BabyLit and Little Leonardo book series land animated series adaptations in latest global push

The best-selling BabyLit and Little Leonardo children’s book series are to undergo an animated series adaptation, thanks to a new partnership between Gibbs Smith Publishing, ThinkTank Emporium, and the story editor and writer, Katherine Sandford.

A veteran writer and story developer for animated programmes in the three to five age range, Sandford was most recently an executive story editor for Elinor Wonders Why (PBS Kids), The Book Hungry Bears, and co-executive producer and executive story editor for The Adventures of Napkin Man I-II-III.

The BabyLit brand is an established book series with more than 50 titles in print and more than 2 million copies sold domestically and internationally. The brand includes board books and story books for kids aged two to five and spans several different categories.

Its Little Poets titles celebrate poetry from Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe, while the Little Naturalists highlight mini biographies of popular nature advocates such as John Muir and John James Audubon.

Meanwhile, the Little Leonardo Series introduces STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) concepts to ages four to eight, focusing on how STEAM affects everyday life and highlights STEAM heroes. It has become a favorite of librarians and teachers, as well as the international market. 

“We have had studio interest in our BabyLit brand, and we are thrilled to take the next steps with veteran writer Katherine Sandford to create a vision for what an animated series will look like,” said Suzanne Gibbs Taylor, creator of the BabyLit brand and Group Publisher/Chief Creative Officer at Gibbs Smith.

“This series continues to garner attention and find new audiences as we strategically continue to craft fresh content.”

The ThinkTank Emporium’s David Wollos, added: “We are pleased to be working with Katherine to bring the wonderful world of BabyLit to a global audience via various media platforms and additional licensed product opportunities. The sheer potential in all these areas for BabyLit is a wonderful asset for Gibbs Smith and its strategic relationship with Katherine.”

Speaking with, Wollos confirmed that plans will be on an international level, tapping into the 30 strong international markets for the BabyLit series as it marks its tenth anniversary this year.

“Our intent is to create a global animated concept that will be embraced by viewers worldwide,” said Wollos.

Sandford concluded: “The BabyLit brand is a very special property. Gorgeous, thoughtful and inspiring, they are beautifully designed and intelligently written. I am excited and honored to be working with Think Tank and Gibbs Smith as we explore the future of BabyLit.”

Book series that educates children through classic literature BabyLit jumps into licensing with ThinkTank Emporium

The US book publishing house Gibbs Smith has partnered with The ThinkTank Emporium to begin development on an animated series and licensing programme for its bestselling babyLit and Little Leonardo book series.

Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver, the BabyLit classics series consists of 30 board books aimed at kids from birth to three years old. It aims to teach developmental concepts through the lens of classic literature.

Take, for example, Pride and Prejudice. The book helps children count to ten through plot developments of the novel, beginning with One English Village, Four Marriage Proposals, Nine Ballgowns, and Ten Thousand Pounds.

Throughout the series, quotes from the original classics are often included next to the concepts. The BabyLit classic series extends to gift merchandise as well with totes, buttons, dolls, puzzles, and a memory matching game.

The BabyLit series currently has more than 50 titles in print, and over 2 million copies in sales. The books have been extremely popular at all levels of retail, including Costco, Target, Barnes & Noble, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many independent bookstores and gift shops.

Meanwhile, the Little Leonardo Series teaches STEAM concepts to kids aged four to eight, focusing on how STEAM affects every day life and introducing real life examples of STEAM heroes from history.

“People are realising that it’s never too young to start putting things in front of toddlers that are a little more meaningful, that have more levels,” said Suzanne Gibbs Taylor, creator of the BabyLit series and publisher/chief creative officer at Gibbs Smith.

“After the success of our books, the natural extension of the brand is to explore television opportunities. We are very excited to see what can be developed for BabyLit.”

Announcement of the partnership was made jointly by David Wollos and Joan Luks for The ThinkTank Emporium and Gibbs Smith, Publisher.

“We are pleased to be working with Gibbs Smith to bring the BabyLit and Little Leonardo series to a global audience via media platforms and licensed product opportunities. The sheer potential in all these areas for these properties is a wonderful asset for ThinkTank and its strategic relationship with Gibbs Smith,” said Wollos.