Emilia Rhodes at HMH has acquired, at auction, The Ravens by Kass Morgan (l.) and Danielle Paige, first in a series about two girls in a southern sorority where the powerful, seemingly perfect sisters are keeping a secret—they're all witches. Publication is scheduled for January 2021; Lanie Davis and Joelle Hobeika at Alloy Entertainment brokered the two-book deal on behalf of the authors. Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media represents Paige.
Sara Goodman at Wednesday Books has bought Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz (And We're Off). The gothic love story, set against the backdrop of 1830s Edinburgh, is about an aspiring young female surgeon, the resurrection man who brings her bodies to study, and a reclusive aristocrat who tempts them both with immortality. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Dan Mandel at Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has acquired, in a two-book deal, Me (Moth), a YA novel in verse, and an untitled YA novel by debut author Amber McBride. Me (Moth) features Moth, the granddaughter of a Hoodoo root worker, who thinks she is invisible, and a Navajo boy named Sani, who is the only one who really sees her, and what happens when they take a road trip and discover that their families were connected long before they were born. Publication of the first book is set for fall 2021; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Fire has bought Murder Castle by Bryce Moore. Pitched as Stalking Jack the Ripper meets a YA Devil in the White City, the book follows 16-year-old Zuretta as she travels to Chicago during the 1893 World's Fair to try and save her sister from a notorious mass murderer and his custom-built death trap. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Eddie Schneider at JABberwocky Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Jody Corbett at Scholastic has acquired world rights to Speak for Yourself, a second book by Lana Wood Johnson (Technically, You Started It). Told partly through chat transcriptions, the novel reimagines Cyrano de Bergerac for the tech era. Aspiring tech genius Skylar tries to keep her academic competition team together by setting up her most valuable teammate with her archnemesis, only to realize she's falling for him herself. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Bridget Smith at JABberwocky Literary Agency handled the deal.
Nancy Mercado at Dial has bought, in a two-book deal, Paul Acampora's middle-grade romantic comedy, Danny Constantino's First Date, featuring the eponymous seventh grader, who lands a Halloween date with Hollywood teen superstar Natalie Flores Griffin. When the date gets tangled up in small-town politics, social media mishaps, overenthusiastic fans, Halloween costume disasters, and a school pep rally that goes wrong, Danny wonders if his first date ever might also be his last. Publication is set for fall 2020; Susan Hawk at Upstart Crow Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Holly Rice at Disney-Hyperion has acquired world rights to the first three books in Bibbidi Bobbidi Academy, an early chapter book series written by Kallie George (l.) and illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gómez. Young fairy godmothers-in-training go on adventures and attend magical classes at Bibbidi Bobbidi Academy, a reimagining of Disney Park's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. Publication for all three books is slated for fall 2022; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Jen Besser at Roaring Brook has bought, at auction, in a three-book deal, world rights to Deborah Marcero's graphic novel debut, Haylee and Comet. Pitched as E.T. meets Narwhal and Jelly, the book features a girl who befriends a comet, navigating the ups and downs of interstellar friendship and what it truly means to be a friend. Publication of the first book is planned for winter 2021; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Arthur A. Levine at Levine Querido has acquired Shy Willow, a picture book debut by author-artist Catherine Min. The book tells the story of a very shy rabbit who ventures out in the world to deliver a birthday wish from a small boy to the moon. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary Agency sold world rights.
Luana Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights to A Spoonful of Faith, written and illustrated by Jena Holliday. In this debut rhyming picture book, a mother and daughter create a special treat together that boosts their faith in God, love, and joy to help them conquer each day. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Holliday was unagented.
Joanna Cárdenas and Sydnee Monday at Kokila have acquired world rights to The Cot in the Living Room, a picture book debut by Hilda Eunice Burgos (l.) (Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle). Debut picture book artist Gaby D'Alessandro will illustrate. Based in New York City's Washington Heights, it follows a Dominican-American child's journey from jealousy to empathy as her parents babysit young people from the neighborhood whose families work night shifts. Publication is set for summer 2021. The book was submitted to Kokila's yearly open call for unagented manuscripts. The author represented herself, and Gail Gaynin at Morgan Gaynin represented the illustrator.
Tom Peterson of the Creative Company has bought world rights to Mud Angel by Beth Kephart, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti, a picture book about an artistic boy who navigates the historic 1966 flood in Florence, Italy, inspired by the illustrator's life. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has acquired world rights to Mouse Calls by Anne Marie Pace (l.) (Vampirina Ballerina). The call-and-response story begins with Mouse alerting her friends to an impending storm and ends with the grateful friends helping repair Mouse's storm-damaged home. Illustrated by Erin Balzer, the picture book is scheduled for publication in fall 2021. Linda Pratt at Wernick & Pratt represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to A History of Underwear (with Chickens) by Hannah Holt, illustrated by Korwin Briggs. This picture book takes a look at underwear throughout the ages, exploring strange underwear materials, uses, and trends—as modeled by chickens. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Phoebe Yeh at Crown has acquired world rights to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's Mae Makes a Way, written by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (l.) and illustrated by Andrea Pippins. The picture book biography is about African-American hatmaker and pioneer entrepreneur Mae Reeves, who designed custom hats for such celebrities as Marian Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lena Horne. Publication is set for summer 2022. Jill Corcoran, director of licensed publishing at Smithsonian, represented the Smithsonian, and Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented the author; the illustrator is unagented.
Phoebe Yeh at Crown has bought world rights to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's Sankofa: My Family Reunion, written by Kelly Starling Lyons (l.) and illustrated by Andrea Pippins. The compendium celebrates the roots and cultural importance of family reunions in African-American communities and includes biographical profiles, games, and archival art from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Publication is set for spring 2023. Jill Corcoran, director of licensed publishing at Smithsonian, represented the Smithsonian, and Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author; the illustrator is unagented.
Karen Li and Karen Boersma at Owlkids have acquired world rights to Frogness by Sarah Nelson (l.), illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes. The picture book is about Sammy and Chocolate, who hope to catch a frog in the twilight marsh, but end up catching something much better—muddy, magical frogness. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Louise May at Lee & Low has bought world English and Spanish rights to The Turquoise Room by Monica Brown (l.), illustrated by Pura Belpré Award honoree Adriana M. Garcia. This bilingual picture book recounts the artistic lives of three generations of women in the author's family as they pass their creativity from generation to generation for more than 100 years. Publication is scheduled for 2021; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the author and the illustrator.
Oren Eades at SkyHorse has acquired world rights to The Only Mermaid by Lisa Ann Scott (l.), illustrated by Amberin Huq. In the picture book, a young mermaid is thrilled to be the only one in the sea, but when another mermaid shows up in her lagoon, she's not sure there's room for two. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and Bethany Sparks at Plum Pudding Illustration represented the illustrator.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, at auction, Where the Rhythm Takes You by debut author and #PitchWars alum Sarah Dass, a YA novel based on Jane Austen's Persuasion, set in the author's native Trinidad and Tobago. Reyna's life changed forever two years ago, when her mother died and her best friend (first kiss, first love) Aiden, suddenly moved to America. Now Aiden has returned to their island as an international pop star, but the last thing Reyna wants to do is risk her heart again. Publication is set for summer 2021, with a second untitled YA novel to follow. Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates did the deal for world English rights.
Andrew Karre at Dutton has acquired world rights to City of the Uncommon Thief, Lynne Bertrand's YA debut. Set in a quarantined city of mile-high iron towers, the novel follows four teenagers through a world gripped by fear and obsessed with making things as they seek to control a pair of black iron spikes with uncommon powers. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Melanie Kroupa of Rubin Pfeffer Content negotiated the deal.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought, at auction, in a two-book deal, The (Un)Popular Vote by debut author Jasper Sanchez. Pitched as Red, White & Royal Blue meets The West Wing, this YA contemporary novel follows a transmasculine teenager who defies his congressman father and runs in a three-way brawl for class president. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Claire Friedman at InkWell Management brokered the deal for world English rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has acquired, at auction, Alice's Farm: A Rabbit's Tale, a middle-grade novel by Maryrose Wood (the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series). Pitched as a 21st century Charlotte's Web meets Watership Down, the story follows a young cottontail who must organize a truce with her warren's natural predators and risk everything to help a family of well-meaning but inexperienced humans keep their new farm going, or else lose their home to bulldozers. Brooks Sherman at Janklow & Nesbit handled the deal for North American rights.
Alyssa Miele at HarperCollins has bought, in a six-figure auction, world rights to Waka T. Brown's debut, While I Was Away. Pitched as The Farewell meets Brown Girl Dreaming, the middle grade memoir follows the author's journey as a Japanese American who was sent to live in Japan with a grandmother she never knew and attend public school because her parents feared she was losing her culture. Publication is slated for winter 2021; Penny Moore and Erin Files at Aevitas Creative Management brokered the two-book deal.
Karen Li at Owlkids has bought world rights to Meagan Mahoney's debut middle grade novel, A Fish Out of Water. When 11-year-old Meranda returns to her parents' hometown in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, she learns there may be a link between the town's mermaid legend and her uncle's death, and discovers an even bigger realization about her family's past. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal.
Sarah Ketchersid at Candlewick has acquired world English rights to Kallie George's (l.) new chapter book series Crimson Twill, to be illustrated by Birgitta Sif, about a young witch whose first shopping trip at bustling Broomingdale's in New Wart City becomes a journey of self-discovery and friendship. The series will launch in spring 2022 with the first book, Crimson Twill at Broomingdale's. Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the author, and Stephen Barr at Writers House represented the illustrator in the two-book deal.
Nikki Garcia at Little, Brown has bought, at auction, world rights to Perfectly Imperfect Mira, as well as an untitled picture book, by author-illustrator Faith Pray. Perfectly Imperfect Mira is the story of a child who struggles with the idea of perfection while searching for something she's good at. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary did the deal.
Christy Ottaviano at Macmillan/Ottaviano has acquired North American rights to Legendary Creatures: Mythical Beasts from Every Continent, written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats Honor winner Adam Auerbach. This nonfiction picture book will feature 18 creatures from diverse cultural traditions. Publication is slated for 2022; Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal.
Jess Harold at Scholastic has bought world rights to If You Miss Me by debut author-illustrator Jocelyn Li Langrand. In this picture book, a young ballerina loses the drive to dance after her grandmother dies. But through the memory of Grandma, she rediscovers her love for dance, knowing in her heart Grandma is dancing, too. Publication is set for fall 2021; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has acquired, at auction, world rights to author-illustrator Meredith Crandall Brown's debut picture book, Milk and Juice: A Recycling Romance, a story about star-crossed lovers who happen to be a bottle of juice and a jug of milk. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary negotiated the deal.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought, at auction, in a rumored seven-figure deal, world English rights to Itty Bitty Kittycorn by bestselling collaborators Shannon Hale (l.) and LeUyen Pham. When Kitty looks in the mirror, she sees a unicorn... but nobody else sees what she sees, until one day a tall unicorn, who sees himself a kitty, makes an appearance. Publication is scheduled for March 2021; Jodi Reamer at Writers House represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has signed Deborah Underwood's Walter, to be illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier, a picture book in which a painful friendship breakup eventually leads to new possibilities. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Beth Terrill at NorthSouth has acquired world rights to Baptiste Paul's picture book, Climb On!, which follows a father and daughter as they hike to the top of a mountain. Jacqueline Alcántara (The Field) will illustrate. Publication is set for spring 2022; Karen Grencik from Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Adriana Dominguez from Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.
Jes Negrón at Boyds Mills Kane has bought, in a preempt, world rights to debut author and literary agent James McGowan's (l.) Good Night, Oppy, a fictionalized account of the Mars Opportunity Rover's time on the red planet. Graham Carter will illustrate. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Naomi Davis at BookEnds represented the author, and Alan Lynch at Alan Lynch Artists/Arena Illustration represented the illustrator.
Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Honeybee Rescue, a nonfiction photo-illustrated picture book by collaborators Loree Griffin Burns (l.) and Ellen Harasimowicz (Handle with Care). The book is about Jon Nelson, a beekeeper who removes a thriving but vulnerable colony of bees from a friend's garage, highlighting why honeybees sometimes need protecting. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; the author and photographer represented themselves.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon/Two Lions has bought world rights to Katie Frawley's (l.) Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places: A Cat and Elephant Story, illustrated by Laurie Stansfield. The picture book follows a domesticated cat and an elephant from the wild who decide to switch lives, and realize the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Publication is slated for winter 2021; Curtis Russell at P.S. Literary Agency represented the author, and Charlie Bowden at Pickled Ink represented the illustrator.
Stacey Barney at Putnam has acquired, at auction, world rights to Calvin, written by JR and Vanessa Ford (c.), illustrated by Kayla Harren. The picture book tells the story of a transgender boy's first day of school, and the supportive parents, teachers, and friends who rally around him. Publication is set for spring 2022; Rick Richter and Maggie Cooper at Aevitas Creative Management represented the authors, and Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented the illustrator.