Rodale Kids, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, has announced the publication of the first picture book by Dan Brown, bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code. Illustrated by Hungarian artist Susan Batori, Wild Symphony is releasing on September 1 in 27 countries, with a first U.S. printing of 150,000 copies. The picture book will be accompanied by Brown’s classical music album, his first official music release since his publishing debut.
Mallory Loehr, senior v-p and publisher of Random House Books for Young Readers Group, acquired North American rights from Heide Lange at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. The book will be edited by Dani Valladares, editor at Rodale Kids.
Brown, who is a lifelong musician, said in a statement, “I love storytelling, and my novels always attempt to weave together varied themes. With Wild Symphony, I was excited to build on this idea and create a truly layered experience by using three different languages simultaneously—art, music, and words. In the same way that an opera captivates its audience by presenting beautiful sets, dramatic music, and lyrical drama, Wild Symphony strives to be an immersive feast for eyes, ears, and mind, all at the same time.”
In the book, Maestro Mouse visits a variety of animal friends, introducing concepts of mindfulness and compassion along the way. Kids can experience the picture book as a traditional read-along, or listen to the original musical compositions as they read—one for each animal—using a free interactive smartphone app, which incorporates augmented reality to play the appropriate song for each page when the camera of a mobile device is held over it. The app will be available for free download online and via the QR code in the book, upon publication.
Classical music publisher Boosey & Hawkes will distribute the printed music, which will be performed by the Zagreb Festival Orchestra in Croatia, and recorded by PARMA Recordings. Additionally, the full Wild Symphony album will be released simultaneously with the book in September and available via all major digital platforms. The world premiere concert of Wild Symphony will be announced in the near future, with additional concerts to be held in dozens of countries around the world.
Brown is the author of multiple #1 international bestsellers, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, and Angels & Demons, among others, with more than 220 million copies in print. He is currently working on a new Robert Langdon thriller.