(August 20, 2003 – New York, NY) — Chinese children will now be able to explore the world around them with their favorite friends from “Zhima Jie,” the Chinese version of “Sesame Street,” through three new publishing series. Developed by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization and creator of “Sesame Street,” and licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the books are based on the television series that encourages children to learn to count, to read, and to respect and appreciate others. “Zhima Jie,” which first aired on Shanghai Television 1998, is based on Chinese culture and social environment and helps prepare young children for success in school. The new publishing series include: • “Sesame Street” School Readiness (11 titles), which helps children learn the fundamental skills they need to succeed in school with such concepts as colors, numbers, and telling time. • “Sesame Street” Thinking Child (6 titles), which encourages children to learn more about being a productive member of their community. • “Sesame Street” Learning Environment (4 titles), which invites children to explore careers as they learn what different people in a neighborhood do every day. The books in the initial release will be collections of existing “Sesame Street” titles featuring the popular characters known throughout the world and who are also seen on “Zhima Jie.” Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Sesame Workshop will unveil the series at the Beijing Book Fair (September 17-September 21) and will be seeking a publishing licensee to distribute the books in China. “Books capture the imagination of children and encourage them to explore the world outside their window,” said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop’s Vice President and General Manager, Publishing. “By creating relevant content featuring the familiar faces of ‘Sesame Street,’ young children will be even more engaged and ultimately develop a love of learning.” “This series of books is an excellent extension of the wonderful characters that exist in the world of ‘Zhima Jie,’” said Mark Matheny, Executive Vice President, International, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “We are proud to be partnering with Sesame Workshop to bring these entertaining and educational books to the children of China.” With more than 1,000 “Sesame Street” titles in print, Sesame Workshop strives to engage children in the joys of reading. Each month, one million “Sesame Street” books and magazines are sold in an array of formats including storybooks, beginning readers, and activity books. Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Sesame Workshop have partnered in China to develop and distribute television, print, video, interactive and related merchandise based on “Zhima Jie.” Working together, the companies are seeking local and global underwriting partners to support the creation of three new seasons of television for “Zhima Jie” to launch in 2004. “Zhima Jie” aired in China from 1998-2001 on Shanghai Television (STV) and was syndicated nationally. The updated series will feature more interactive segments showcasing the beloved “Zhima Jie” characters Hu Hu Zhu, Xiao Mei Zi, and Da Niao (Big Bird) in even more prominent roles. Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in children’s lives around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary “Sesame Street.” Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind award-winning programs like “Dragon Tales” and “Sagwa,” “The Chinese Siamese Cat” and ground breaking multi-media productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. These are among many Workshop endeavors recognized for their deep understanding of children’s developmental needs and the most effective ways to address them. As a nonprofit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of “Sesame Street,” “Dragon Tales” and “Sagwa” products right back into its educational projects for children around the world. Find the Workshop online at www.sesameworkshop.org. Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
# # #