PBS Grants License for SAGWA Books to Scholastic
Scholastic to produce storybooks based on the hit PBS KIDS® series and original book by award-winning author Amy Tan
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - September 16, 2002 - The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced today it has granted Scholastic Inc. the license to produce storybooks based on the popular PBS KIDS® program, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat. Under the new licensing agreement, Scholastic Inc. will be granted rights to distribute books in the United States and English Canada. The Emmy-winning Sagwa series is based on the book, "The Chinese Siamese Cat," written by Amy Tan with illustrations by Gretchen Schields. The Sagwa animated television series, designed for five- to eight-year-old children, is produced by CineGroupe in association with Sesame Workshop.
Sagwa books published under the new agreement will be written by one of the series executive producer, George Daugherty, and illustrated by Gretchen Schields. The first two scheduled titles are "Princess Sheegwa" and "Acrobat Cats," which will reach schools and retail outlets nationwide this October.
"Our strong relationship with Scholastic makes this the ideal partnership," said Tracey L. Beeker, vice president, PBS Licensing and Strategic Partnerships. "These books will add to many of the lessons taught in the Sagwa series as our young viewers begin to explore books."
The critically acclaimed Sagwa television series, which is among the most-watched programs by mothers of young children, launched on PBS KIDS on September 3, 2001. The series follows a spirited, adventurous young cat named Sagwa as she explores her widening world. Similarly, the new books will feature her humorous adventures set against the backdrop of China long ago, helping children to understand both the similarities and differences that exist across cultures.
"The Sagwa series has tremendous appeal to early readers," said Ellie Berger, Scholastic vice president and deputy publisher. "The books are filled with terrific traditions and adventures, emotional intelligence and social diversity and we're looking forward to participating in such a strong licensing program."
The books are being released in conjunction with a comprehensive licensing program that includes home entertainment titles from PBS KIDS Home Video and Warner Home Video and plush toys from Panache Place, a division of Unimax.
CineGroupe, a leader in children and family programming, boasts over 800 half-hours of animation and live-action programs, and has received more than 40 People's Choice and International Jury Awards including a Day Time Emmy for Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat. Its quality programming is seen in 125 countries around the globe. CineGroupe has just completed its live-action/3D background and effects series, Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension. Amongst its recent series one finds Big Wolf on Campus, Kids From Room 402, What's with Andy and Pig City. Find CineGroupe on-line at www.cinegroupe.com.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit, educational organization making a meaningful difference in children's lives around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind the award-winning Dragon Tales and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat and ground breaking multi-media productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. These are among many Workshop endeavors recognized for their deep understanding of children's developmental needs and the most effective/best ways to address them. Find the Workshop online at www.sesameworkshop.org.
Scholastic (NMS: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books. As a global children's publishing and media company serving the needs of parents, teachers, and children, Scholastic provides proprietary book and software distribution through school book clubs, school book fairs and to classrooms, as well as through the retail trade. Since 1920, Scholastic has created quality educational materials for schools and has expanded its reach to include the distribution of books, software, toys, online learning services and television programming directly to the home. Scholastic's Grolier division is the leading print and online publisher of children's reference materials and the leader in children's direct-to-home book clubs. Internationally, Scholastic operates wholly owned companies in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Scholastic web site, www.scholastic.com, is a leading provider of educational services online for parents, teachers and children.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.
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Jan McNamara, PBS
Charisse Meloto, Scholastic