LBYR Finds the Real ‘Winnie’
Susan Rich at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers bought world rights, excluding Canada, to author Lindsay Mattick and illustrator Sophie Blackall’s picture book, Finding Winnie. In the book, Mattick delivers the true story of the bear that inspired author A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh character. (The bear, after being rescued by a lieutenant during WWI, was donated to the London Zoo. At the zoo, a boy named Christopher Robin, whose father was A.A. Milne, became especially fond of the bear.) Mattick is the great-granddaughter of the soldier who saved the bear, Lt. Harry Coleburn, and LBYR said she still has “a collection of original artifacts from Harry and Winnie’s adventures” and is in talks with the London Zoo about mounting an exhibit. Agent Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative represented Mattick, and Nancy Gallt, at Nancy Gallt Literary, represented Blackall; LBYR plans to publish Finding Winnie in fall 2015.

Kamenetz Taps Testing for PublicAffairs
Anya Kamenetz, Fast Company staff writer and author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006), sold a book about educational testing to Benjamin Adams at PublicAffairs. The imprint said Kamenetz will explain that there is a “widening gap between the science of learning and what our schools are testing for.” Agent Jim Levine at Levine Greenberg sold world English rights in the deal.

Gandolfini, Exposed
Elizabeth Beier at St. Martin’s Press acquired a biography of recently deceased actor James Gandolfini written by arts journalist Dan Bischoff. The book, called James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano, will, SMP said, “enrich the understanding of the actor many are calling the best of his generation.” Bischoff is the art critic at the Star-Ledger, a paper based in Gandolfini’s home state of New Jersey. Scott Mendel at Mendel Media Group represented Bischoff; the book is slated for winter 2014.

Rodale Sets the ‘iRules’
Rodale Books bought a title about family values in the Internet Age by a woman it is calling a “parent coach and tech etiquette consultant.” In the deal, editorial director Jennifer Levesque nabbed North American rights to Janelle Burley Hofmann’s iRules: Syncing Family Values with the Digital World from agent Amy Hughes at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. The book jumps off from a piece Hofmann, a mother of five (who also writes about parenting and technology for various outlets, including NPR), posted on the Huffington Post; the post was a contract Hoffman drew up for her son to sign before she gave him his first cellphone. The contract, essentially a list of rules and expectations she had about her son’s use of his new device, went viral and, Rodale said, became known as the “iRules.” The book is scheduled for a May 2014 publication.

Kent Carroll, publisher at Europa Editions, bought U.S. rights to Dan Rhodes’s story collection, Marry Me, which Canongate acquired in the U.K. The book marks Rhodes’s third work, after his 2000 collection, Anthology, and 2003 novel, Timoleon Vieta Come Home. Europa said the book, set for a January 2014 release, is a “raucously unsentimental look at love and marriage.” Given the timing of the book, Europa is planning a Valentine’s Day–themed marketing approach.

At Redhook, Hachette’s recently launched commercial fiction imprint, Susan Barnes bought a thriller called The Girl in 6E by Alessandra Torre. Torre is a popular self-published author and will be writing the novel under the pen name A.R. Torre. Redhook said the central character in the book was “pitched as a girl Dexter” and that the novel “follows the reclusive life of a webcam girl who, after discovering a kidnapping, must control her urge to kill to save the [victim].” The Girl in 6E is set for a hardcover release in July 2014. Agent Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon Associates represented Torre.