News Beat: Mike Nawrocki, Ashley Smith Robinson, Standard Publishing and Faith Hill Print
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 10 November 2008 03:42 PM America/New_York

Larry the Cucumber has become a creative big shot. Mike Nawrocki—VeggieTales co-creator and the voice of numerous characters for the anthropomorphic vegetables, including Larry the Cucumber and LarryBoy—has been named vice president of development by Big Idea. In the newly created position, Nawrocki will oversee all creative projects and production for the Franklin, Tenn.-based studio, including the VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins! series.  

Ashley Smith Robinson, author of Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero (Zondervan), testified last month during the murder trial of alleged killer Brian Nichols, who took her hostage at her Atlanta apartment in March 2005. A young widow when she was kidnapped, Robinson—who has remarried—made national headlines after quoting Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life (Zondervan) to Nichols. Unlikely Angel, which made The New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction best-seller list, has more than 400,000 copies in print, but the book has gone out of print.   

Speaking of multiple copies, Standard Publishing donated a library of books to a new home for a family spotlighted on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show, last month. The popular reality series traveled to the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester, Ohio, to help a family with special-needs children. Standard Marketing Manager Heather Gims said that “it was incredible to have the opportunity to share” The House in the Middle of Town, a Standard children’s picture book by Crystal Bowman that is based on Mark 12:31, where Jesus taught about loving our neighbors as ourselves.  

Warner Bros. released GRAMMY Award-winner Faith Hill’s first album, which is targeted for Christian retail in September. Distributed by Word Distribution to Christian bookstores, Joy to the World features 11 songs, including the original song “A Baby Changes Everything.”