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When an opportunity arose to get kids excited about reading and problem-solving, we answered with a groundbreaking new storytelling format.

Penguin Random House came to us with a request for a book series that combined storytelling with activities for young, curious audiences. The books needed to reach both avid and reluctant readers. We reached out to the author, game designer, and long-time Big Yellow Taxi collaborator Russell Ginns to collaborate on ideation and create a proposal. The result was Puzzlooies!, a unique series that mixes zany, funny stories with puzzles that, when solved, move the adventure forward.

To condense the creation of an entire 16-book series into an abbreviated timeline, the team worked together to invent a library of puzzle types and create a template for each book to follow that included a strict word-count, page-count, image guidelines, and puzzle parameters. In addition, we opened our team to include experienced writers and illustrators we had worked with in the past to meet the deadline. With an iron-clad framework in place, we could create each book within three months while working on four books at a time. As a result, the first books hit the shelves of bookstores across the country even before the last books in the series had been completed.

Penguin Random House

Since the 1800s, Penguin Random House has been a global publisher known for creating independent books and reading materials for children and adults alike. With more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors, they strive to promote books that have a unique capacity to connect, change, and promote a better future.