By Dennis Abrams
President and Publisher of Random House Children’s Books, Barbara Marcus, has announced the acquisition of the Now I’m Reading product line of books from innovativeKids, a Connecticut based toy and education company.
First launched in 2001, Now I’m Reading! is a step-by-step series that guides beginning readers from their first read-along book through the self-confidence of independent reading. Since it launched, it has taught more than three million kids how to read and is said to be among the premier learn-to-read programs available today.
The award winning program combines the best of phonics with literature-based reading, helping provide a strong foundation for measurable reading success. The product line encompasses a variety of leveled formats, including flashcards, activity kits, games, and learn-to-read story collections, sets which contain ten individual books.
Shari Kaufman, President of innovativeKids, will continue to advise in the creation and development of Now I’m Reading!, working closely with Tom Russell, VP and Publisher of the Princeton Review and Sylvan Learning Books, who will oversee the Now I’m Reading! Publishing program for Random House Children’s Books.
The award-winning Now I’m Reading! program combines the best of phonics and literature-based reading, providing a strong foundation for measurable reading success. The product line encompasses a variety of leveled formats, including flashcards, activity kits, games, and learn-to-read story collections, sets which include ten individual books.
“As innovativeKids continues to expand into the toy arena, we wanted to find a publisher uniquely positioned to grow this program to its full potential,” said Kaufman. “We are beyond thrilled that Random House Children’s Books will be able to build on the program’s strong foundation, and we know that in their hands, Now I’m Reading! is poised to reach millions more readers!”
Barbara Marcus told Publishing Perspectives: “I’ve known Shari for many many years and been an admirer of her company Innovative Kids, especially the Now I’m Reading series. At Random House Children’s Books, our business and mission is to get kids excited about books, and I felt that this wonderful program was a perfect opportunity for us to expand our reach to children just beginning the adventure of reading. We are excited that Shari will be working with us to build out the program through the professional marketing and distribution channels of Random House.
“We will build on the extraordinary success created by Shari and the team at innovativeKids, and we are eager for the opportunity to expand the audience for Now I’m Reading!” Marcus said in a press release. “Shari’s boundless energy and creativity is so inspiring, and we are fortunate to have her vision at the core of this brand—which I believe is a perfect fit for Random House Children’s Books.”