Charlesbridge and Chicken Soup for the Soul LLC are partnering to publish two new lines of children’s books. The agreement combines the longstanding popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books with a publisher known for its expertise in children’s books.
The titles will be divided into two lines, one for children up to three and another for ages four to seven. Charlesbridge will publish and distribute the titles, which will be co-branded as Chicken Soup for the Soul books. The first books in the two series will debut this fall.
“Our books mirror the same kind of inspirational stories that this trusted brand is known for, and we intend for our new line of Chicken Soup for the Soul Kids and Babies books to entertain as well as inform,” said Monica Perez, editor at Charlesbridge.
The list will debut on September 21. The first two titles in the Babies series, both of which are board books, are Everyone Shares (Except Cat) and Everyone Says Please (Except Cat). At the same time, The Sunshine Squad: Discovering What Makes You Special and Sophie and the Tiny Dognapping: A Book About Doing the Right Thing will be released for the Kids series. All four titles are written by author Jamie White; Lorian Tu is illustrating the Kids titles while Katie Mazeika is illustrating the Babies .
In the 28 years since the first Chicken Soup for the Soul title was released, the series has sold more than 100 million books in more than 40 languages. Among the 250 titles Chicken Soup for the Soul LLC has published in that time, more than a dozen have been for teens and preteens, but the agreement with Charlesbridge signals the company’s desire to develop a larger branded series of books for younger readers.
Chicken Soup for the Soul editor-in-chief and publisher Amy Newmark said the company had been looking for a partner with acumen in the world of children’s publishing, and a demonstrated commitment to values that aligned with the series. “Charlesbridge was my first choice,” Newmark said.
The picture books in the Kids series will include excerpts from the original Chicken Soup for the Soul, along with activities for readers. While geared toward toddlers, the Babies titles will also include tips for parents as they read along.
Charlesbridge publisher Yolanda Scott said the agreement is an important affirmation of the company’s longstanding goals. “Our mission to create lifelong readers and learners dovetails perfectly with the Chicken Soup for the Soul vision of making the world a better place one story at a time,” Scott said. “Today’s parents grew up with the original series, and we look forward to bringing Chicken Soup for the Soul’s positive and inclusive storytelling to the next generation.”