From a media release:
Canadian Publishing’s Favourite Squirrel Leaps to the Small Screen and Beyond
Corus Entertainment today announced plans to develop its highly successful book series Scaredy Squirrel, by bestselling author and illustrator MÃ©lanie Watt, into a multi-media entertainment property.
The scope of this multiplatform venture, which is a collaboration between the company’s book division Kids Can Press, Nelvana Studios and Nelvana Enterprises divisions, includes plans to publish additional titles in the series, produce a television series, develop animated shorts for on-air, online and on-mobile distribution and launch an international merchandise and licensing program for the series.
“Scaredy Squirrel is a huge publishing success with the potential to become a classic brand,” said John Cassaday, President and CEO, Corus Entertainment. “Our strategy is to leverage our various assets in publishing, production, broadcasting, sales and merchandising, and work closely with our international partners to build this property into an international success.”
A publishing phenomenon from acclaimed Canadian creator MÃ©lanie Watt, Scaredy Squirrel (2006) and Scaredy Makes a Friend (2007) have sold over 170,000 copies worldwide. The books have been published in nine countries around the world and have garnered numerous awards and award nominations.
Featuring an endearingly worried hero, Scaredy Squirrel has crossed publishing genres and become the book not only to read to kids at bedtime, but also an inspirational gift for anyone, young or old. A third book in the series, Scaredy at the Beach has just been released with a fourth title planned for spring 2009.
The 26-episode animated television series and companion shorts will be produced in-house by Nelvana Studios. Production on the shorts will begin summer 2008, with the full length series to follow. MÃ©lanie Watt will collaborate on the development of the television series. Nelvana Enterprises will be responsible for worldwide broadcast and distribution sales as well as the international merchandising and licensing program for the property.
“Scaredy Squirrel gives kids a new kind of hero to cheer for,” said Lisa Lyons, President, Kids Can Press. “MÃ©lanie Watt has created a character who’s instantly relatable and hilarious in his attempts to be brave. Kids and adults have made him a publishing hit and he’s destined to become one of the funniest and most endearing screen characters, too.”