Today, we’ve announced that, for the third year in a row, we’ve published a rhyming hardback picture book based on this year’s John Lewis’s iconic Christmas television advert.
John Lewis soft-launched the ad, Monty’s Christmas, today on social media (the ad launches on TV tomorrow). At the time of writing, seven hours after the ad appeared on YouTube, it had been viewed 870,000 times.
The book, also called Monty’s Christmas, is priced at £8.99 and sold exclusively by John Lewis in shops and online. John Lewis is donating £1.20 from each sale to Barnardo’s, a charity with which they have many links.
The book follows the success of our previous collaborations with John Lewis: the picture book The Snowman’s Journey, based on John Lewis’s 2012 Christmas advert, which Nosy Crow wrote and designed within 48 hours of the release of the advert on 9 November 2012; and the picture book The Bear Who Had Never Seen Christmas, based on John Lewis’s 2013 Christmas advert, which has now been viewed on YouTube over 13 million times.
This year, as last year, we were able to work with advertising agency, Adam and Eve DDB. We had access to specially-created art and character images created by Catalina Echeverri and Arn0 (who created the penguin for the ad and for the book). The book was written by Louise and me, using the pseudonym Lucy Feather (it turned out that not having an author name was tricky from a signing point of view at events last year…!). Louise was also the editor on the project and the book was designed by Steph. The book was printed by Italian printer, Lego, with production support from Imago.
Because the ad is live-action and Adam and Eve decided they wanted an illustrated look for the book, we weren’t able to use images from the ad itself. And, while we followed the story of the ad very closely, we weren’t able to replicate, in book form, the switch in perspective from the boy to the mum at the end of the ad, so though we had a bit more time than last year, this was another fantastic team effort involving hard work, speed and flexibility: it’s a good thing that we seem to thrive on those! It’s really interesting to see John Lewis are realising the potential of its unique advertisements with, this year, a real range of advert-related products, including our book.
We really enjoy working with John Lewis, who are respectful and collaborative partners – something that’s all the more impressive given how big they are and how small we are in comparison. Ian Ellis, the company’s toy and book buyer said, “Nosy Crow has once again translated our iconic, wordless Christmas advert into a compelling book for children. Nosy Crow`s standout quality is their ability to go above and beyond to achieve a high-quality result in a short time. We can always rely on them to deliver.”
Here’s a look inside Monty’s Christmas: