Penguin Young Readers Group acquired the license to MGA Entertainment's Bratz and will publish two paperbacks and four activity books in July, followed by six more titles in fall. Bratz was the best-selling fashion doll line in 2002.... Dalmatian Press has taken on three new licenses for value-added coloring and activity books and novelty titles:
VeggieTales (Big Idea), Strawberry Shortcake (DIC) and Justice League (DC Comics/Warner Bros.). All will be introduced in a promotional program this spring, followed by a rollout for back-to-school.... Scholastic will publish chapter books, collector's sticker books and official guides based on Lego's action hero franchise, Bionicle. It will also release a tie-in book for the upcoming direct-to-video feature based on the toy line.... Scholastic is extending the Clifford entertainment brand with a new animated series, Clifford's Puppy Days; like the three-year-old Clifford the Big Red Dog show, it will focus on literacy themes. PBS Kids will add the production, for children four to seven, to its schedule in fall 2003.... Modern Publishing acquired Beyblade from Nelvana for coloring and activity books.... Pleasant Company's American Girls will make their way to television, starting with a made-for-TV movie based on the character Samantha, to be aired on the WB Network in 2004. Produced by Revolution Studios, Red Om Films and Pleasant Company in association with Warner Bros. Television, the film will be Pleasant Company's first TV venture and the WB's first original movie…. Viacom Consumer Products licensed The Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co. for plush items based on Paramount Home Entertainment's direct-to-video sequel, Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, released in March. The products will be sold at Blockbuster stores…. Meredith Corp. will publish four books tied to the cable network Home & Garden Television (HGTV). The first, HGTV Before and After Decorating, will be released in the fall; initial orders have exceeded 250,000 units. Meredith also publishes books tied to Trading Spaces, a series on the TLC cable network.... To promote its first five Betty Spaghetty titles, due in July, Random House will offer a special-edition doll for $1.99 with the purchase of two of the books, licensed from Ohio Art. Over 3,000 stores will feature displays supporting the promotion.... In May, more than 400 Borders and Waldenbooks stores will feature boutiques supporting Little, Brown's 22 Todd Parr titles, of which nearly one million are in print. A TV series, Toddworld, launched in February on TLC's Ready to Learn block.... As part of Air New Zealand's two-year promotion with New Line Cinema making it the official "Airline to Middle-earth," the carrier is flying two planes covered in graphics from the Lord of the Rings movies. One features Frodo and the other Arwen and Aragorn.... Recently introduced Chicken Soup for the Soul products, licensed by HCI via agent SloaneVision Unlimited, include logoed clothing from New Tech Apparel and premium pet foods from The Diamond Pet Food Co.... As suspected by publishers who exhibited, Toy Fair attendance was down this year. The number of buyers decreased 23%, to 11,000, and trade guests were down 27%, to 6,700, according to preliminary figures from the Toy Industry Association. The number of exhibitors was up slightly, to 1,707.