HarperCollins Publishers Signs Danielle Steel to Children's Book Deal

Beloved International Bestselling Author to Write New Picture Book

Mar 24, 2008, 01:00 ET from HarperCollins Publishers

    NEW YORK, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- HarperCollins Publishers announced
 today that it has acquired world rights to The Happiest Hippo in the World,
 a children's picture book by international bestselling author Danielle
 Steel. The new book, by the author of 88 adult novels, including Honor
 Thyself, Sisters, and the "Max and Martha" series for children, tells the
 story of a baby hippo who happens to be born green instead of gray and
 learns with the help of a little boy to love himself despite being
 different. Both delightful and heartwarming, the book was written by Ms.
 Steel for her son Nicholas Traina when he was little and is expected to be
 published in Fall 2009. Illustrations will be by celebrated artist Margaret
     The deal was negotiated by Kate Jackson, SVP/Associate Publisher,
 Editor-in-Chief of HarperCollins Children's Books, with agent Kate Schafter
 of Janklow & Nesbit Associates.
     "We are delighted to welcome Danielle Steel to our list," said Kate
 Jackson. "She is a wonderful author and we know that this charming project
 will be embraced by young readers all over the world."
     Danielle Steel said, "The message of the book is that it's okay to be
 different. Most of us try to fit in to what's expected of us, and be like
 everyone else, and sometimes the pieces just don't fit. I wanted to
 reassure children (and even grown-ups) that it's wonderful to be different
 sometimes, and sometimes being different is the best thing of all!"
     Since 1981, Ms. Steel has been a permanent fixture on the New York
 Times hardcover and paperback bestsellers list. Twenty-one of Ms. Steel's
 novels have been adapted for television, each earning high ratings and
 critical acclaim, including two Golden Globe nominations for Jewels, a
 four-hour miniseries that starred Anthony Andrews.
     Ms. Steel is also the author of several children's books, including
 "Max and Martha," a ten-book series of books for young readers, and four
 "Freddy" books. Her nonfiction work His Bright Light, about the life and
 death of her son Nicholas Traina, released by Delacorte Press in September
 1998, immediately jumped to the New York Times Nonfiction bestseller list.
 Her books are published in 28 languages in 47 countries.
     With nine children of her own, family, children, and young people are
 the central focus of her life, and her passion, which frequently shows in
 her writing. She deals with the themes that address the most pressing
 issues of real life, which makes her books universal, and touch so many
 people. She is fascinated by the pressing life situations that affect us
 all, how people handle them and are often transformed as a result. And her
 novels have explored subjects such as kidnapping, incest, mental illness,
 suicide, death, divorce, adoption, marriage, loss, cancer, war, among
 others. She also frequently writes about historical themes, shedding new
 light on familiar historical events with meticulously accurate research.
 She also founded and runs two charitable foundations, dedicated to the
 support of hands-on treatment of mental illness, and the prevention of
 child abuse and suicide. She had a contemporary art gallery in San
 Francisco for several years, and is an avid supporter of emerging artists.
 She is now a guest curator at a gallery in San Francisco.
     In 2002, Ms. Steel was decorated by the French government as an
 "Officier" of the distinguished Order of Arts and Letters, for her lifetime
 contribution to world culture.
     Despite her varied interests and activities, Ms. Steel leads an
 extremely private family-centered life. She lives in San Francisco and
     HarperCollins Children's Books is one of the leading publishers of
 children's books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing
 quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to
 many timeless treasures -- including Charlotte's Web, The Chronicles of
 Narnia, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Where the Wild Things
 Are; and popular new classics -- including A Series of Unfortunate Events,
 Warriors, and Fancy Nancy. HarperCollins Children's Books is a division of
 HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English language publishers in
 the world and a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE:   NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NCP,
 NCPDP). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups in
 the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australasia. You can visit HarperCollins
 Children's Books at http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com and HarperCollins
 Publishers at http://www.harpercollins.com.

SOURCE HarperCollins Publishers