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ABRAMS CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO PUBLISH OUT-OF-THIS WORLD ILLUSTRATED MIDDLE-GRADE SERIES FROM POP CULTURE ICON HENRY WINKLER AND LIN OLIVER
The series’s first installment, Alien Superstar, will be published in October 2019
New York, April 22, 2019—Andrew Smith, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Abrams Children’s Books, announced today the forthcoming publication of Alien Superstar , the first novel in a new heavily-illustrated middle-grade series from New York Times bestselling writing team Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, with illustrations by Ethan Nicolle. Releasing in hardcover, eBook, and audio editions on October 1, 2019, with a 100,000-copy announced first printing, Alien Superstar follows a young alien who escapes his planet only to end up in an even wilder place: Hollywood, California. The deal for three books, including world rights, was negotiated by Smith with Esther Newberg of ICM Partners on behalf of Winkler and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eddie Gamarra of The Gotham Group on behalf of Oliver. Maggie Lehrman, Executive Editor, will edit the series.
In addition to drawing on their bestselling success as the authors of the Hank Zipzer and Here’s Hank series, Oliver and Winkler are infusing their decades of experience in Hollywood into a hilarious out-of-this-world story for middle-grade readers. In Alien Superstar, readers will meet Buddy Burger, who escapes his alien planet after all forms of art and culture are outlawed by the repressive government. He crash-lands in the middle of a Hollywood film lot, but people just think it’s part of the show and that Buddy is wearing an incredible alien costume. Through a series of misunderstandings and lucky breaks, Buddy is cast as an alien on a popular TV show and becomes a teen heartthrob overnight. But will his legions of adoring fans still love him if they know that under his fake human skin, he has six eyes and suction cups on his feet?
“We are proud to be part of the ABRAMS family,” said Winkler. “Lin and I believe comedy is one of the best introductions to reading. Alien Superstar is funny, but it also explores an important theme: don’t judge a book by its cover. Underneath all our differences, we have a lot in common.”
“Our books make kids laugh and enjoy the reading experience,” said Oliver. “We love our new character, Buddy Burger, who shines a light on all that is wonderful and absurd in our contemporary society. Alien Superstar is a comedy about how art and culture and freedom of expression matter. We’re excited to introduce Buddy to a generation of readers.”
“We’re thrilled to be working with Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver on this hilarious new series that’s guaranteed to win over fans worldwide. Henry and Lin’s extensive experience writing bestsellers for children, as well as their longstanding Hollywood backgrounds, make them the perfect team to tell the story of Buddy Burger. Buddy is ready for his close-up—and we can’t wait for him to land in the homes and hearts of readers this fall!” said Smith.
A multifaceted marketing and publicity campaign for Alien Superstar is planned, including major print and digital advertising campaigns, strong retail promotion across all channels, and a national authors tour.
Henry Winkler is an Emmy award–winning actor, writer, director, and producer with over four decades of success in Hollywood. He currently costars as acting teacher Gene Cousineau on the hit HBO dark comedy, Barry and was the recipient of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for this role. Winkler is most well-known for playing the iconic role of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “The Fonz,” in the TV series Happy Days and won two Golden Globe Awards for this role.
In recent years, Winkler appeared in a number of series, including Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Royal Pains, New Girl, and Parks and Recreation. On the big screen, Winkler starred in Night Shift, Here Comes the Boom, The Waterboy, Click, The Lords of Flatbush, Heroes, Holes, and Scream. Behind the scenes, he has also made his mark as a producer and director.
Lin Oliver is a writer and producer of movies, books, and television series for children and families. She is currently the executive director of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a worldwide organization of over 25,000 members. She runs her own production company called Lin Oliver Productions and has written and executive produced many television series for families, such as Harry and the Hendersons, Corduroy, and Wayside School, and movies like Finding Buck McHenry and The Trumpet of the Swan. She is also the author of over 40 books, including the Fantastic Frame and the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk? series. She has received several Emmy Award nominations and is a recipient of the Christopher Award.
Ethan Nicolle is a comics creator, illustrator, and TV writer who has worked on a wide variety of projects—from the viral web comic Axe Cop to the Netflix series VeggieTales in the House to illustrations for Nick Offerman’s books. He’s received many awards and honors for his work, including an Eisner Award nomination, a Daytime Emmy Award nomination, and a YALSA Top 10 Graphic Novel for Teens.
Founded in 1949, ABRAMS was the first company in the United States to specialize in publishing art and illustrated books. The company continues to publish critically acclaimed and bestselling works in the areas of art, photography, cooking, craft, comics, interior and garden design, entertainment, fashion, and popular culture; children’s books ranging from board books to picture books to middle grade to young adult fiction. ABRAMS creates and distributes brilliantly designed books with the highest production values under the following imprints: Abrams, Abrams ComicArts, Abrams Image, Abrams Press, Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books, Abrams Appleseed, and a gift and stationery line, Abrams Noterie. ABRAMS also distributes books for 5 Continents Editions, Booth-Clibborn Editions, Cameron + Company, Alain Ducasse Édition, Getty Publications, Ludion, The Museum of Modern Art, Obvious State, SelfMadeHero, Tate Publishing, V&A Publishing, and The Vendome Press.