Mr Peabody’s Apples Press Release
Callaway Editions announces the November 10, 2003, release of Madonna’s second book for children, Mr. Peabody’s Apples. Her first book, The English Roses, an international bestseller, debuted at No. 1 on the children’s picture book best-seller list of The New York Times, where it has remained for six consecutive weeks. The book has also been a bestseller in countries as diverse as England, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Taiwan, Brazil, Slovenia, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.
Mr. Peabody’s Apples, a story about the power of words and the importance of teachers, is illustrated by Loren Long, a brilliant young newcomer to the world of children’s picture books. The book, written for readers aged six and up, is a 32-page jacketed hardcover.
Mr. Peabody’s Apples takes place in 1949 in Happville, USA. Mr. Peabody, the beloved elementary school teacher and baseball coach, one day finds himself ostracized when rumors about him spread through the small town. Mr. Peabody silences the gossip with an unforgettable and poignant lesson about how we must choose our words carefully to avoid causing harm to others.
Madonna dedicates Mr. Peabody’s Apples to teachers everywhere. “This book was inspired by a nearly 300-year-old story that was told to me by my Kabbalah teacher,” she says. “. . . when I began to write books for children, I decided to share the essence of this story in one of them. . . . I hope I have done his story justice.”
The English Roses made publishing history with its simultaneous release in 30 languages and over 100 countries on the same day. Since its launch, it has become the biggest and fastest-selling book ever by a first-time children’s author. Madonna’s list of publishers continues to grow. Mr. Peabody’s Apples will be released in 37 languages and more than 110 countries.
Callaway Editions, headquartered in New York, is the originating publisher and has licensed book rights through The Wylie Agency to almost 40 distinguished houses, including Gallimard Jeunesse in France, Penguin Books for Young Readers in the U.K., and Hanser Verlag in Germany. The book is distributed in the United States by Penguin Group U.S.A.
Callaway Editions, founded in 1980 by Nicholas Callaway, is best known for its hugely successful Miss Spider book series. The firm specializes in family entertainment across all media-book publishing, 3-D computer animation for film and television, and product design.
Nicholas Callaway, publisher of Callaway Editions, says, “Mr. Peabody’s Apples is further proof of Madonna’s extraordinary talent and range as a storyteller. Whereas The English Roses is set in London and concerns issues of jealousy and friendship among girls, Mr. Peabody’s Apples takes place in the American heartland and is all about boys, baseball, and the importance of listening to our teachers. We think everyone will be pleasantly surprised to see how the two books differ in style of story and illustration. This gives an inkling of the wonderful surprises that Madonna has in store for us in the three books to come.”
Peabody illustrator Loren Long lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and paints in the tradition of American regionalists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper, and Grant Wood. “I was amazed at how perfectly Madonna captured the world that most influences me“, Long says. “I didn’t have to look far for inspiration“.
The highest production standards mark the creation of Mr. Peabody’s Apples, which features premium paper and state-of-the art digital prepress and printing.
Mr. Peabody’s Apples is the second of five children’s books by Madonna, each set in a different time and place, featuring a new cast of characters brought to life by celebrated illustrators from around the world.