Weekly Round-Up: Little Golden Books, the Obamas, and Pearson Education

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From Little Golden Books’ anniversary to Pearson Education’s historic loss, here’s the latest literary news:

  • Little Golden Books, the iconic children’s book series, is celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. Originally priced at just twenty-five cents, the books made reading accessible to a wider audience in a time when children’s books tended to be expensive. According to Leonard Marcus, author of The Golden Legacy: The Story of the Golden Books, the company sought to “democratize children’s books,” and made them available in supermarkets, drug stores, and other places where children could easily find them.
  • Penguin Random House has won the rights to publish two forthcoming books by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, respectively. Several estimates have priced the package of advances between $30 million and $60 million. Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said, “We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama.” The two books are rumored to have publications dates in fall 2018.
  • Pearson Education has reported a pre-tax loss of approximately $3.2 billion in 2016, the biggest in the company’s history. Pearson CEO John Fallon said, “2016 was a challenging year for Pearson, but we remain the global leader in education. . . . There is going to be a big winner in the transformation in education. We are absolutely determined to make Pearson that winner.” In an effort to mitigate the loss, Pearson plans to sell its forty-seven percent stake in Penguin Random House.