Three classic picture book and board book characters, who have enchanted multiple generations of children, return in a pair of fall releases from Simon & Schuster. The books mark the relaunch of the Angelina Ballerina and Max & Ruby series under the S&S banner.
The graceful pliés of mouse ballerina Angelina Jeanette Mouseling, created by Katharine Holabird, are seen on stage again in a refreshed edition of Angelina Ballerina (Little Simon, illus. by Helen Craig, Aug.), the book that launched the series. Next year additional Angelina books, new titles as well as reissues, will be released under the Simon Spotlight imprint.
Holabird wrote her debut story starring the aspiring dancer at her kitchen table while her daughters twirled around her, and has been writing about the ballerina ever since. She says that she is “absolutely thrilled” to see the release of “Simon & Schuster’s sparkly new edition, which looks beautiful. I know Angelina fans will love this, and the rest of the books to come.”
Of her character’s ongoing popularity, Holabird notes, “Like all young children, Angelina has big emotions, but she also has a caring heart and always tries her best, which makes her very lovable.” The author is pleased to be at BookExpo to share the refreshed Angela Ballerina with booksellers; she hopes “they’ll be as happy as I am to see Angelina back dancing onstage!”
Rosemary Wells’s Max and Ruby series, which has been tickling the funny bones and warming the hearts of kids and adults for four decades, will be published under the Paula Wiseman Books imprint. First out is Twin Trouble (Oct.); the second book in the series, Max & Ruby and the Babysitting Squad, will be released in fall 2020.
Reflecting on the longevity of her series, Wells cites two reasons for her books’ success. “The first is that Max and Ruby are universally part of every childhood in every culture,” she says. “Everywhere you find older sisters and younger brothers, kids understand Max and Ruby from the get-go.
“[The second],” she continues, “is that Ruby always wins, and Max never loses. I make the stories funny and true, so parents and other readers-aloud come back to them for a good laugh at story time.”
It’s a winning formula. Wells’s 40-plus Max & Ruby titles have sold more than two million copies since 1979, and 92 TV episodes based on the feisty duo aired between 2002 and 2017 on Nickelodeon, which has a 40th anniversary program planned.
Today, 11–11:30 a.m. Katharine Holabird signs at Table 2.
Today, 11:30 a.m.–noon. Rosemary Wells signs at Table 14.