For Immediate Release
Contact: Pat Rose
Mango Publishing Group Acquires Woo! Jr. Kids Activities LLC
Woo! Jr. CEO Wendy Piersall Named Director of Business Development
(Miami, FL, August 3, 2021)—Miami-based Mango Publishing Group today announced the acquisition of Woo Jr. Kids Activities, a publisher of educational activity books. The acquisition includes Woo! Jr.’s successful backlist of 19 titles that have sold more than 400,000 copies, and will become part of Mango’s growing children’s imprint, DragonFruit.
Wendy Piersall, Chicago-based CEO and editor-in-chief of Woo! Jr. Kids Activities will continue to oversee the Woo! Jr. brand, with plans to publish 6-12 books per year. In addition, Piersall will take on the new role of Director of Business Development at Mango, licensing new products and developing new partnerships.
The acquisition follows a partnership between Mango and Piersall that began during the pandemic when Mango was in the process of developing the DragonFruit imprint. “Our missions and values are very similar—we both put a premium on education, diversity, and activism. As we started to work together, it became clear that Wendy’s SEO experience would enhance our predictive analytics,” said Mango founder and CEO Chris McKenney. “We’re thrilled that Wendy will be Mango’s first Director of Business Development, where she will impact the entire Mango group. She’ll also be able to help our team with other evolving publisher partnerships and acquisitions.” Mango’s sales grew by 75% in 2020 and the company aims to continue that pace into 2021.
Piersall developed online success offering educational activities she created to keep her own kids busy and off the screen while she worked at home. With more than 55 million visitors to date downloading activities from her Woo! Jr. site, Piersall began turning them into books and selling them on Amazon.
“The direct-to-reader focus and international reach of Mango combined with the millions of visitors we get each year on the Woo! Jr. site is a winning combination that will translate into higher international and e-commerce sales,” said Piersall, whose site averaged 3.5 million users over the past 12 months.
DragonFruit publishes children’s books that celebrate inclusivity, educate, entertain & inspire kids worldwide. “I’m excited that Woo Jr. and DragonFruit will work together to continue sparking children’s creativity and encouraging their development in a myriad of ways,” said M.J. Fievre, Mango’s Director of Global Editions and Juvenile Publishing. A native of Haiti, Fievre says she appreciates what this collaboration means in terms of fairness, inclusivity, and sustainability. “Together, we’re building for the future—we’re capitalizing on our knowledge of analytics and innovation to break down barriers and ensure diverse and inclusive literature is accessible for young readers everywhere.”
The acquisition will increase Woo! Jr’s global reach, access to retail stores in the US market, and wider distribution. The first 11 Woo! Jr. offerings with DragonFruit, set for release in 2021, include a mix of activity books, such as The Cute Book of Kawaii Drawing, The Big Book of Find the Difference, and Positive Thinking Journal, available this winter.
About Mango Publishing™
Mango Publishing™ is an independent book publisher based in Miami, Florida. The company publishes high-quality nonfiction books from fresh and distinct voices that spark new ideas with readers around the world. Mango was named Publisher Weekly’s fastest growing Independent Publisher in both 2019 and 2020.
Mango publishes approximately 120 books every year, with successful imprints such as Franklin Covey, National Baseball Hall of Fame, FIU Business Press, and Conari Press, and author brands including FlavCity, How to Cook That, Dino Dana and The Latest Kate. Bestselling categories include cookbooks, pop culture, science and nature, social justice, LGBTQIA+, parenting, Teen and YA, and childrens books. The company has a print and digital catalog of more than 1000 titles.
Mango is proud of their forward-thinking ambition, diversity and openness. With a strong emphasis on technology and innovation, the indie publisher marries the science of data analysis with the art of book publishing. Mango is participating in a more sustainable future, including using vegetable-based inks, printing on FSC paper and ensuring ethical and non-wasteful sourcing.