Music and TV producer Simon Cowell and publisher Hachette Children’s Group have announced plans for a new series based on an original property written by Cowell and his six-year-old son, and developed on the online platform Tongal.
Entitled “Wishfits,” the seven-book series will follow a number of hybrid animals created by the multi-hyphenate producer behind the “Got Talent” and “X Factor” franchises and his schoolboy son, Eric.
“To be able to write a series of books with my son Eric has been magical,” says Cowell. “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 I was encouraged] 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.”
After creating such characters as the Dat (dog/cat), Peep (pig/sheep) and Chimpanoo (chimpanzee/poodle) together with his son, Cowell brought the idea to collaborative content platform Tongal.
There, the father and son further developed the concept through a number of collaborations with creators –including many other parents to young children – who could build upon the idea.
Hachette Children’s Group subsequently picked up U.K. and Commonwealth publishing rights for all formats. The publisher will release the first three volumes in spring 2021, with the subsequent four due the following year.
“Children are fascinated by the idea of mixing up two different things to create something new – it plays to their creativity and inventiveness,” says Hachette’s Ruth Alltimes. “So we are extremely excited to be partnering with global entertainment icon Simon and his son Eric to bring their brilliant ideas to life.”