Rang-tan, Mother London’s orangutan that invaded a little girl’s bedroom and drew attention for Greenpeace UK to the destruction that palm oil production is causing, has become a global phenomenon. He has found an army of allies in UK schoolchildren and has joined with frozen food company, Iceland, to promote food production that protects the world’s rainforests.
Now he is to star in a book. Hachette Children’s Group is publishing a non-fiction picture book adaptation of Mother London’s film for Greenpeace. The book will be published on the Wren & Rock imprint in partnership with Greenpeace UK, and will feature a foreword from Dame Emma Thompson, who narrated the original film. The artwork has been re-illustrated for a picture book audience by award-winning illustrator, Frann Preston-Gannon.
The deal for world rights was brokered between Liza Miller, senior editor at Wren & Rook, and Mother London via Veronique Baxter at David Higham for the text by James Sellick, and Jodie Hodges at United Agents for the illustrations by Frann Preston-Gannon. The book will publish in hardback in August 2019, ahead of World Orangutan Day, with the paperback following in May 2020.
Watch the film and read the story of Rang-tan here:
Liza Miller, senior editor, Wren & Rook, commented, “As soon as I saw Greenpeace’s astonishing film about Rang-tan, I immediately knew it would make a perfect picture book. While the beautiful animation captured the attention of a huge audience online, we knew that reimagining the story was vital for its important message to resonate with picture book readers. Frann’s gorgeous illustrations will reach a new wave of young Rang-tan fans.”
John Sauven, executive director, Greenpeace UK, noted, “Rang-tan has already made a huge difference to how much people know about the impact palm oil is having on rainforests, wildlife and the climate. We’ve had requests from schools far and wide for resources to help teach children about deforestation as a result of Rang-tan. With this beautiful book we hope to inspire thousands more children and their parents to learn about and care for the world’s forests, and enable them to take action. Our children’s voices are especially important and we want to help ensure they are heard loud and clear.”
Hermeti Balarin, executive creative director, Mother London, added, “Rang-tan was always about broadening Greenpeace’s appeal to reach new audiences. When the film went out, over a thousand schools got in touch to offer help and support for the cause. This book is for them and for all young readers, so they may continue to spread this message far and wide. Their deafening noise and tireless dedication will make big companies stick to their promises and prevent palm oil from devastating rainforests for good.”
About the creators:
James Sellick is a storyteller based in London. When he’s not writing picture books for children, he works as a writer at Mother. He loves to use his creative powers for good.
Frann Preston-Gannon is an award-winning illustrator and author based in south London. Her books include The Journey Home, Dave’s Cave and I Am the Seed that Grew the Tree, which was named Waterstones Children’s Gift of the Year 2018. She has previously been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. She was the first UK recipient of The Sendak Fellowship in 2011, where she was invited to a residency with the master of children’s books, Maurice Sendak.
About the Greenpeace campaign to protect rainforests:
Palm oil is used in almost half the products we buy in UK supermarkets and demand is increasing at an alarming rate. Ending their part in deforestation for palm oil was a promise that Unilever, Nestlé and Mondelez, along with many other brands made a decade ago, with 2020 their deadline. World Orangutan Day in 2019 represents one of the last chances for us to hold them to their word.
More about Rang-tan: