Humorist and TV personality Stephen Colbert is beefing up his presence in the children’s book world. During the opening segment of Tuesday night’s episode of his late night program The Colbert Report, Colbert announced that his new children’s book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You!), will be released May 8 (video is embedded below). He also shared the news that Oscar winner Tom Hanks will be recording an audiobook version of the title, and that Colbert’s and Hanks’s proceeds from the project will be given to, an organization that provides support for the transition at home of military veterans and their families.

The idea for the book, “an inspirational story about a pole trying to find his place in the world,” stems from an interview Colbert did back in January with legendary children’s author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, the inaugural piece in Colbert’s Grim Colberty Tales series that profiles luminaries in the world of children’s publishing. “Every celebrity out there is cashing in on children’s books, and I want in,” Colbert told Sendak before showing off his picture book dummy of I Am a Pole (And So Can You!). When Sendak commented, “The sad thing is, I like it,” a viable picture book—and its attendant promotional blurb—were ripe for the picking. Grand Central Publishing, publisher of Colbert’s books for adults, was soon on board, with sister division Hachette Audio producing the audiobook.

In a boon for fans, the children’s book shout-outs on Tuesday’s Colbert Report were not limited to the host’s own project. A second installment of Grim Colberty Tales featured actress, singer and author Julie Andrews, who spoke about her Very Fairy Princess picture books, and was even cajoled into a bit of a duet by interview’s end.

Colbert fans shouldn’t worry that his foray into children’s books will slow his other pursuits, however. He is slated as the Master of Ceremonies for BookExpo America’s Author Breakfast on Tuesday, June 5, where in addition to I Am a Pole, he’s bound to promote his latest adult title, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, due in October.

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"I Am a Pole (And So Can You!)"
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