Surge Licensing, an entertainment development company that grows brands into multi-platformed entertainment and product licensing programs, has been appointed by indie children’s book author-illustrator Diane Alber to develop and implement a consumer products program across key categories inspired by Alber’s Amazon chart-topping imaginative book franchise, with an initial focus on a full-scale publishing program.
Diane Alber has had a passion for art since she held her first crayon at age two, which inspired her to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. As a wife and a mother of two young, energetic children who love books, Alber was inspired to start writing and illustrating books when she saw a need for a book that inspired art and creativity in children. Over the last three years, she has published over 50 titles across three series that collectively address social-emotional learning topics. Branded under “Inspire to Create,” “Inspire to Create a Better You,” and “Never Let A…” banners, many of the books, which feature Alber’s popular SCRIBBLE, LITTLE SPOT, and UNICORN characters, capture #1 category spots on Amazon’s charts, and deliver messages of joy, inclusivity, and acceptance.
“Diane’s books have resonated with kids and their parents, teachers, counselors and caregivers across the U.S., inspiring kids to be creative, use their imaginations, and helping them to understand emotions,” commented Elan Freedman, Surge Licensing EVP. “There are countless possibilities to develop consumer products that will further engage children with Diane’s stories and characters, and we look forward to working with licensing partners across multiple categories, starting with publishing and expanding into toys, apparel, back-to-school, home décor and more, to develop a program that truly reflects the passion and sentiment in her books.”
“What I love about children’s books is their ability to create memories. Almost everyone remembers their favorite book being read to them as a child, and I wanted to create a book to share in those memories. I am incredibly grateful for the reception my books have received over the past three years,” stated Alber. “It is now time to expand the business to the next level and develop new ways to captivate kids, and I look forward to working with the Surge Licensing team to develop a global brand presence.”
Alber’s first book, I’m Not Just A Scribble, was published in the fall of 2017 and was the first in her “Inspire to Create” series. Seven books featuring the irrepressible SCRIBBLE are currently available and help children to understand that something as simple as a scribble can not only be a great story but a masterpiece as well–giving children the confidence to create their own art despite their artistic ability while teaching them important lessons in empathy, kindness and inclusion. In the first book, SCRIBBLE never thought he was different until he met his first drawing, but after being left out because he didn’t look like everyone else, SCRIBBLE teaches the other drawings how to accept each other for who they are. I’m Not Just A Scribble is a #1 ranking book on Amazon. Alber went on to found National Scribble Day in 2019, celebrated annually on March 27, to share a message of kindness and acceptance and to encourage children to create art no matter their ability.
Under the “Inspire to Create A Better You” banner, now comprising 36 book titles, is Alber’s immensely popular “A Little SPOT” series. Featuring Little SPOT–a brightly colored, stick-legged sphere–the books were originally developed to help children visualize their emotions as spots so that it would be easier to manage them, and evolved to address topics such as kindness, empathy and honesty. The Little Box of Emotion Box Set, geared for children 4-11, ranks #1 in Academic Development Counseling, and #1 in Children’s Moving. Alber also created a series of books this year to help children deal with COVID-19: A Little SPOT Stays Home: A Story About Viruses And Safe Distancing, A Little SPOT Learns Online (#3 in Children’s Computer Software), and A Little SPOT Wears a Mask (#5 in Children’s Safety Books).
And Albers humorous six-book “Never Let A…” series, which includes her popular UNICORN character, weaves together art principles, believing in yourself, character traits, empathy and educational standards and addresses how imagination plays into a child’s learning. Never Let a Unicorn Scribble is the #1 in Children’s General and other Myth Books on Amazon.
Alber’s books all come with sticker sheets, and additional sticker books, coloring books and sketch books have been created for many of the titles.