Hallie Tibbetts at Little, Brown has acquired, in a five-house auction, world English rights to Belladonna, a gothic-infused romantic mystery by Adalyn Grace (All the Stars and Teeth). When 17-year-old orphan Signa Farrow is whisked away to live at Thorn Grove manor, the last thing she expects is to be contacted by her late aunt's ghost, who claims to have been murdered. With the suspect still on the loose, Signa must use her connection with the dead and join forces with Death himself to unearth the truth. But Signa may not just be searching for a killer—she may also be becoming one. Publication is set for summer 2022; Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media negotiated the two-book deal.
Vicki Lame at Wednesday Books has bought, at auction, Where Shadows Reign, a YA fantasy debut by Patrice Caldwell. Set in the aftermath of a war between vampires, humans, and the gods that created them, the duology opener follows a vampire princess who teams up with a seer, who only has visions of death, to journey to the island of the dead—a mythical place where all souls go at their end—to save her kidnapped best friend. Publication for the first book is slated for fall 2022; Sara Megibow at KT Literary did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Lily Kessinger at HMH has acquired the YA graphic novel The Hills of Estrella Roja by Ashley Robin Franklin. A mysterious email lures Kat to a small Texas town to investigate the strange red lights that float above its hills for her paranormal podcast, where she meets and crushes on Mari, a girl with family secrets connected to the lights. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
David Saylor at Graphix has bought, at auction, Leon the Extraordinary, a three-book middle grade graphic novel series by graphic novelist Jamar Nicholas. The hero of the series is Leon, a boy who lives in a world where superheroes and superkids are commonplace. Although Leon doesn't have superpowers, he discovers that courage, kindness, and common sense can make him a hero, too. Publication is planned for spring 2022 and yearly thereafter; Daniel Lazar at Writers House negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Nancy Mercado at Dial has acquired, in an exclusive submission, A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar (The Moon Within and Land of the Cranes). The middle grade historical fiction novel follows a 12-year-old girl from a migrant farm-working family with big dreams of becoming a carpa ringmaster. She meets Dolores Huerta and joins the United Farm Workers' Delano Grape Strike of 1965 with the hope of working with the Teatro Campesino to help change the future for her family and others. Publication is set for spring 2022; Marietta Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary handled the deal for English and Spanish North American rights.
Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has bought Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, illustrated by Doug Salati, a middle grade novel about three unlikely friends—a rabbit, a robin, and a deer—who plot a daring rescue and challenge the long-held belief that animals of different species shouldn't help each other. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the illustrator in the deal for world English rights.
Charlotte Greenbaum at Abrams has acquired world rights to Meggie Ramm's The Adventures of Batcat, a graphic novel series for young readers, for the Amulet list. The adventure starts as Batcat is haunted by an annoying ghost and their only hope is the island witch. By the end of the quest to collect the ingredients for the spell, Batcat accepts their dual identity as both bat and cat, and the ghost and Batcat become friends. Publication for the first book is due in spring 2023, and the second book is expected in spring 2024; Kate McKean at the Howard Morhaim Literary brokered the two-book deal.
Maria Russo at minedition US has bought, in an exclusive submission, The Longest Storm, a picture book by author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino. Confined to their home due to a mysterious storm, a boy, two girls, and their single father overcome conflict and strengthen family bonds through tough times. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Rebecca Sherman did the deal for world rights.
Tracy Gates at Viking has bought the tentatively titled Jake and Grandpa, a picture book by author-illustrator Julie Fortenberry (Pearl Goes to Playschool) about how Grandpa bear takes his grandson Jake out for the day on a special outing: Jake's first visit to a library. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has acquired, in a preempt, Gold! by David Shannon, a comic but cautionary picture book spin on King Midas and the Golden Touch. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Steven Malk at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jill Santopolo at Philomel has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world English rights to All of Us, a picture book by National Book Award winner Kathryn Erskine (l.), illustrated by bestselling illustrator Alexandra Boiger, that celebrates our individuality and commonality as we share our wonderous planet. Publication is set for spring 2021; Linda Pratt represented the author, and Marcia Wernick represented the illustrator, both at the Wernick & Pratt Agency..
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has bought world rights to Molly Horan's (l.) debut picture book, I Have Seven Dogs, about an inventive girl who can't have a dog in her apartment and figures out a way to connect with the many dogs in her community. Dana Wulfekotte will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Uwe Stender at Triada US represented the author, and Sean McCarthy at McCarthy Literary represented the illustrator.
Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to Acorn Was a Little Wild by Jen Arena (l.) and illustrated by Jessica Gibson, a picture book about a free-spirited acorn who lives life to its fullest and discovers that growing up just may be the wildest adventure of all. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Gary Swift at Lemonade Illustration Agency represented the illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has bought world rights to Plate of Hope by Erin Frankel (l.), illustrated by Paola Escobar (Digging for Words). This picture book biography follows the life of chef José Andrés, who, through his World Central Kitchen organization, is fulfilling a vision to feed people in need all over the world. Publication is set for fall 2023; Susan Cohen at Writers House represented the author, and Amy Kitcherside at Pickled Ink represented the illustrator.
Erin Siu at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to the picture book Old Friends, written by debut author Margaret Aitken (l.), illustrated by Lenny Wen. This picture book follows Marjorie, whose search for friends after the loss of her grandmother inspires her to go undercover and join the local senior citizens group. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Kaitlyn Sanchez at Olswanger Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has bought world rights to A Grandma's Magic, written by Charlotte Offsay (l.) and illustrated by Åsa Gilland, a picture book celebration of grandmothers and all the ways in which they are "magical." Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Susan McCabe at Lilla Rogers Studio represented the artist.
Kelsey Skea at Amazon/Two Lions has acquired world rights to Willow and Bunny by Anitra Rowe Schulte, illustrated by Christopher Denise, a picture book that follows the special relationship of a tree and a bunny, including their shared experience of a traumatic storm and its aftermath. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Stephanie Hansen at Metamorphosis Literary represented the author, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./ Folio Literary Management represented the artist.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has bought world rights to Rumble and Roar by Sue Fliess (l.), illustrated by Khoa Le (the team behind Flash and Gleam). This informational picture book takes readers on an acoustic journey around the globe. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Jordyn Taylor will edit. Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Kathleen Merz at Eerdmans has acquired world rights to Only Margaret by Candice Ransom (l.), a picture book biography spotlighting how Margaret Wise Brown's unique personality shaped her journey as a writer. Nan Lawson will illustrate; publication is set for fall 2021. Victoria Wells at Wells Arms Literary in association with HG Literary represented the author, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Emma Parkin at Barefoot Books has bought Barefoot Books: Water by Christy Mihaly (l.) (Free for You and Me), illustrated by Mariona Cabassa (A Gift for Amma). This anthology intersperses nonfiction and fiction to inspire learning about one of our most precious resources. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary Studio represented the author, and Mela Bolinao/MB Artists represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Kate Prosswimmer at S&S/McElderry has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to How to Survive Ever After by F.T. Lukens (the forthcoming In Deeper Waters). Pitched as Dungeons & Dragons meets Carry On, the YA fantasy features a group of teenagers who have just completed a quest to save their kingdom, and now need to figure out what comes next while their de facto leader is accidentally crowned king and is caught up in a curse that requires him to find his soulmate before he turns 18. Publication is set for spring 2022; Eva Scalzo at Speilburg Literary negotiated the deal.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has bought, in an exclusive submission, Thirst, a middle grade novel by Varsha Bajaj (Count Me In). A 12-year-old girl in the slums of Mumbai must make a difficult choice that could endanger her family when she stumbles on a secret plan by corrupt officials to divert her neighborhood's already meager water supply. Publication is anticipated for fall 2022; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary did the deal for world rights.
Mari Kesselring at Jolly Fish has acquired Sabrina Kleckner's middle grade contemporary debut, The Art of Running Away, a family drama pitched as From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler set in London. When Maisie reconnects with her estranged 22-year-old brother abroad while trying to save her family's portrait studio from bankruptcy, she uncovers a truth about her parents that changes everything. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Megan Manzano at D4EO Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
John Morgan at Macmillan/Imprint has bought, at auction, Mihi Ever After, a four-book young middle-grade fantasy series by Tae Keller (The Science of Breakable Things). Three princess-loving misfits travel into a fairytale land, but soon find that the old stories and characters they dreamed of aren't what they expected. As the idyllic world becomes darker, the girls must work together to transform the old fairytales to fit a more modern and diverse world. Publication for the first book is planned for summer 2022; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Arthur Levine at Levine Querido has preempted fine artist Ellen Heck's debut picture book A Is for Bee, highlighting how language is similar and different across the world. Featuring woodcut art, the alphabet book will help readers learn how to pronounce many of their favorite animals in multiple languages. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has acquired Tiny Dino by Deborah Freedman, in which a little songbird embraces her prehistoric ancestry while her animal neighbors think there's a long way between a tweet-tweet and a T.rex, as well as an untitled second picture book. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Stephen Barr at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has bought, in a preempt, This Story Is Not About a Kitten by Randall de Sève (l.), illustrated by Carson Ellis, a picture book that is not about a kitten but is instead about the caring community that comes together to find said kitten a forever home. Publication is set for summer 2022; Steven Malk at Writers House represented the author and illustrator for world rights.
Arthur Levine at Levine Querido has acquired world rights to Lee Wind's (l.) debut picture book, Red and Green and Blue and White, inspired by the true story of how an entire town stood up to hate during the Chanukah/Christmas season. Caldecott Medalist Paul O. Zelinsky will illustrate; publication is slated for 2021. Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker represented the author, and the artist represented himself.
Namrata Tripathi at Kokila has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to My Paati's Saris by Jyoti Rajan Gopal, illustrated by Art Twink. This picture book explores a child's love for his grandmother and her saris, exploring the sari in all its versatility while challenging the gender expectations for the wearer. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author, and the illustrator represented themself.
Joy Bean at Boyds Mills & Kane has acquired world rights to Fire Chief Fran, written by Linda Ashman (l.) and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. The picture book is a day-in-the-life portrait of a busy, brave female fire chief. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Jennifer Matson at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Katherine Harrison at Knopf has bought world rights to Brave Every Day by author Trudy Ludwig (l.) and illustrator Patrice Barton (the team behind The Invisible Boy). Drawing on both personal experience and Ludwig's expertise in social emotional learning, the story is about managing anxiety and finding the courage to stand up for yourself and support your friends. Publication is set for spring 2022; Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator, and the author represented herself.
Melissa Warten at FSG has acquired world rights to The Christmas Book Flood, the next picture book by Emily Kilgore (l.) (The Whatifs), illustrated by Kitty Moss (Where Bone?), about the search for the perfect books to give loved ones on Christmas Eve—based on a real Icelandic tradition. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Marfé Ferguson Delano at National Geographic Kids has bought Photo Ark ABC: An Alphabet Book in Poetry and Pictures by photographer Joel Sartore and author Debbie Levy. The picture book features poems by Levy and is illustrated with photos from Sartore's Photo Ark, a 25-year documentary project to fight global extinctions by photographing every animal species in human care. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author.
Christopher Robbins at Familius has acquired world rights to Gardens Are for Growing, plus two other titles by Chelsea Tornetto (l.) In this picture book, illustrated by Hsulynn Pang, a father and daughter experience a lifetime of love and connectedness in their backyard garden. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Melissa Richeson, formerly at Apokedak Literary, represented the author, and Atlanta Japp at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Semareh Al-Hillal and Nan Froman at Groundwood have bought world rights to Martin and the River by Jon-Erik Lappano, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, about a boy who discovers that his connection to a beloved backyard river can be just as wondrous in his new urban home. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Michelle Bisson at Capstone has acquired world rights to Pando, The True Story of a Living Giant by Kate Allen Fox (l.), illustrated by Turine Tran; Kristen Mohn will edit. The nonfiction picture book features one of the world's oldest and largest living things—a gigantic grove of quaking Aspen trees, which are struggling to survive—and how young people can help. Publication is set for fall 2021; Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Lauren Ashleigh at IllustrationX represented the illustrator.
Jennifer Stokes at Kids Can has bought world rights to Karlin Gray's (l.) Anne and Her Tower of Giraffes, a picture book biography of pioneer giraffologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg. Aparna Varma will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Rachel Matson has acquired world rights to board books Fa-La-La Llama, a celebration of llamas in winter-wear, and Boonicorns, an ode to unicorns dressing up for Halloween, by Joan Holub (l.) (Mighty Dads), both illustrated by Allison Black (Future Baby). Publication is planned for fall 2021 and summer 2022, respectively; Liza Voges at Eden Street Literary represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.