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Silver Dolphin celebrates TV 'Rudolph''s 50th anniv with pop-up book

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the animated Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silver Dolphin Books, the juvenile imprint of Baker & Taylor Publishing Group, will put out in September a special edition pop-up book version of the beloved holiday special.

Silver Dolphin Books' Jon I. Rosenberg at Toy Fair.
Jim Bessman

“I’ve been a fan of Rudolph since I was a little boy and Silver Dolphin has a passion for publishing novelty pop-up books,” said Silver Dolphin’s publisher Jon I. Rosenberg at last month’s Toy Fair. “So I jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary with a retelling of the original story in a pop-up format.”

Rosenberg, who comes from a licensing background, recalled dropping by the Rudolph booth at a licensing show two years ago, and being turned down when he broached the idea of a novelty item.

“It was eating away at me, and when I went back to the most recent licensing show, I stopped by again and asked who was doing a pop-up book. They said no one was and were open to me doing it now. It’s the first use of actual images from the original TV special in a pop-up novelty product.”

The hour-long stop-action animation program, which remains the longest-running holiday TV special, breaks down into six pop-up spreads, making for “a cool, fun book,” per Rosenberg.

“I’m reliving my childhood, at 53!” he said, adding, “Every retail buyer who hears about it breaks into a smile immediately.”

As for the Johnny Marks song that the special derived from, those licensing rights were prohibitive, Rosenberg said.

“The notion that you can license music rights is realistic," he said, “but very costly. You can’t make book margins work with that kind of royalty structure.”

Also at Toy Fair, Silver Dolphin announced three new series in its award-winning Play-Doh line of books and activity sets via its continued licensing agreement with Hasbro, Inc., as well as a new licensing partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, to include the launch this spring of the Smithsonian Young Explorers and Smithsonian Discoveries series.

All fall under the “books plus” umbrella in that they package activity products—posters, puzzles, etc.--with books.

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