In a strike against Apple and Barnes & Noble, Amazon’s publishing unit has acquired 450 children’s titles from Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, which the company plans to format for its full-color Kindle Fire tablet.
The iPad and the Nook are already populated with hundreds of colorful, interactive children’s books, which both companies tout frequently to family consumers. Before Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, it didn’t have a device that was optimal for illustrated books, and has thus far missed out on the young readers’ market.
Among the more recognizable titles Amazon has acquired are The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Gennady Spirin, Three Littles Tamales by Eric A. Kimmel, Chalk by Bill Thomson, Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy and National Book Award finalist My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson, many of which are not yet available in digital form. Laurence Kirschbaum, VP and publisher of Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group, said that the company would continue to publish the 450 books in print as well.
Jeff Belle, VP of Amazon Publishing, added in a statement from the company that the group sees potential “for similar deals across other categories in the future.”