The Jim Henson Co. and Rehab Entertainment announced Tuesday they are partnering with author/illustrator Karen Katz to develop a 2D animated preschool series inspired by her picture book “The Colors of Us” and her upcoming book, “My America,” which celebrates the experiences and stories of U.S. immigrants.
Created by Katz and Sidney Clifton, “Lena!” will follow a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl “who uses her unique and imaginative way of thinking to explore her culturally diverse neighborhood, identifying ways to help her friends and neighbors along the way.”
Karen Katz, who has released more than 85 picture books and board books for children, including the bestsellers “Where is Baby’s Bellybutton?” and “Counting Kisses,” and Clifton will executive produce the series, along with John W. Hyde and Terissa Kelton for Rehab and Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford for the Henson Co.
Clifton, whose credits include the animated series “Black Panther,” “The Happy Elf,” “The Weebles” and “Me, Eloise,” is also attached as showrunner.
Katz said it was “very exciting to have my book `The Colors of Us’ in the hands of such a talented team as The Jim Henson Company, Sidney Clifton and Rehab Entertainment, and to envision these characters I’ve created for kids in a completely different medium.”
“Television is powerful and a wonderful way to reach children in our country and around the world,” she said. “Creating a multicultural neighborhood where kids can see themselves and have fun learning about a big beautiful world of color, nationalities and blended families is such a great idea. What better time than now?”
Katz was inspired to write her first book, “Over the Moon,” when she and her husband adopted their daughter, Lena, from Guatemala.