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Publishers Weekly Children's Features

Albert Whitman Launches Boxcar Early Readers
-- 5/25/98
Next month, Albert Whitman will publish the first three titles in a new line of beginning readers featuring characters from Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children series.
According to Caity Olson, publicity coordinator for the company, The Adventures of Benny and Watch resulted from an idea, developed with Scholastic executive editor Ann Reit, to make stories about the Boxcar Children available to a younger audience, both through trade bookstores and Scholastic Book Club editions.

Geared toward readers aged six to nine, the spinoff's series title is drawn from the youngest member of the family, named Benny, and a stray dog that the family adopts. Although the original middle-grade series consists of mysteries, the younger books will mainly feature family stories.

Priced at $3.95, the books will be illustrated in four color by Daniel Mark Duffy. While the series format is for 32-page volumes, the first book, a retelling of the original The Boxcar Children (1942), will be 48 pages. After the initial three stories, Whitman plans to issue two new titles each season. Combined hardcover and paperback sales for the Boxcar novels, including book club editions, exceed 40 million copies.
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