LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2006)–National Geographic Television & Film’s Kids’ Programming and Production unit has secured the worldwide entertainment and merchandise licensing rights (excluding publishing) to Petra Mathers’ award-winning children’s book series “Lottie’s World.” The rights allow the unit to develop and produce animated television, film and video projects under the title “Lottie and Friends.” The agreement was announced by Tara Sorensen, vice president, development, for National Geographic Kids’ Programming and Production.
Mathers, highly acclaimed author and illustrator, is a four-time recipient of The New York Times Best Illustrated Books for Children award, most recently for “Lottie’s New Friend.” Her whimsical illustrations and emotionally evocative stories of friendship, self-esteem and hope have made “Lottie’s World” a favorite of young children. In addition to the “Lottie” series, her best-known books include “Sophie and Lou,” “Kisses From Rosa,” “Maria Theresa” and “Theodore and Mr. Balbini.”
Drawing from the book series, “Lottie and Friends” will follow the daily adventures of Lottie, a resourceful chicken, and her best friend Herbie, an every-man kind of duck. They live in the quaint village of Oysterville, by the sea, where flightless birds of all shapes, colors and sizes live in harmony, and where life is simple but never boring. Ordinary activities such as a picnic on the beach or a trip to the grocery store can end up full of surprises and unexpected adventures.
“Petra Mathers is extremely talented as both an author and an illustrator. She has crafted an endearing series that will resonate with children worldwide,” said Sorensen. “We look forward to bringing this uniquely expressive series to the screen.”
“I look forward to bringing ‘Lottie’s World’ to life. I always envisioned it as a television series, which is reflected in the layout of the books,” said Mathers. “It will be simply wonderful to work with the team of National Geographic and invite a larger audience to the world of ‘Lottie and Friends.'”
National Geographic Kids’ Programming and Production has optioned all five of Mathers’ “Lottie” books — “Lottie’s Beach Towel,” “Lottie’s New Friend,” “A Cake For Herbie,” “Herbie’s Secret Santa” and “Dodo Gets Married.”
Based in Los Angeles, Kids’ Programming and Production is an independent production entity of National Geographic Television & Film. Established in 2003, NGT&F’s Kids’ group brings the renowned National Geographic brand to children’s entertainment through the development and production of quality animated and live-action, entertainment-driven programming that excites kids to explore their world. NGT&F’s Kids’ group will work with all major broadcast outlets in the United States and abroad. For more information about National Geographic, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.