Chronicle Books has inked a deal with children's licensor Nickelodeon, becoming the newest licensee of the popular Nick and Nick Jr. television shows. The line will debut this fall with six titles.
While Simon & Schuster also publishes children's books for these brands, Chronicle Books associate publisher Victoria Rock believes that they won't compete with each other, but will be complementary. Chronicle will be publishing books with higher price points, according to Rock, and the books will have more of a "one-off approach."
Three of the six fall books will be under the Nickelodeon brand, which is aimed at children ages 7—11, and will feature such characters as SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats. The other three will be branded under the Nick Jr. line, aimed at children ages 2—6, and featuring such properties as Blue's Clues and Dora the Explorer. Another way that these books are set apart from those from S&S, Rock said, is that the Chronicle books will have multiple characters in them and will be nonfiction. "These are not storybooks," she said.
The new licensing deal fits in with Chronicle's list, Rock noted, because these are "projects that would have worked without the Nickelodeon branding. The books will just be enhanced with the Nick name." One project that had already been in the works was a games deck. Once Nickelodeon was in the picture, Steal a Chicken: 50 Ways to Play the Nick Way was born, which has lots of "crazy games, with a Nick twist to them," according to Rock. Another project debuting this fall is an interactive journal titled I Rule My World, which encourages children to write about their lives, as well as "pretend you're SpongeBob's tailor and draw him a pair of pants."
In a promotional effort, Chronicle is creating its own display to offer to retailers, but it is also hoping to combine forces with S&S to gain the most visibility for their shared Nickelodeon branding.