On October 1, Candlewick Press will launch a Toon Books imprint, a partnership with the already existing Toon Books, a press founded by New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly in spring 2008 with the mission of getting kids to read using comics.

The inaugural Toon Books list at Candlewick features 11 hardcovers, all of them Toon backlist titles, including 2010 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes; two Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Books: Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith and Stinky by Eleanor Davis; and eight other titles.

Going forward, Candlewick's Toon imprint will publish four to five new titles each year. Next spring, it will release Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today? by Agnès Rosenstiehl, and Patrick in A Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Other Stories by Geoffrey Hayes. Toon Books, which are leveled books for emerging readers, are vetted by educators; the books feature original stories and characters created by veteran children’s book authors, renowned cartoonists, and new authors.

Candlewick senior v-p of sales John Mendelson said, “Toon’s mission to get kids reading through the accessible vernacular of comics paired with Candlewick’s deep sales and marketing relationships within the children’s books community will bring a renewed focus to the imprint in the both the retail and school and library channels.” Mouly, publisher and editorial director of Toon Books, said, “Joining forces, we will publish the new classics, the visually literate books that will tickle the fancy of, delight, inspire, and inform the children of the 21st century.”

Mouly is also the publisher and editorial director of RAW Junior, the children’s book branch of RAW Books & Graphics.