Books about a dog, baseball and global warming may not seem like they have much in common, but this season they do. Titles about these three topics have been adapted from books for adults into fare for a younger audience. Due from HarperCollins in May is a pair of releases John Grogan has crafted from his bestseller, Marley and Me, a memoir of his relationship with his rambunctious Labrador retriever. A 500,000-copy first printing is on order for the middle-grade novel, Marley: A Dog Like No Other, which includes an eight-page full-color photo insert. A picture-book adaptation, Bad Dog, Marley!, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey, has a first print run of 150,000 copies. The publisher, which is also issuing an audio CD based on Marley: A Dog Like No Other, is promoting these releases with a seven-city author tour, a radio satellite tour and two mixed-copy floor displays.
An adaptation of another adult bestseller will land on children's shelves in April, when Viking Children's Books and Rodale will co-publish Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warmingfor readers 11-up. Due out simultaneously in hardcover and paperback with a combined 250,000-copy first printing, this volume includes color photos, illustrations and graphs.
Also due in April, as baseball teams throw out their first pitches, is Cal Ripken Jr.'s The Longest Season, illustrated by Ron Mazellan, for which Philomel has set a 50,000-copy first printing. Here the author tells of the Baltimore Orioles' nightmarish 1988 season, when he played alongside his brother on this team, managed by their father. This picture book is based on Get in the Game: 8 Principles of Perseverance That Make the Difference, which Ripken wrote with Donald T. Phillips, an adult title that Gotham Books will issue the same month.