Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss’s bestselling series of diary-style picture books—Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Fly, and Diary of a Spider—is jumping from the page to the small screen and the stage. HIT Entertainment has acquired rights to develop the series into an animated TV program, in a deal brokered by Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties and Jason Dravis of Monteiro Rose Dravis Agency.

Tentatively titled Diary of a Worm, Spider, and Fly, the show will follow the adventures of the three best friends (along with new characters who will be introduced); a coordinating earth science-focused curriculum will also be developed. “We are delighted to option Doreen Cronin’s Diary of a Worm series,” said Karen Barnes, executive v-p, development and production for HIT Entertainment, in a statement, adding that the books “have captured children’s imaginations and teach science concepts with humor and simple sophistication.” HIT’s properties include Barney, Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends, and Angelina Ballerina. Cronin and Bliss will serve as consultants for the TV series.

According to Alessandra Balzer, co-publisher of the Balzer + Bray imprint at HarperCollins, the series, first published by the Joanna Cotler imprint beginning in 2003, is a “perennial bestseller” for the publisher, and has sold nearly 3.5 million copies in trade and book club editions. Harper also plans to launch a “Diary of a...” I Can Read program in 2013.

Separately, Oregon Children’s Theatre is presenting a stage version of the picture books entitled “Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly” from January 23 to February 20 at the Newmark Theatre in Portland, Ore. Following its run at the Newmark, the show will tour the U.S.