Amazon.com announced today that it is buying 450 titles from Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, expanding its footprint in the book publishing business.

Titles that were acquired include “The Night Before Christmas” illustrated by Gennady Spirin; “Three Little Tamales” by Eric A. Kimmel; and “Chalk” by Bill Thomson.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Most of the titles include picture books.

“We believe the children’s book market segment presents a unique opportunity to innovate in both print and digital formats,” said Jeff Belle, vice president of Amazon Publishing. “And since many of these titles are not readily available as eBooks, we see a chance to connect a terrific group of authors and illustrators with more readers. We also see the potential for similar deals across other categories in the future.”

Amazon plans to publish the titles under Amazon Publishing New York. In recent months, Amazon has established six different imprints: AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Powered by Amazon, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer and 47North.

The purchase of the Marshall Cavendish titles is yet another sign of how serious Amazon.com has become about publishing book titles on its own, creating some fear among traditional publishers.

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