The Story Behind Sweet Pickles
The Sweet Pickles series, which debuted back in 1978, has been a launch pad for laughs and lessons ever since.
50 million copies later, the phenomenal series is still tracking as Bento Box Interactive reinvigorates the brand with an enhanced E-Book experience, featuring award winning voice actors, beautifully enhanced digital art and interactive Sweet Pickles games!
One of the most frequently asked questions about the series is how the title came to be. Richard Hefter described the title as Jacquelyn Reinach’s creation and was meant to suggest that life’s problems were resolvable pickles.
So how did this series come about in the first place? The illustrator, and sometimes author, of the series Richard Hefter said the concept spurred from the notion of “a peer group with no authority figures.” Hefter partnered with Jacquelyn Reinach, created a series where there would be no family unit with parents, grandparents and siblings, just alphabetic characters equally divided between male and female. Since Reinach was a trained psychologist, she and Hefter decided to give each alphabetic character a specific personality trait. The first 26 books used characters going through the alphabet — Bashful Bear, Clever Camel, all the way to Zany Zebra — but when a demanding public clamored for more, the partners made up 14 new stories with the same cast. Each personality trait stays with the character throughout the duration of the series, their behaviors never being corrected; Hefter uses the example of Goof-Off Goose, who “always goofs off, and others learn to accept it. Accusing Alligator learns a lesson but remains the same. They’re all lovable in their foibles, and none are menacing.”
In 2011, Bento Box Interactive Holdings, LLC acquired the rights to the book series and began the process of digitally enhancing the artwork and creating an interactive reading experience with professional voice overs, narration and sound effects. The first book “Who Stole Alligator’s Shoe?” launched in e-retailers in April of 2012. The rest of the series is expected to roll out throughout the summer.