Boynton Collaborates with Legendary New Yorker Cartoonist George Booth
NEW YORK, December 6 – Little Simon, a division of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, will publish two new Sandra Boynton board books in 2018. The announcement was made today by Jon Anderson, President and Publisher, Simon & Schuster Children’s Division. The first book, HERE, GEORGE!, is written by Boynton and illustrated by legendary New Yorker cartoonist George Booth, and will be published on May 1, 2018. The second book, BUT NOT THE ARMADILLO, written and illustrated by Boynton, is the long-awaited follow-up to her bestselling 1982 classic But Not the Hippopotamus. It will be published on September 4, 2018.
HERE, GEORGE! marks the first time Boynton has collaborated with another illustrator on any of her books. She explained that this was an exceptional opportunity for her—she and her entire family became devoted lifetime George Booth fans from the moment his first New Yorker cartoon appeared in 1969, when Boynton was 16.
“And then this past summer,” recounts Boynton, “through a series of strange coincidences, I ended up side-by-side with my hero George Booth and at a block party, drawing for the children in his Brooklyn neighborhood. During a lull, George sketched once of his iconic dogs for me, and also one for my son, Devin. I couldn’t believe that Devin and I suddenly each owned a Booth original! At the end of that magical day, on my long drive back home, I realized that the big dog in these two wonderful drawings would make the ideal star of a board book.”
By the time she got home, Boynton had mapped out the book in her head. She put together a dummy, sent it to Booth, and he immediately called and left her a message on her phone to say he was delighted with it. “The little squirts are going to love this,” he said.
“George Booth is an absolute wild genius, not to mention the kindest person imaginable,” says Boynton. “I’ve loved his work forever and ever, but I certainly never imagined that I’d get to meet him, let alone have the chance to work with him. But here we are!”
In addition to HERE, GEORGE!, 2018 will also see the publication of BUT NOT THE ARMADILLO, in which Boynton features the unnamed armadillo who appears at the end of her beloved bestseller But Not the Hippopotamus, first published in 1982.
“The question I hear most often from readers is ‘What happens to the armadillo?’” says Boynton. “It took me a mere thirty-five years to figure out the answer.”
Since the publication of her first board book, Hippos Go Berserk!, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, Sandra Boynton has sold over seventy million copies of her classic board books. During the course of an incredibly prolific career, she has written and illustrated over sixty books for both children and adults, created over 4,000 greeting cards, directed eight music videos, and written and produced six music albums, two of which have been certified Gold, and one of which (Philadelphia Chickens) was Grammy-nominated and has gone Platinum.
“We are huge Sandra Boynton fans, and so proud to have published her work here at Simon & Schuster for many years,” said Anderson. “It’s certainly unusual to publish two books by the same author within such a short span of time. But when Sandy came to us with these two new books, each so unique in its own way, we knew we had something extraordinary, and we wanted to get them out into the world as quickly as possible.”
Jon Anderson and Jeffrey Salane, Editorial Director, Little Simon, acquired the rights and will edit both books. Sandra Boynton and George Booth represented themselves.
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Jodie Hockensmith, Associate Director of Publicity