Penguin Young Readers has teamed up with Ladybird, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, to develop and publish select books for young readers in the U.S. market. The new Ladybird line will be overseen by Penguin Workshop, led by president and publisher Francesco Sedita, and will be helmed by Cecily Kaiser, publishing director of Rise x Penguin Workshop and World of Eric Carle.
Ladybird, which has been publishing books for young children for more than a century, is an iconic brand in the U.K. “For years, we’ve had the great pleasure of working on many projects with our Penguin UK colleagues,” Sedita said. “And now with our Ladybird partnership, we’re thrilled to roll up our sleeves and create some of the very best novelty and picture book titles together.”
The line launches this fall with three paper-over-board picture books from Rhiannon Fielding’s globally bestselling series of bedtime stories, illustrated by Chris Chatterton: Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Unicorn, Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Unicorn’s Christmas, and Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Dinosaur. Upcoming lists will include Baby Touch, a first concepts series that introduces colors, shapes, and numbers; and the Little World series of books that transport preschoolers to such settings as the jungle, a farm, a beach, and the moon—highlighting Ladybird’s mission to “encourage kids to explore the world around them.”
Kaiser explained that Penguin Workshop’s Ladybird list will be largely series-oriented, and that the line will release 15 titles over its first three seasons. “We will likely stay in that range going forward, though we are not bound,” she said. “Our priority is to publish the right books for our market, at the right time.”
Looking ahead, she added, Ladybird offerings will expand in terms of formats and “quite possibly in terms of age levels as well. Our first few seasons will feature books that will have already been published in the U.K, as we play catch up. Going forward, we hope to join creative forces with our U.K. colleagues to develop and print certain titles together. The sky is the limit with this rich and varied list!”