Scholastic, Cartoon Network Ink Publishing Deal

Children’s book publisher Scholastic has signed on to be the exclusive U.S. publisher of books based on four new original series from Cartoon Network. The new deal expands an existing partnership that began in 1999 with the release of books based on the cabler’s hit series The Powerpuff Girls. Scholastic plans to begin rolling the new titles out in the fall of 2005.

The agreement includes publishing rights for Codename: Kids Next Door (girls 5-11), Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, (boys and girls 4-8) Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (tween girls ages 7-11) and The Life and Times of Juniper Lee (tween girls ages 7-11).

Now in its fourth season, Codename: Kids Next Door follows the adventures of five pint-sized super-spies who use homemade inventions to battle some truly odd villains. It is currently Cartoon Network’s second highest-rated show.

The hot new Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends centers on a unique friendship between a boy, his imaginary friend and the strange inhabitants of a very special boarding house. Its 90-minute premiere on August 13 was the best series premiere among key kids demographics in Cartoon Network history.

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi debuts Nov. 26. The series blends live-action and animation as it chronicles the fantastic adventures of two real-life Japanese rock stars.

The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, set to premiere in March of 2005, tells the story of a regular 11-year-old with a very unusual job–fighting the forces of mischief and chaos that hide everywhere.

Scholastic hopes the new titles continue a track record of success with Cartoon Network-branded fare. From 2000 to 2004, the publisher released more than one hundred Powerpuff Girls books in various formats and has sold more than 6.6 million copies.