27 September 2013

Walker Books is to group all its media-related and media-inspired publishing under a new imprint, Walker Entertainment.

The imprint will be known as Candlewick Entertainment in the US, with Australia carrying both lines.

Walker Entertainment reports to Helen McAleer, head of Walker Group’s global rights and development division, established last year. Joan Powers, Group Editorial Director, will have editorial responsibility for the list, and will work closely with Kristen Nobles, Group Art Director,

The division already houses Walker Productions, founded by McAleer in 2007 to develop Walker and Candlewick-owned content for other media platforms. Its three sales so far are Henry HugglemonsterTilly and Friends, and Fleabag Monkeyface. Kindle Entertainment and DHX Media are in production with Hank Zipzer, a live-action series to air on CBBC next year. The division also handles licensing activity for brands such asGuess How Much I Love YouTilly and Friends, and Maisy.

McAleer said: “Walker Entertainment and Candlewick Entertainment will open up new commercial channels for us and also strengthen our opportunities for brand management in-house. We look forward to shaping a list that embraces the heritage, quality and original publishing experience that Walker is renowned for, and combining it with passion, understanding and expertise in delivering into the mass market.”

Karen Lotz, MD of the Walker Books Group and President and Publisher of Candlewick Press, said, “We see our opportunities for targeted tie-in and licensed publishing continuing to grow, and wanted to give this publishing a designated home under our group publishing umbrella.”

The first addition to Walker Entertainment is Mossy Bottom Farm (illustrated above), based on the Aardman character Shaun the Sheep. The imprint’s launch list will include new titles in the Abney and Teal and Tilly and Friends ranges, as well as tie-in editions of four Hank Zipzer novels.