or plain old hummus could come between them? Lily and Salma don’t quite understand each other’s tastes, but does that mean they can’t be friends? They understand far better than a lot of grown-ups that these things hardly matter and that friendship is the most important thing of all.
A wristband is required to sit within the specially designated storytime area at the store which takes place at 3:30 pm. The store will begin issuing the wristbands on a first-come-first-served basis when it opens at 9 am on April 27. A wristband is not required to access the signing line.
Disney Publishing Launches Interactive Online Library of Over 500 Disney Books; Free Trial Available
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 — Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) unveiled today a groundbreaking online initiative with the launch of Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com), a new, cutting-edge way for children to experience the joy of reading in a robust and safe interactive environment.
“Disney Digital Books is an industry-defining service that Disney Publishing is uniquely qualified to deliver,” said Russell Hampton, President, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “As one of the world’s largest publishers of children’s books, we have an extensive library of titles featuring Disney’s beloved characters, with something for every level of reader.”