New picture book series celebrates kitties and unicorns

NEW YORK — The bestselling team behind the "Princess in Black" children's series is looking to an even younger audience for its latest project.

Starting next March, writer Shannon Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham are launching a "kitty and unicorn" picture book series, Abrams Books for Young Readers announced Wednesday. The first of three planned books is called "Itty Bitty Kitty-Corn," which "celebrates the magic of friendship and of uplifting themes of believing in yourself, embracing your identity, and seeing others for who they truly are in a glittery, oversized package perfect for little hands," according to Abrams.

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Pham and Hale have previously worked together on the graphic memoirs "Best Friends" and "Real Friends" and on six "Princess in Black" books, most recently "The Science Fair Scare."

On her own, Hale was a finalist in 2006 for the Newbery Medal for best children's book for her fantasy novel "Princess Academy." Pham was a Caldecott Medal finalist earlier this year, for best children's picture book, for "Bear Came Along."

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