It’s going to be a good couple of years for William Joyce fans everywhere.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers announced recently that in fall 2011 it will launch the first two books in a new series, ‘The Guardians of Childhood’ by famed author, illustrator, and Emmy Award winner William Joyce.  These highly anticipated picture books will be Joyce’s first children’s books published in more than a decade.  ‘The Guardians of Childhood’ series tells the formative stories of childhood legends including Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and the Easter Bunny.     

“Helping a legend like William Joyce bring his vision to life is a dream come true for all of us at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing,” said Jon Anderson, Executive VP & Publisher.  “The Guardians of Childhood will delight the imaginations of children and their parents for generations to come.”

The next three books are slated to release in 2012 to coincide with the fall 2012 movie release of ‘Rise of the Guardians’, inspired by the book series. 

‘Rise of the Guardians’, a movie based on “The Guardians of Childhood” boasts an all-star cast line up.  DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. announced on January 27, 2011 that the film will feature Chris Pine in the lead role of Jack Frost, together with Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law.  

“It’s a thrill to be working with such an all-star team of actors and filmmakers on Rise of the Guardians,” commented Bill Damaschke, Chief Creative Officer at DreamWorks Animation.  “When we bring Bill Joyce’s imaginative vision to the screen in 2012, audiences will experience an incredible story with a truly epic sense of adventure.”

More than just a collection of familiar childhood legends, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ tells the story of a group of heroes equipped with extraordinary abilities.  But when an evil spirit named Pitch tries to take over the world, the eternal Guardians must come together for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.  

This venture by DreamWorks Animation is highly anticipated because they have theatrically released a total of 21 very successful animated films, including the very popular ‘Shrek’,’ Madagascar’ ,’Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, to name a few.

This highly anticipated movie is scheduled for release on November 21, 2012.