Graphic Novel and Picture Book Series from Kids Can Press to Launch on TV

In News by Porter Anderson

Canadian children’s book publisher Kids Can Press will see two of its book properties transformed into television shows next fall: Ashley Spires’ graphic novels about Binky the Space Cat and a picture-book series by Geneviève Côté.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @porter_anderson

Books-to-Television Adaptations
Canada’s Kids Can Press has announced today (September 20) two new television productions based on its content.

The development is being announced with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana division, and includes two new animated series, P.U.R.S.T Agent Binky and The Remarkable Mr. King, based on the popular Corus-owned Kids Can Press titles. Nelvana, which holds global distribution and merchandising rights to both properties, will introduce the series to the international market at global TV market MIPCOM in October.

In addition to series based on two Kids Can Press titles, Nelvana announced a live-action show, Miss Persona, which will launch in September on the Corus-owned Treehouse Direct YouTube channel.

The CGI-animated series P.U.R.S.T Agent Binky is based on graphic novels written and illustrated by Ashley Spires and published by Kids Can Press. The main character in both the graphic novels and the upcoming television show is Binky the Space Cat. According to the press release from Nelvana, “The series follows the adventures of Binky and his fellow P.U.R.S.T. agents (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) on a mission to protect their human families from aliens, robots, and interstellar threats.”

The comedy series is scheduled to air in the fall of 2019 on Treehouse in Canada, and it’s the second time that Nelvana and Ashley Spires have collaborated. The first project was a short film based on Spires’ bestselling picture book, The Most Magnificent Thing.

The second television adaptation announced will be based on the Mr. King picture book series by Montreal author-illustrator Geneviève Côté. The show, The Remarkable Mr. King, will also debut in the fall of 2019 and targets preschool children aged two to five. Nelvana’s press release says the series “follows a well-meaning, short sighted, little lion whose ‘big thinks’ sometimes cause big snags and tangles.”

Lisa Lyons Johnston, president of Kids Can Press, said in a prepared statement, “Nelvana and Kids Can Press have a storied history in joining forces to bring popular children’s books to the screen. The two new series teach the universal importance of perseverance and self-discovery. We’re excited to share these new adventures with kids and families alike and look forward to bringing more stories from page to screen in the future.”

Kids Can Press is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher in the world, and the company is constantly explores more ways it can extend its book brands. Earlier this year, Publishing Perspectives reported on the publisher’s partnership with General Mills Canada and its Bring Back the Bees campaign.

Lyons Johnston will speak more about how Kids Can Press extends its book properties at The Markets conference on October 9, the day before the Frankfurt Book Fair officially opens.

Additional reporting by Hannah Johnson

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.