The Walt Disney Company has announced a new children’s book program, Planet Possible Books. In a launch timed to coincide with the United Nations World Environment Day, June 5, the company introduced plans to designate three to four children’s books annually as Disney Planet Possible titles. Books will be printed in the U.S. on 30% post-consumer recycled paper and paper from responsibly managed forests, using inks certified to include bio-renewable content.

Sylvie Frank, editorial director for acquisitions at Disney Hyperion, leads the initiative, and the first Planet Possible titles will go on sale in February 2025. All four are fictional picture books “under the Hyperion umbrella but grouped under the Disney Planet Possible Books logo,” Frank said. The program’s criteria include “high quality storytelling by a diverse slate of authors and illustrators” and stories that center on environmentalism, conservation, or stewardship. “Greener book production” is another of Frank’s long-term goals.

Frank, who joined Disney in 2021, had been looking for a way to publish children’s books that expressed environmental concerns. “I kept bringing manuscripts about environmentalism and conservation to our editorial meetings, and they didn’t quite fit our character- and voice-driven list,” she said. When Frank “discovered that our corporate partners had an ongoing initiative called Disney Planet Possible already,” which included a partnership with National Geographic and highlighted documentaries and multimedia storytelling, she proposed a line of children’s books “to spark the innate curiosity that kids have about the world around them and leave them asking, ‘What do I do now?’”

For Frank, it’s important that a book “inspires action” and features young people as “the true heroes of the story.” Each Planet Possible Book will include back matter applicable to the content, including activities children “can do at home, in their community, and beyond.”

Ryan T. Higgins, author and illustrator of Hyperion’s Bruce the bear series, created Bruce Saves the Planet for Planet Possible’s launch. “I’m interested in the idea of wildland conservation, so when Sylvie Frank told me about Planet Possible, I wanted to put Bruce in a situation where he could save the forest in a humorous way,” Higgins said. He set out to introduce two key ideas: “The first is protection of land and the critters who live there. And the second is activism, when people get together with the goal of making their voices heard.”

Wendy Mass (The Lost Library; Lo & Behold) developed a three-book series for ages 6–8 about an eco-conscious girl named Green Jolene. Green Jolene in the Neighborhood Swap, illustrated by Billy Yong, will be published by Hyperion and included in the Planet Possible program. “My goal was to make Jolene a fun, likable character who just happens to be embarking on a journey toward sustainable living, while taking young readers along with her for the ride,” Mass said.

In the first book, Jolene is missing a best friend who has moved away, but by the end of the story she has “hatched a big idea that has helped the whole neighborhood,” Mass explained. “Readers get to learn along with her that sometimes not everything is in our control, but that we can still make amazing things happen if we let our passions guide us, no matter our age.”

Two more picture books will join Planet Possible’s inaugural list. Hard Hat Hank and the Sky-High Solution by Charlotte Gunnufson, illustrated by Brian Biggs, describes a possible compromise after birds nest in a construction worker’s building site. If You Find a Fawn: A What-to-Do for Wild Wanderers by Kellie DuBay Gillis, illustrated by Wazza Pink, considers the vulnerability and the self-sufficiency of animal families.

Frank will continue leading acquisitions for Disney Hyperion while working on Planet Possible with her creative team, which includes designers Tyler Nevins and Zareen Johnson. “We are hoping that our partners at National Geographic Kids will also contribute books to this program at some point,” she said. “That hasn’t happened yet,” but Disney is exploring the possibility.

“Disney is known for engaging storytelling and I’m so proud of these hopeful stories about environmentalism, sustainability, and stewardship,” Frank said. “As a company we have this incredibly large and loyal audience, and I’m excited for them to read these books.”