DK has acquired Phonic Books, one of the U.K.’s leading specialist education publishers. Founded in 2006 by Wendy Tweedie, Tami Reis-Frankfort and Clair Wilson, three special needs teachers, the publisher now has some 300 decodable books for beginner and catch-up readers. The books are available in more than 40 countries, and growth has been especially strong in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, DK said.

The acquisition is part of a larger strategy that saw DK move into the education market with the launch of DK Learning in April this year. DK Learning offers teaching resources, including curriculum-aligned books from the publisher’s catalog.

In announcing the acquisition, Paul Kelly, Co-CEO of DK, said: “We are excited about Phonic Books joining the DK family, its reputation in the teaching community is testament to the hard work of the founders and team. They have established themselves as a quality publisher of decodable content that supports the reading development of all children."

DK's announcement noted that demand for books offering instruction in phonics was growing in the U.S. in particular, with New York City having mandated all elementary schools to adopt a phonics-based reading program and some 20 states having passed legislation regarding the implementation of phonics-aligned approaches to literacy.