The idea of an advertising character becoming the focus of a children’s book might normally feel a bit icky, but here’s a worthwhile exception.
The orangutan character from London agency Mother’s “Rang-tan” ad—originally made for Greenpeace and later repurposed as grocer Iceland Foods’ Christmas spot—will soon be the star of a children’s book called “There’s a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom” coming out this August.
Both the ad and the book are about the destruction of orangutan habitats due to deforestation for the planting of palm oil plantations. Palm oil is used in a wide range of consumer products, from snacks to shampoos.
Published by Hachette Children’s Group and developed by its Wren & Rook division, the book was created in partnership with Mother and will include a prologue by Emma Thompson, who narrated the ad.
Here’s a look back at the original Greenpeace-branded version of the ad, which tells the story of a young orangutan who finds its way into a girl’s bedroom and begins creating chaos:
“As soon as I saw Greenpeace’s astonishing film about Rang-tan, I immediately knew it would make a perfect picture book,” says Liza Miller, senior editor of Wren & Rook. “While the beautiful animation captured the attention of a huge audience online, we knew that reimagining the story was vital for its important message to resonate with picture book readers.”
The book was written by Mother creative James Sellick and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon.
Mother London executive creative Director Hermeti Balarin says he’s hopeful that the children’s book will help continue the campaign’s momentum to get brands rethinking their reliance on and sourcing of palm oil.
“Rang-tan was always about broadening Greenpeace’s appeal to reach new audiences,” Balarin says. “When the film went out, over a thousand schools got in touch to offer help and support for the cause. This book is for them and for all young readers, so they may continue to spread this message far and wide. Their deafening noise and tireless dedication will make big companies stick to their promises and prevent palm oil from devastating rainforests for good.”
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