Scholastic has acquired a minority stake in Make Believe Ideas, a UK-based children’s publisher.
The move represents an effort to double down on interactive content focused on early learning for babies through children five years old.
But in the case of this particular collaboration, interactivity does not mean digital.
A line of print titles due out in the fall this year will be published “in multiple formats, including lift-the-flap, finger tracing, sound-enriched, touch-and-feel, write-and-wipe, as well as books with press-out models and sticker activities,” according to Scholastic’s announcement.
“We are thrilled to expand our offerings in the global English language market with co-branded, gorgeous, colorful books that make reading and learning fun for babies and young children,” Ellie Berger, Scholastic EVP and President of the publisher’s trade division, said in a press release.
Scholastic’s own research suggests print still prevails among children over six, few of whom it has found are gravitating overwhelmingly toward ebooks. A study by Digital Book World and PlayCollective hints at a somewhat sunnier outlook for digital content, based on a sample featuring children comparatively closer in age to the audience Scholastic’s investment in Make Believe Ideas is designed to target.
Taken together, both studies indicate a hybrid market in which print and digital content play different but not necessarily mutually exclusive roles.
To learn more about how print and digital children’s content currently intersect, join Digital Book World’s free webcast on April 7, “Keeping Pace with Digital Natives: Trends and Tactics for the Children’s Market.”
First Co-branded Line of Early Learners Books to be Released in Fall 2015
NEW YORK, NY—March 23, 2015—Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today announced that it has purchased a minority equity interest in Make Believe Ideas (MBI), the popular UK-based book publisher known for innovative books for babies and children that encourage creativity and promote learning. The first co-branded books for Early Learners ages 0–5 will be unveiled next week at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and are slated for a global English language release in Fall 2015.
“Make Believe Ideas’ focus on early learning and creativity and its engaging product line extends our publishing program and fits seamlessly into our distribution channels at Scholastic,” said Ellie Berger, EVP, Scholastic, and President, Trade Publishing. “With a renewed focus on the importance of reading with babies beginning at birth, we are thrilled to expand our offerings in the global English language market with co-branded, gorgeous, colorful books that make reading and learning fun for babies and young children.”
“Make Believe Ideas has worked closely with Scholastic for many years now,” said Jo Bicknell, founder of Make Believe Ideas, “and we could not be more delighted to be going into a more formal partnership with the biggest children’s book company in the world.”
The first release of co-branded product will include brightly colored, interactive books that encourage activity-based learning in multiple formats, including lift-the-flap, finger tracing, sound-enriched, touch-and-feel, write-and-wipe, as well as books with press-out models and sticker activities.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air and online at www.scholastic.com.