Recorded Books, the Prince Frederick, Md.—based producer of unabridged audio books, has announced plans to release a children's retail audio line early next year. According to director of acquisitions Brian Sweany, the children's list will consist of new recordings as well as repackaged titles selected from a backlist of more than 1,500 children's audiobooks. The first 12 retail titles will hit store shelves in January 2003. Initial offerings include the retail editions of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging and its two sequels by Louise Rennison, and a new, full-cast recording of Taggerung (from the popular Redwall series). There will also be three additional titles, by Brian Jacques, an author with whom Recorded Books recently signed a seven-book contract.

A division of Haights Cross Communications, Recorded Books entered the adult audio retail market in early 2000; prior to that, Recorded Books titles were available only in the institutional markets. Current bestsellers include The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.