Daniel Handler, who had a long and successful run with his Lemony Snicket-penned A Series of Unfortunate Events series at HarperCollins, is moving to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in a five-book deal announced late Wednesday afternoon. Under the agreement, Handler will write four Lemony Snicket titles in a new series, with the first due out in 2012. Before that series hits, LBYR will release a Handler young adult novel in 2011 that will feature full-color illustrations by Maira Kalman.
In August, Egmont U.K. bought British rights to the four-book series; no U.S. publisher was announced at that time.
The Handler/Snicket team will work with longtime editor Susan Rich who has joined LBYR in the newly created position of editor-at-large. Rich was formerly at HarperCollins Children's Books, first in the New York office and then in Toronto. Megan Tingley, senior v-p and publisher of LBYR, and editorial director Jennifer Hunt acquired U.S. rights to the books from the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency.
The Unfortunate Events series has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide and gave rise to a film starring Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep.