Genius Brands International Partners With Penguin Young Readers and Award-Winning Author Anna Dewdney to Create Original Multimedia Animated Content Based on New York Times Bestselling Children's Book Series, Llama Llama
Genius Brands International to Also Expand the Llama Llama's Global Consumer Products' Program
BEVERLY HILLS, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/19/15 -- Continuing its strategic development and business expansion, Genius Brands International, Inc. GBI (OTCQB: GNUS), a global brand management company dedicated to providing entertaining and enriching 'content with a purpose' for toddlers to tweens, has partnered with Penguin Young Readers and author and illustrator Anna Dewdney to lead the worldwide expansion of Dewdney's New York Timesbestselling and multiple award-winning children's book franchise, Llama Llama. The announcement was made today by Amy Moynihan Heyward, President of Genius Brands International, Ken Wright, Vice President and Publisher of Viking Children's Books and Dewdney.
GBI will be creating, for the first time, animated content based on the Llama Llama books for multiplatform distribution. The book series has previously been adapted for the stage, dance performances and musicals. Additionally, GBI is developing a global licensing and merchandising program for Llama Llama across a multitude of categories, including toys, games, apparel, accessories, bedding, and healthy snacks and meals which reflect the core values of the brand. The products are anticipated to launch at retail in the U.S. in 2016.
"The Llama Llama books are not only warm-hearted and entertaining but are also wonderful tools that can be used to promote social and emotional learning and development, and the brand fits perfectly with our 'content with a purpose' mission," said Heyward. "We couldn't be more excited to be given the tremendous opportunity to bring the Llama Llama world to life with the creation of new animated content and a wide range of products that reflect the values of the brand, providing young fans with even more ways to love their favorite friend."
"Llama Llama is a special children's book property for so many young readers and their caretakers," says Ken Wright, Viking Children's Books. "We, along with Anna Dewdney, look forward to working together with Genius Brands as they understand how to translate this unique world that Dewdney has created into a meaningful entertainment and merchandise program."
"I'm excited to build a new partnership with Genius Brands and Penguin Young Readers! Though this collaboration, young fans will have the opportunity to interact with the world of Llama Llama in a multitude of new and exciting ways," said Ms. Dewdney. "My main goal is to encourage more children to learn to read, and by providing them with a larger and more diverse Llama Llama universe, I believe we will accomplish that goal."
With 9.4 million units in print, Dewdney's Llama Llama books have all been New York Timesbestsellers with several titles claiming the #1 spot. Her work has been translated into eight languages. Praised as a "geographer extraordinaire of the emotional terrain of preschoolers and their mothers" (Chicago Tribune), Dewdney's soothing tales are synonymous with calming early childhood anxiety. Llama Llama Red Pajama was chosen as Jumpstart's Read for the Record book in 2011, setting the world's record for the most readings of a particular book on one day. Dewdney is an outspoken advocate for literacy and many states and non-profits use her books for literacy campaigns and programs, including the Library of Congress.
The award-winning Llama Llama series, known for its emotive content, signature characters, family relationships, and addressing the everyday issues of young children, includes Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Lama and the Bully Goat, Llama Lama Time to Share, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, and Llama Llama Mad at Mama.
About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Genius Brands International "GBI" (OTCQB: GNUS) is a publicly traded global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia content for toddlers to tweens. Led by award-winning creators and producers CEO Andy Heyward and President Amy Moynihan Heyward, GBI creates "content with a purpose," meaning content that is as entertaining as it is enriching. GBI's growing library of content includes the award-winning Baby Genius, Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, Thomas Edison's Secret Lab and Stan Lee's Mighty 7, the first project from Stan Lee Comics, a joint venture with legendary Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment.
A Squared Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Genius Brands International, is a brand management and licensing company that represents 3rd party properties across a broad range of categories in territories around the world. The company currently represents Psycho Bunny, a luxury apparel line; From Frank, a humor greeting card and product line; Elecktro Kids and MIP both from Wowee Toys; and Celessence Technologies, the world's leading microencapsulation company;
For more information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
About Penguin Young Readers
Penguin Young Readers is a division of Penguin Random House, (http://global.penguinrandomhouse.com/) the world's most global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin, with the parent companies owning 53% and 47%, respectively. Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children's fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
India and South Africa, and Penguin's trade publishing activity in Asia and Brazil; DK worldwide; and Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial's Spanish-language companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world's most widely read authors.
Forward Looking Statements:
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Michelle Orsi/Carol Holdsworth
Three.Sixty Marketing + Communications
Associate Director of Publicity
Penguin Young Readers
GBI INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:
PLR Investor Relations
Source: Genius Brands International, Inc.
Released February 19, 2015