Hachette Children’s Group, six-year-old Eric Cowell and his dad, Simon Cowell today announced a new children’s entertainment series: WISHFITS.
The publishing giant, entertainment mogul and schoolboy will launch their unique partnership with the publication of three picture-led children’s books, beginning in spring 2021. Four more books will then follow the next year. The surprise collaboration was unveiled by Simon Cowell as the highlight of the annual Hachette Global Showcase at The Cambridge Theatre in central London on Monday afternoon [24.02]
WISHFIT is a world where some of the most unusual animals exist. The WISHFITS are magical and unusual creatures which have evolved in a weird and wonderful way, combining two different species to form hybrid animals with very distinct characteristics. Some of them are part friendly, part fierce, others are both furry and scaly. They are all busy forming unusual friendships, learning life lessons, sharing adventures and having a fun and magical time together. And they’re all characters that children will wish they could meet in real life!
Just a few of the wonderful WISHFITS include the DAT (dog/cat) the COG (cat/dog), the SNOG (snail/dog – the enthusiasm of a dog at the speed of a snail), the PEEP (pig/sheep) the CHUG (cheetah/slug – the slowest cat in the world), the HIPPOROO (hippo/kangaroo), the CHIMPANPOO (chimpanzee/poodle), the POLARBAT (polarbear/bat), the CROCOPUSS (crocodile/cat), the SHIGER (sheep/tiger – the most nervous cat in the world), the SPIKEY (spider/donkey) and many, many more.
Simon Cowell said: “To be able to write a series of books with my son Eric has been magical. This idea was inspired 3 years ago by a very special friend of ours who runs a Children’s Hospice charity. I told her one evening about some of the funny animals my son Eric and I would invent, starting with the Cog and the Dat. And how every evening the two of us would think of the most unlikely animal we would like to have as a pet. We would come up with some very strange new animals and the naming of the animals was Eric’s favourite thing! She loved this idea so much she encouraged me to turn this into a book series.
I met with an amazing company called Tongal who have a global community of creators. We loved the idea of thousands of creative people being part of the development of our idea. The reaction, support and imagination we got back was truly inspiring and helped us to bring this to life.
I really do believe it’s important to encourage kids creativity and imagination. I also believe kids have better ideas than most adults. I hope these books will be fun for kids to read, and we will encourage them to come up with new animals for the books. The books will tell how these unique friendships are formed and will celebrate individuality and positivity. We will see how the strengths of these animals are in their differences and make the point we live in a World where inclusivity is so important. And of course these animals will all have lots of fun on their magical adventures together!
I am thrilled to be working with Hachette, an amazing publishing house. They shared our passion and enthusiasm from the moment we told them about WISHFITS.
Two of the children’s charities I work closely with will benefit from profits of WISHFITS, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices and Together For Short Lives.”
Eric Cowell said “My favourite WISHFITS right now are probably the Snog and Dat and Cog and the Chimpanpoo! I really hope that one day I can meet them all!”
Simon and Eric further developed WISHFITS on the Tongal platform through a series of projects where creators around the world were able to contribute to and build upon their idea, before partnering with Hachette for the next stage of the project’s evolution.
Ruth Alltimes, Senior Publisher, Hachette Children’s Group, acquired UK and Commonwealth publishing rights, for all formats from Matilda Forbes Watson at WME Agency.
Ruth Alltimes said: “Children are fascinated by the idea of mixing up two different things to create something new – it plays to their creativity and inventiveness. And WISHFITS combines this fun-filled idea with themes of acceptance and inclusivity, as well as being a great way for children to learn about animals, nature and the environment. It’s wish fulfilment all round! So we are extremely excited to be partnering with global entertainment icon, Simon and his son Eric to bring their brilliant ideas to life, and to introduce a generation of children to characters as unforgettable as Cog, Dat, and so many more.”
The books will launch in paperback at £6.99, with a highly accessible commercial package for the broadest appeal.