Simon Cowell and his six-year-old son Eric have signed a publishing deal for seven children’s books celebrating “individuality and positivity”.
The father-son pair’s Wishfit series will follow a group of “magical and unusual” hybrid animals, such as a snail/dog creature called a Snog and a crocodile/cat blend called a Crocopuss.
The books, published by Hachette Children’s Group, will launch in spring 2021 with three separate tales set in the magical world.
A portion of the profits will go to the charities Shooting Star Children’s Hospice and Together For Short Lives.
Cowell, 60, is following in the footsteps of his fellow judge on Britain’s Got Talent, David Walliams, who has published a string of successful children’s books.
The X Factor mogul said: “To be able to write a series of books with my son Eric has been magical.
“This idea was inspired three years ago by a very special friend of ours who runs a children’s hospice charity.
“I told her one evening about some of the funny animals my son Eric and I would invent, starting with the Cog and the Dat.
“And how every evening the two of us would think of the most unlikely animal we would like to have as a pet.
“We would come up with some very strange new animals and the naming of the animals was Eric’s favourite thing.”
Cowell used the US-based content creation platform Tongal, which has a global community of creators, to source ideas for the books.
He added: “I really do believe it’s important to encourage kids’ creativity and imagination. I also believe kids have better ideas than most adults.
“I hope these books will be fun for kids to read, and we will encourage them to come up with new animals for the books.
“The books will tell how these unique friendships are formed and will celebrate individuality and positivity.
“We will see how the strengths of these animals are in their differences and make the point we live in a world where inclusivity is so important.
“And of course these animals will all have lots of fun on their magical adventures together.”
Eric said: “My favourite Wishfits right now are probably the Snog and Dat and Cog and the Chimpanpoo! I really hope that one day I can meet them all!”
Hachette Children’s Group senior publisher Ruth Alltimes said: “Children are fascinated by the idea of mixing up two different things to create something new – it plays to their creativity and inventiveness.
“And Wishfits combines this fun-filled idea with themes of acceptance and inclusivity, as well as being a great way for children to learn about animals, nature and the environment.
“It’s wish fulfilment all round! So we are extremely excited to be partnering with global entertainment icon Simon and his son Eric to bring their brilliant ideas to life, and to introduce a generation of children to characters as unforgettable as Cog, Dat, and so many more.”
The news was announced during the Hachette Global Showcase at the Cambridge Theatre in central London.
The books will launch in paperback priced at £6.99.