Madonna and Callaway Editions are creating an original series of five illustrated storybooks for young readers in association with Penguin Group. The English language rights to the five books, each of which will feature a different celebrated illustrator, have been acquired by Penguin from Callaway Editions in New York, represented by Andrew Wylie of The Wylie Agency in London.
In the United States, the titles will be published by Callaway Editions, the renowned illustrated book publisher, and distributed by Penguin Group (USA). In all other English language markets, they will be published by Puffin, the children's imprint of Penguin Group (UK).
The first title written by Madonna, The English Roses, will be published in hardcover in September 2003 and distributed simultaneously worldwide.
"Madonna is an artist with a universal appeal and these books will touch children of all backgrounds everywhere in the world. Penguin is delighted to be working with Madonna and with Callaway Editions on this distinctive and exciting publishing venture," said John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin Group.
Nicholas Callaway, Founder and Publisher of Callaway Editions, says, "As with everything she does Madonna is once again going to surprise, delight, and lead the way. She has drawn on a lifelong passion for and deep familiarity with literature and children's books to create contemporary classics that combine great storytelling with ravishing art.
"With these books, Madonna has accomplished something rare and wonderful. Despite the astonishing range and variety of her stories, they all evoke the secret that the red fox shares with the Little Prince: ?It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.' These, too, are magical stories for children of all ages - even grown-up ones."
Each of Madonna's books will feature a different, internationally acclaimed artist. While the target readership will be six and older, these superbly designed books will appeal to book lovers of all ages.
Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Puffin, said, "We're extremely excited about publishing these wonderful books and delighted to welcome Madonna to the Puffin list, where she joins the very best children's authors and illustrators - Roald Dahl, Eric Carle, Raymond Briggs, Allan and Janet Ahlberg, Anne Fine, and Eoin Colfer. Madonna's books are full of charm. Beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated - they are perfect for the whole family to enjoy, with their colourful cast of characters and gentle humour."
Puffin is the UK's leading publisher of children's books and one of its best loved brands. The publishing programme spans illustrated books for the very young through to teenage fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Puffin publishes an award-winning range of best-selling authors, including Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Eric Carle, Eoin Colfer, Roald Dahl, Anne Fine, Dick King-Smith and Melvin Burgess. Puffin is part of Penguin Group (UK).
The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.
Callaway is a brand-name, illustrated book publisher with a worldwide reputation for its state-of-the-art visual books. Callaway titles have included some of the most highly acclaimed illustrated books of our time, including such titles as the best-selling Miss Spider series, written and illustrated by David Kirk, Hilary Knight's When I Have a Little Girl/When I Have a Little Boy, Georgia O'Keeffe: One Hundred Flowers, and Irving Penn's Passage.
Callaway's 3-D computer-animated television special, Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids, will debut on Nickelodeon on March 31. Callaway's Sunny Patch brand of children's lifestyle products has just launched at 1,150 Target Stores across the United States.
Joanna Prior, +44 (0)20 7010 3250 for Penguin Group (UK)
Marilyn Ducksworth, +1 (212) 366-2564 for Penguin Group (USA)
Kathryn Bradwell, +1 (212) 798-3165 for Callaway Editions, Inc.