Ever since Regnery launched its children’s publishing program three years ago, the publisher has been looking for a way to celebrate American history and American heroes in a way that would engage, inspire, and entertain young readers. Perhaps it’s the Snoopy stuffed animal that kept Regnery president and publisher Marji Ross from being homesick at camp every summer—and still has—that made her think that the Peanuts characters created by Charles M. Schulz would be the perfect vehicle to reach this goal. This fall, Regnery will publish the first three of 12 fully illustrated books that feature the familiar and well-loved gang of Peanuts characters and focus on themes of American history, government, civics, and heroes. Licensed by Peanuts Worldwide, the books, aimed at readers ages 4–8, will be published under Regnery’s Little Patriot Press imprint.
Craig Herman, executive director of Peanuts Worldwide Publishing, tells Show Daily@BookCon, “One of the most exciting aspects of the Peanuts brand is that its appeal never becomes outdated. A key mission for us is to bring these treasured characters to new generations, and the Little Patriot books allow us to accomplish this in a delightful and educational way.”
Ross agrees and emphasizes that Peanuts has always been and continues to be “a wonderful, trusted and beloved brand to multiple generations.” Ross is particularly excited about the notion that these books will appeal to the parents and grandparents of the young readers. “It’s a win-win,” she says, “an unusual opportunity for a reading experience that is as enjoyable for the adult as it is for the child.”
She also points out, “The Peanuts gang fits in perfectly with the Regnery brand. Both represent wholesome family values and the all-American family.” Ross is excited about the idea that “the characters will bring something valuable to the table with the series’ focus on civics, government, and history.” The first three books—What’s the Big Idea, Charlie Brown? Where are You Going Charlie Brown? and Who Cares, Charlie Brown?—feature great inventors, great explorers, and great humanitarians respectively. Each will feature big names and big ideas—for example, inventors will include Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and the Wright brothers, but will also feature “one person you’ve never heard of,” Ross reveals. The stories will mix history, people, and big ideas, but “we’ll make sure they keep the playfulness of Peanuts,” she adds.
Another focus is on “people who did something for America that was selfless, that made the world a better place,” people like Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony, who are among the American heroes that the books will feature. Reiterating that the brand is timeless she proudly states, “I love Peanuts, I love Snoopy, and my three daughters feel the same way!”
Snoopy is walking the floor today, 9–3 p.m., and is eager for photo ops.