Rodale Kids, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will publish WILD SYMPHONY, a picture book by Dan Brown, author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code, it was announced by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books. Brown’s debut picture book will be accompanied by his first official music release since his writing career began—a children’s classical music album that enhances the read-aloud into a multisensory experience for children and adults to listen to and read together. WILD SYMPHONY will release on September 1, 2020, with a first printing of 150,000 copies, and is set to publish in 27 countries and counting.
Mallory Loehr, SVP, Publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers Group, acquired North American rights to WILD SYMPHONY from Heide Lange at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Dani Valladares, Editor at Rodale Kids, will edit. Classical music publisher Boosey & Hawkes will distribute the printed music, performed by the renowned Zagreb Festival Orchestra in Croatia, and recorded by PARMA Recordings. Additionally, the full WILD SYMPHONY album will be released simultaneously with the book in September and available via all major digital platforms.
WILD SYMPHONY is a uniquely entertaining picture book experience in which the playful Maestro Mouse, trusty baton in hand, brings readers along as he visits a variety of animal friends, from cheetahs and kangaroos to elephants and blue whales. Each beautifully illustrated spread is dedicated to a different animal and offers a piece of mindful wisdom for navigating life. These bits of wisdom will inspire conversations around themes of compassion, patience, respect, and confidence, as well as mindfulness, taking life slowly, and community. Susan Batori’s illustrations add kid-friendly humor, and additional clues and puzzles are hidden in the detailed backgrounds for interested readers of all ages.
Children and adults can enjoy this timeless picture book as a traditional read-along, or can choose to listen to the original musical compositions as they read—one for each animal—using a free interactive smartphone app, which uses augmented reality to instantly play the appropriate song for each page when the camera of a mobile device is held over it. A preview of the music and behind-the-scenes footage is available now at wildsymphony.com. At publication, the accompanying music app will be available for free download via the website and the QR code in WILD SYMPHONY.
A lifelong musician, Brown was inspired by children’s classical works such as Peter and the Wolf, along with picture books from his childhood. In WILD SYMPHONY, he combines music and writing for a new generation of young people using cutting-edge technology to help them engage with his work.
“I love storytelling, and my novels always attempt to weave together varied themes,” Brown explains. “With WILD SYMPHONY, I was excited to build on this idea and create a truly layered experience by using three different languages simultaneously—art, music, and words. In the same way that an opera captivates its audience by presenting beautiful sets, dramatic music, and lyrical drama, WILD SYMPHONY strives to be an immersive feast for eyes, ears, and mind, all at the same time.”
Says editor Valladares: “From the first read, it was clear to me that WILD SYMPHONY was far more than a children’s book—it is filled with the natural kindness and playful spirit that defines childhood. Though there are many reasons why this book is extraordinary, one remains close to my heart. Our Maestro Mouse never lets us lose sight of what’s important: that we all feel united in caring for each other, and ourselves. He becomes the voice inside all our heads, for a lifetime of mindfulness. I am so excited for readers to experience WILD SYMPHONY and for it to bring as many smiles to readers around the world as it has to all of us.”
Bob Lord, CEO of PARMA Recordings and music producer of WILD SYMPHONY, expressed enthusiasm for working with Brown, saying, “WILD SYMPHONY combines tradition and tech in signature Dan Brown fashion. The concert hall needs a new classic, and WILD SYMPHONY is a fresh, vivacious journey for children and parents alike.”
The world premiere concert of WILD SYMPHONY will be announced. Additional WILD SYMPHONY concerts with live symphony orchestra will take place in dozens of countries worldwide, dates to be shared in the near future.
Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 international bestsellers, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, Digital Fortress, and Origin, with over 220 million copies in print. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. He lives in New England. You can follow Dan at danbrown.com and @authordanbrown. Brown is currently working on a tantalizing new Robert Langdon thriller.
Susan Batori is a Hungarian illustrator, graphic designer, and character design addict. She studied graphic design at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest.