NiteLite Pictures Acquires Rights to HarperCollins’ “A Penguin Story”by New York Times Best-Selling Author Antoinette Portis

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Company to Schedule Meetings at Kidscreen Summit to Discuss the Acquisition and Production of 52 x 11 Minute Animated Pre-School Episodes

Television production company NiteLite Pictures (, today announced that they have acquired the television and merchandising rights to the award-winning pre-school literary property A Penguin Story by New York Times best-selling author Antoinette Portis and published by HarperCollins.

A Penguin Story centers around Edna, a young penguin whose worldly knowledge is limited by the three colors that surround her: white ice, black night and blue sea. The pre-school picture book details her journey to explore a quest for color and the discovery of a life that is beyond her everyday surroundings.

International successes include A Penguin Story being translated into French, Japanese and Chinese languages, to name a few. The book is also the recipient of several prestigious awards including: Best Books Parent & Child Magazine, New York Times Best Illustrated Book 2009, Best Children’s Picture Books Huffington Post, Zena Sutherland Award for Children’s Literature, and Best Children’s’ Books by the Bank Street College of Education.

NiteLite’s acquisition brings to life Portis’ adorable and clever main character Edna, the beloved pre-school penguin famous for her curious nature and adventurous spirit. “I have been a fan of Antoinette’s work for a long time," states Harry Lowell, executive producer, NiteLite Pictures. “A Penguin Story is truly an amazing brand filled with gorgeous design elements and characters that pre-school audiences fall in love with instantly. We’re so proud to bring Edna and her colorful world to television.”

Other news includes NiteLite completing its episode order of Alaskan Steel Men for Discovery Channel. The company is also developing an original animated series titled Fuzz & Helix, which centers on the adventures of a brother and sister team of pre-school mythbusters. NiteLite has partnered with Quebec-based Oasis Animation ( to finalize Fuzz & Helix character designs and prepare the series for production, which is slated to begin late 2014.

“Children’s television is experiencing a new cultural milestone today,” continues Lowell. “The channels of engagement with pre-school audiences is growing with emerging technologies and with it is the need for quality storytelling and programming. We’re thrilled to have acquired the rights to A Penguin Story and privileged to deliver stories by a strong, thoughtful and sweet female lead character [Edna] already embraced by the literary world. We look forward to translating her magical tales through television animation.”

The deal was brokered by attorney Linda Mensch of Bryan Cave for NiteLite Pictures and Jason Dravis at Monteiro Rose Dravis Agency for Antoinette Portis. Details surrounding Edna will be further discussed by NiteLite Pictures staff at Kidscreen Summit in New York, Feb. 9-12, 2014. NiteLite is seeking network and licensing partners to produce Edna’s 52 x 11 minute episodes.

For more information about these projects, or to schedule a meeting with NiteLite at Kidscreen, please contact Lisa Richman, Director of Client Services, or visit

Antoinette Portis made her pre-school book debut with the critically acclaimed Not A Box, which skyrocketed to become a NY Times bestseller and earned her a NY Times Best-Illustrated Book Award and the coveted Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor.

With her publisher, HarperCollins, Antoinette continues to create beautiful and captivating picture-books, receiving numerous accolades and awards, including:

  • School Library Journal’s 2012 Top 100 Picture Books
  • Parent and Child Magazine’s 100 Greatest Books for Kids.
  • A 2010 Sendak Fellowship
  • Nick Jr. Family Magazine’s Most Imaginative Picture Book
  • New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing
  • Huffington Post Best Children’s Picture Books
  • Parenting Magazine Top Pick

Antoinette’s books have been translated into fourteen languages, featured on the Martha Stewart Show and most importantly, her books can be found in pre-school and kindergarten classes around the world.

NiteLite is a Los Angeles-based television production and post-production company founded in 1995 by Executive Producer Harry Lowell and specializes in children's programming and broadcast television. As an independent producer of original content, NiteLite has produced series, episodes and pilots for networks including: Discovery Channel, ESPN, History Channel, truTV, Syfy, OWN and Oxygen. Lowell, an award-winning Executive Producer with a long-standing and solid reputation for delivering quality, creative material, is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and his creative talents have landed him numerous awards including a Clio, Chicago Film Festival Award, London Advertising Award and an International Broadcasters Award.

Katie Casey

For more information or to schedule a meeting at Kidscreen, please contact:
Lisa Richman, Director of Client Services

For high-resolution images and additional EPK information:

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