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April 6, 2018
New property Deer Little Forest–in the iteration that is about to debut in a big way–was born out of a chance encounter at Brand Licensing Europe 2013.
The property, which began as a greeting card line from creator and illustrator Jo Rose, was drawing attention on the BLE show floor thanks to its Henries Award nomination. It was a wide-selling line which could be found in such U.K.-based retailers as Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty, John Lewis, Paperchase and more.
But the property was poised for more, and, in partnership with Lisa Hryniewicz of Koko Rose Media, the brand blossomed at Olympia.
Now, Deer Little Forest is ready to take off on the global stage armed with entertainment and publishing to fully realize the property's potential as a lifestyle and preschool brand.
Deer Little Forest centers on character Forest Flo and her woodland friends Bodhi Bear, Rowan Fox, Lockhart Deer and Barley-Crumb Badger.
In April, Deer Little Forest joined forces with picture book writer and publisher Alison Green (whose Allison Green Books is an imprint of Scholastic Children's Books U.K.) to create a brand-new story for Deer Little Forest. The 32-page book will be written by Green and illustrated by Rose.
"I was delighted when Jo and Lisa asked me to work on a picturebook text for Deer Little Forest," says Green. "Jo's illustrations are so full of warmth, humor and rich, glowing color, and she has created such an endearing cast of characters for me to weave into the story. The project is clearly attracting a lot of well-deserved interest, and it's really exciting to be involved with it."
The property is also moving into TV. It is currently in development as a TV series with animation studio King Rollo Films ("Poppy Cat," "Maisy" and "Humf") and is being presented to the broadcast market at MIPJunior this month.
In the U.K., Deer Little Forest continues to gain fans with its monthly activity pages in preschool magazines Get Busy and Busy Time. An app will additionally launch this fall, and greeting cards continue to be a mainstay globally.
The brand has also engaged international licensing agents to extend its footprint. Empire Multimedia is the latest licensing agent to take on Deer Little Forest in China and South East Asia, joining agents ThinkTank Emporium in the U.S. and Burda Intermedia in Germany.
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