Karen Lotz at Candlewick has bought and will edit Mira Bartok's middle-grade fantasy novel The Wonderling, and its sequel companion; film rights were already sold in a preempt. In the story, a shy, one-eared fox-like foundling escapes from the Orphanage for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures and searches for his destiny. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Jennifer Gates at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth brokered the deal for North American rights.

Calista Brill at First Second has acquired world rights to the first five books for a new middle-grade narrative nonfiction series called Science Comics. Titles include: Coral Reefs by Maris Wicks (l.), agented by Bernadette Baker at Victoria Sanders; Dinosaurs by M.K. Reed (center) and Joe Flood (r.) who were unagented; Volcanos by Jon Chad, agented by Stephen Barr at Writers House; Flying Machines by Alison Wilgus, agented by Eddie Schneider at JABberwocky and Molly Brooks who were unagented; and Bats by Falynn Koch, who was unagented. The first two books, Coral Reefs and Dinosaurs, are scheduled for publication in spring 2016; the rest will follow consecutively each season.

Megan Tingley at Little, Brown has bought Trenton Lee Stewart's middle-grade novel The Secret Keepers, the author's first novel since the Mysterious Benedict Society series. In the story, a boy discovers a peculiar, magical watch, propelling him on an adventure to protect his city and the ones he loves from a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to get the watch back. It's set for publication in fall 2016; Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment brokered the deal for North American rights.

Margaret Raymo at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has pre-empted Definitions of Indefinable Things, a YA debut from 20-year-old Whitney Taylor. The novel follows three teens in a small town whose lives intersect in ways they never expected, teaching them that there are no one-size-fits-all definitions of depression, friendship, and love. Publication is planned for spring 2017; Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.

Karen Wojtyla at S&S's McElderry Books has acquired K.A. Holt's middle-grade novel,Gnomeageddon, about a boy who discovers that his favorite book series is not nearly as fictional as he'd imagined – and the heroes and villains don't entirely follow the script, either. Publication is set for fall 2017; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.

Liza Baker at Scholastic has bought at auction three Groovy Joe picture books, plus rights to additional board and novelty books in the series, written by Eric Litwin (l.) and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. The first picture book, Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs, will publish in fall 2016; Amy Rennert from the Amy Rennert Agency represented both Litwin and Lichtenheld in the deal for world rights.

Leila Sales at Viking has acquired world rights to two picture books from author Ame Dyckman. The first, Dandy, to be illustrated by Bob Shea, celebrates the bond between fathers and daughters with the story of a girl who makes an unusual best friend – the lone dandelion on Daddy's otherwise “perfect” lawn. Publication is scheduled for summer 2017; Scott Treimel represented the author and Steve Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.

Paula Wiseman at S&S's Paula Wiseman Books has bought Nina Laden's (l.) If I Had a Little Dream, a picture book that uses the familiar objects in a child's life to explore imaginative connections. Melissa Castrillon is set to illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2017. Castrillon was unagented, and Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented Laden in the deal for world rights.

Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has acquired Candice Ransom's (l.) Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten, illustrated by Christine Grove, the story of a sweet yet headstrong young panda who, when her first day of kindergarten doesn't go according to plan, decides to quit and join her brother's second-grade class instead. Publication is scheduled for summer 2017; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary represented the author, and Maggie Byer-Sprinzeles at Byer-Sprinzeles Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.

Susan Kochan at Putnam has bought Play with Me!, a debut picture book by graphic designer Michelle Lee, in which a little pig is determined to play with a cello-playing bear who doesn't seem interested in any of his ideas. It is slated for spring 2017; Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal for world rights.

Marilyn Brigham at Amazon's Two Lions has acquired world rights to Jeanie Franz Ransom's (l.) picture book Cowboy Car, in which a little car from the big city heads West with dreams of becoming a cowboy; Ovi Nedelcu will illustrate. The book will publish in 2017; Lori Kilkelly at Rodeen Literary Management represented Ransom and Brianne Johnson at Writers House represented Nedelcu.

Louise May at Lee & Low Books has bought Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora (l.), to be illustrated by Raúl Colón. This collection of Mora's poems celebrates a love of words in all the ways we use them: reading, writing, speaking, singing, and storytelling. Publication is planned for fall 2017; Elizabeth Harding of Curtis Brown Ltd. represented the author and Gail Gaynin of Morgan Gaynin represented the illustrator.