Picture book author Oliver Jeffers is to create a new collectible character series called The Hueys for HarperCollins.
The deal gives HarperCollins world rights, including TV, merchandising, licensing, film, e-book and digital e-versions to The Hueys, which are a group of quirky creatures whose left-of-centre humour the firm is confident will appeal to children.
The new brand is due to launch in 2012 and will be supported by a multi-platform marketing and PR campaign targeting parents and children.
"I am thrilled to announce the signing of a new character range from the inimitable Oliver Jeffers - perfect for a multi-platform launch to target today's technology-friendly child," said Kate Burns, deputy publisher at HarperCollins. "The Hueys publishing programme will dovetail brilliantly with Oliver's existing and ongoing publishing for HarperCollins, so his fans can still look forward to classic picture books, as well as enjoying his new character series."