LOS ANGELES/BOLOGNA (April 14, 2005)–National Geographic Television & Film’s (NGT&F) Kids’ Programming and Production unit has secured the worldwide entertainment and merchandise licensing rights (excluding publishing) to the acclaimed artist and author Holly Hobbie’s celebrated children’s book series “Toot and Puddle” to develop and produce entertainment properties. Kids’ Programming and Production will work closely with both Douglas and Holly Hobbie to develop and produce the book property for film, video and television projects. The announcement was made by Donna Friedman Meir, president, Kids’ Programming and Production for NGT&F.
Holly Hobbie has worked as an artist for over 30 years and created the first of her seven books in 1997. The first picture book, “Toot and Puddle,” introduces two adventurous pigs — Toot the world-traveler and Puddle the backyard explorer — as they go on exciting journeys both near and far.
“Holly Hobbie’s ‘Toot & Puddle’ book series are endearing books full of extraordinary charm. Holly is a gifted and accomplished artist who has beautifully combined gentle humor with full-page watercolor pictures that are intimate in their detail and reassuring in their message,” said Tara Sorensen, vice president of development, Kids’ Programming and Production for NGT&F. “‘Toot & Puddle’ captures the essence of National Geographic’s mission to excite kids to explore their world with two fun-loving characters that are adventurers at heart. We are excited to bring Holly’s uniquely expressive work to the screen.”
“We’re thrilled to begin working with National Geographic Kids’ Programming on this new venture,” the Hobbies said. “We believe our partnership has the potential to bring a fresh and unique vision to children’s programming.”
NGT&F has optioned all seven of Holly’s books, including “Toot and Puddle;” “Toot and Puddle: A Present for Toot;” “Toot and Puddle: I’ll Be Home for Christmas;” “Toot and Puddle: You Are My Sunshine;” “Toot and Puddle: Puddle’s ABC;” “Toot and Puddle: “Top of the World;” “Toot & Puddle: Charming Opal;” the recently released “Toot and Puddle: The New Friend;” and this year’s forthcoming release “Toot and Puddle: Wish You Were Here.”
Based in Los Angeles, Kids’ Programming and Production is an independent production entity of NGT&F. 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, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com.