EW can exclusively announce that Smith has partnered with HarperCollins Children’s Books and author Denene Millner (Early Sunday Morning) for a three-book deal that launches with Fresh Princess, which brings to life a brand new picture-book character who will remind audiences of one of Smith’s most beloved and iconic roles. Gladys Jose contributes illustrations.
The book follows Destiny, a cool, energetic, and strong-willed girl who approaches every day with her own signature style — that is, until she moves to a brand-new neighborhood, where nothing looks quite the same as it did at her old house. Even with new challenges and new friends to make, Destiny always has a plan. She’ll stop at nothing to find the perfect chance to jump in and bring the fun to any situation.
“I couldn’t be more excited that the character I played for so long could inspire such a fun and empowering book for kids everywhere,” Will Smith said in a statement. “I know all of my children would have loved Fresh Princess growing up, and being a father who raised a strong daughter I know how important it is to see that type of strength depicted in stories. It’s what Jada and I have always championed and shown our kids throughout their lives. I’m down to follow Destiny through her growth and adventures just as I had experienced the journey of the young ‘Will Smith’ as he danced, laughed, made mistakes, and created memorable moments on his road to becoming the Fresh Prince.”
Adds Margaret Anastas, Editorial Director of HarperCollins Children’s Books: “I am absolutely thrilled to be publishing the Fresh Princess books,” said Anastas. “Will Smith made the Fresh Prince one of the most memorable characters on TV with his zest for life and willingness to be himself. Destiny brings that same energy to a whole new generation by living her life with joy and confidence — a great message for girls today.”
Fresh Princess publishes April 2 and is available for pre-order. See the exclusive cover below.