Guess who’s starring in a picture book this fall. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. Guess who’s publishing it. Razorbill. Guess what it will be printed on. Paper, presumably. Based on the popular web video by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp, the picture book, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me, will be published on November 1 with a 100,000-copy first printing.
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” was created by Slate and Fleischer-Camp in late 2010; since it’s been posted online, the video has been viewed more than eight million times and has picked up several accolades including “Best Animated Short” at the 2010 AFI Fest. In the video, Marcel, a tiny shell with one googly eye, a pair of pink shoes, and a squeaky, warbly voice discusses the quirky ins and outs of his miniature life. This includes everything from his hobbies (“Guess what I do for adventure. I hang glide on a Dorito”) to his belongings (“Guess what I use as a beanbag chair. A raisin”) and his stand-in for a pet dog—a ball of lint tied to a hair.
Razorbill president and publisher Ben Schrank acquired the picture book in a deal with Erin Malone and Kirby Kim at WME. “Everybody at Razorbill and Penguin is just as in love with Marcel as the fans are that have made him an Internet sensation,” said Schrank in a statement. “When we found out that Jenny and Dean wanted to write a picture book we were ecstatic and jumped at the opportunity to work with such a brilliant and enthusiastic pair of young authors. We are determined to turn Marcel into a classic picture book character, alongside Ferdinand the Bull and the Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
The book will feature oil paintings based on photos of Marcel at home; Razorbill will simultaneously publish an interactive version of the book and a downloadable digital audio version recorded by Slate, who voices Marcel’s character.