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Two Big New Children's Deals
-- 5/11/98
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O'Neal has signed a deal with Scholastic to write a collection of tales aimed at readers ages six to nine, and comedian Louie Anderson will work with Parachute Publishing to develop a line of books based on his TV series, Life with Louie.
According to Scholastic publicity director Alan Cohen, O'Neal's book, to be called Shaq and the Beanstalk and Six Other Very Tall Tales, will be published in fall 1999. A collection of fairy tales with unexpected twists, the seven linked stories will be told in the first person and will be printed in an oversized hardcover format. O'Neal said the idea for the book came from a public service announcement he did for Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) a few years ago.

In the second deal, Parachute Publishing has licensed children's book rights to the Fox Kids Network's Life with Louie animated TV series, created by comedian Louie Anderson. Beginning with the first two titles this August, the series will be distributed by HarperCollins and published under the HarperActive imprint. Additional titles will be published bimonthly.

Parachute editors are working with Anderson to develop a line that includes chapter books for the six to nine age group, and novelties such as postcard books, joke books and activity books. Promotion plans include a sweepstakes, to be advertised in the first three titles; Anderson's forthcoming nationwide stand-up tour; and in-store displays.
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