Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has acquired, in a six-figure preempt, North American rights to Better Than We Found It by Frederick Joseph and Porsche Landon. In the YA follow-up to Joseph's debut, The Black Friend, the authors share stories of their own experiences with an assortment of essential topics, from environmental justice to gun control, anti-racism to housing security, and provide interviews with public officials, celebrities, and activists. Publication is set for fall 2022; Alexander Slater at Trident Media Group represented the authors.
Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has bought, in a preempt, Roofhoppers by Andi Porretta. Comped to Booksmart and set against the backdrop of New York City, the graphic novel follows four friends the summer after high school graduation. When the group agrees to play a game of dares from their childhood one last time, what was meant to bring them all together could be the thing that tears them apart. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency handled the deal for world English rights.
Tara Weikum at HarperCollins has acquired The Name She Gave Me by Betty Culley. This #OwnVoices YA novel, written in verse, centers on adopted Maine girl Rynn, who only knows that her original name was Scheherazade, she was born with a hole in her heart, and her birth mother wanted her to grow up on a farm. Her life is upended when she learns her birth mother had a baby seven years after Rynn was born and kept her. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Deanna McFadden at Wattpad has bought world rights to Until We Break by debut author and poet Matthew Dawkins. The novel follows Naomi Morgan, the only Black ballerina at her prestigious dance school, who while injured and reeling from the death of her best friend, meets a street artist named Saint, whose social justice messages spark something in her, changing them both forever. It's slated for winter 2022; the author was unagented.
Scholastic has negotiated a seven-book publishing deal, comprised of a four-book middle grade series and three picture books, won in a multi-publisher auction, with activist, scholar, cultural critic, and author Dr. Brittney Cooper (l.). The Bees is a middle grade series celebrating Black girls and their friendships. Publication is set for late 2022; David Levithan and Maya Marlette will edit. The first picture book, Stand Up: 10 Mighty Women Who Made a Change!, wherein Cooper introduces young readers to 10 revolutionary Black women, will be illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson; Liza Baker will edit. Publication is set for March 2022. Two additional picture books are also planned: Mama Says I'm Fine, a celebration of her single mother's unwavering love and faith in her, and one still untitled.
Stephanie Lurie at Hyperion has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Winston Chu Versus the Whimsies, and an untitled sequel by Stacey Lee (The Downstairs Girl). Lee's debut middle grade novel is a modern-day reimagining of a classic Chinese folktale, following Winston Chu as he saves the owner of a curiosities shop from a robbery only to be gifted a broomstick and a dustpan for his trouble—items that turn out to be more a curse than a blessing. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary negotiated the six-figure deal for North American rights.
Julia Sooy at Henry Holt/Godwin has bought world rights to Nature's Design Challenge by Rebecca Donnelly (l.), illustrated by Misa Saburi, a middle grade graphic nonfiction series about biomimicry, in which animal contestants in a Shark Tank-style game show pitch designs and products based on their own physical or behavioral adaptations. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency represented the author, and Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary represented the illustrator.
Connie Hsu and Megan Abbate at Roaring Brook have acquired, in an exclusive submission, Bright by Brigit Young (Worth a Thousand Words; The Prettiest), a middle grade novel about a struggling student who joins her school's trivia team in a bid to avoid failing eighth grade. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Melissa Edwards at Stonesong brokered the deal for world English rights.
Erin McGough at the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society has bought world rights to Ezra and the Mouse: The Search for Lafayette by Victoria J. Coe (Fenway and Hattie). The middle grade historical adventure, set in 1822 and inspired by actual events, weaves together the stories of a New England shipping magnate's son in pursuit of smugglers, and a mouse desperate to reunite with his family and find a 500-pound cheese called Lafayette. Publication is set for fall 2021; Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary represented the author.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has preempted world rights to Hugo and Dino, a chapter book graphic novel series by Red Panda and Moon Bear creator Jarod Roselló. The books follow a boy who can change the world around him just enough to go on magical adventures with his best friend, Dino. Publication for the first book is scheduled for fall 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary did the three-book deal.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Porter acquired an as-yet-untitled book written and illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell. This David Bowie picture book biography focuses on the shape-shifting nature of the iconic rock star and his talent for creating signature looks, sounds, and personalities over the course of his illustrious life and career. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal for world rights.
Zareen Jaffery, while at Simon & Schuster, bought world rights to The Together Tree by Aisha Saeed (l.), illustrated by LeUyen Pham, a picture book about the pain of bullying and the redemptive power of friendship and compassion; Kendra Levin will edit. Publication is slated for 2023; Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has acquired world rights to H Is for Harlem written by Dinah Johnson (l.) (Black Magic) and illustrated by Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award-winner April Harrison (What Is Given from the Heart). This nonfiction alphabet book is a love letter to Harlem that draws connections between communities past and present. Publication is set for fall 2022; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Regina Brooks at Serendipity Literary represented the illustrator.
Arthur A. Levine at Levine Querido has signed Dow Phumiruk (l.) (Counting on Katherine), for world rights, to illustrate Kristen Mai Giang's previously announced Last Flight, based on the true story of Kristen's family's escape from Vietnam six days before the fall of Saigon in 1975. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Deborah Warren at East West Literary represented the illustrator.
Alyza Liu at Atheneum has bought world rights to Can You Imagine by Lisa Tolin (l.) and illustrated by Yas Imamura, a picture book biography about Yoko Ono, the avant-garde artist and activist. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Lindsay Auld at Writers House represented the author, and Freddie Dawson at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Grace Kendall at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has acquired world rights to My Name by Supriya Kelkar (l.), illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat, about how a name comes from generations of ancestors, places, and experiences to make you you. Publication is slated for June 2023; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Alice Sutherland-Hawes of ASH Literary represented the illustrator.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins has bought world rights, in a preempt, to I Was Born a Baby? and I Live in a Tree Trunk! by Meg Fleming, illustrated by Brandon James Scott, a rhythmic roll call of animals by their baby names (including the identical, unexpected, and unusual). Publication is scheduled for winter 2022 and winter 2023, respectively; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the author and the illustrator in the two-book, six-figure deal.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired Dinner on Domingos by debut author Alexandra Katona (l.), illustrated by Claudia Navarro (La Frontera). In this celebration of family and food, inspired by the author's own childhood, a Latinx girl who doesn't speak much Spanish searches for ways to connect with her Abuelita. Publication is set for fall 2021; the author and illustrator represented themselves in the deal for world rights.
Sailaja Ganti at Mango and Marigold has bought North American rights to Part of Me by Nandana Sen (l.), illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan, a picture book about love and identity, a spirited girl's search for her roots, and the bond of the heart that unites every family, adopted or biological. Publication is slated for summer/fall 2022; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Hannah Moushabeck at Crocodile Books, in an exclusive submission, has acquired Adrift written by Heidi E.Y. Stemple (l.) and illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova. Finding himself alone and scared in the middle of a storm, a small mouse finds comfort and strength when he sees another boat and is joined by others. Publication is planned for September 2021; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author, and the illustrator represented themselves.
Carolyn Yoder at Calkins Creek has bought world rights to The Fabulous Fannie Farmer: Kitchen Scientist and America's Cook, written by Emma Bland Smith (l.) and illustrated by Susan Reagan. In this nonfiction picture book, readers learn how Fannie Farmer created the model for the modern-day cookbook and taught generations that with science and precision, anyone can excel in the kitchen. Publication is set for spring 2024; Essie White at Storm Literary represented the author, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world English rights to A Dupatta Is… by Marzieh Abbas (l.), illustrated by Anu Chouhan, an #OwnVoices picture book that explores the properties of a dupatta and how it's much more than just a beautiful piece of cloth. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary represented the illustrator.
Madison Moore at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to a STEM picture book series entitled Kid Scientist by Sue Fliess (l.), illustrated by Mia Powell. Each book in this series features a world of budding young scientists: book one, Archaeologists on a Dig, introduces readers to the science of archaeology; book two, Marine Biologists on a Dive, focuses on a team of marine biologists. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Jill Braithwaite at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Sarah Rising, written by Minneapolis-based poet, puppeteer, and playwright Ty Chapman, and illustrated by DeAnn Wiley. Inspired by the Minneapolis uprising after the killing of George Floyd, this picture book follows a Black girl as she attends her first protest and realizes that she has the power to protect what and who she loves. Publication is slated for May 2022; Savannah Brooks of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Tiara Kittrell at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, at auction, in a six-figure, two-book deal, world English rights to Reject Squad by Alyssa Cole, illustrated by ONeill Jones. In this Sleeping Beauty-inspired YA fantasy romance graphic novel, a perfectionist princess powered by rage is hexed, placing her kingdom and her life in jeopardy, unless her newfound friends (the magical hot messes of the Reject Squad)—and the irritating boy she's betrothed to—can help her save herself. Publication is set for 2024; Lucienne Diver at the Knight Agency represented the author, and Claire Draper at the Bent Agency represented the illustrator.
Rosemary Brosnan and Cynthia Leitch Smith at Heartdrum have bought, in a preempt, The Summer of Bitter & Sweet by Jen Ferguson (Métis/white). In this debut YA novel, a demisexual Métis teen is settling in to spend the summer before college working at her close-knit family's ice cream shack with her best friend, ex-boyfriend, and newly back-in-town crush, when a letter from her white biological father, recently out of prison, threatens to destroy everything she cares about. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary did the two-book deal for world English rights.
Abigail McAden at Scholastic has acquired five middle grade novels by author Sayantani DasGupta. The deal includes a new three-book series following the flying pakkhiraj horses of the Kingdom Beyond, a spin-off to DasGupta's Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series, slated to begin in September 2022; a sequel to DasGupta's forthcoming novel Force of Fire, slated for May 2022; and The Lotus Legacy, DasGupta's first work of realistic fiction for middle graders, which follows the Desi Posse, a crack team of feminist tweens, on a heist to expose a skin-lightening product, slated for summer 2023. Brent Taylor at Triada US handled the six-figure deal for North American rights.
Sally Morgridge at Holiday House has bought world rights to Nothing Is Little by Christopher Award-winning author Carmella Van Vleet (Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Big Fat Quitter) The middle grade novel features Felix, a boy who has always liked being the smallest kid in school, but when he starts getting growth hormone shots, everything changes. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Marie Lamba at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency represented the author.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has acquired The Callers by Australian author Kiah Thomas in her middle grade debut. In this fantasy world, the ability to summon objects is a crucial skill for sustaining life. But when Quin discovers that the objects Callers summon aren’t conjured at all, but are taken from the other side of the world, where for years people have had their lives slowly summoned away, he must decide whether he should remain loyal to his family or betray them—and save the world. Publication is planned for spring 2022; the author was unagented.
Shelly Romero at Scholastic has bought world rights to Join the Club, Maggie Diaz by Nina Moreno (l.) (Don't Date Rosa Santos), illustrated by Courtney Lovett. The illustrated middle grade novel follows a 12-year-old Cuban American girl who is determined to discover who she is and what her "thing" is, no matter how many activities or clubs it takes. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Laura Crockett at Triada US Literary represented the author, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Jordan Brown at Walden Pond has acquired Just Harriet by NBA finalist Elana K. Arnold. The first in a young middle grade series of the same name, Just Harriet introduces Harriet Wermer, a quirky girl in the tradition of Ramona and Clementine, who is spending the summer at her grandmother's B&B on a small California coastal island, and sets out to solve a cozy mystery with the help of a basset hound named Moneypenny and a cat named Matzoh Ball. Publication is set for winter 2022; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content brokered the deal for world English rights.
Cecily Kaiser at Rise x Penguin Workshop has bought two untitled picture books by singer-songwriter, political activist, and feminist icon Ani Di Franco. The first is an Ani Di Franco-style lullaby and is slated for publication in fall 2022; the second, an ode to the wisdom that surrounds us, will follow in fall 2023. Both books encapsulate ideas that Di Franco feels strongly about sharing with children: the authority to respect the world around you with love and compassion, and the strength of individual power and collective responsibility. Sarah Lazin at Aevitas Creative Management did the two-book deal for world rights.
Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has acquired Only Ants for Andy by PW Flying Starts author Jashar Awan (What a Lucky Day!). The humorous picture book follows a picky anteater named Andy as he tries out new things and learns that different doesn't necessarily mean bad. Publication is planned for October 2021; Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Catherine Laudone at Simon & Schuster has bought world rights to Gilly and the Monster of Mustache Bay by Cyndi Marko (Kung Pow Chicken), a picture book about a spunky, water-loving girl who won't let anything, not even a terrifying monster, keep her from swimming in Mustache Bay. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic brokered the deal for the author.
Courtney Code at Abrams has acquired world rights to How Old Is Mr. Tortoise? written by Dev Petty (l.), and illustrated by Ruth Chan. A tortoise celebrating a big birthday can't remember how old he is, but friends help him solve the mystery with old photographs, stories, and a few unexpected clues. Publication is set for spring 2022; Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Jacob Surpin at Parallax has bought A Lotus for You by Minh Lê (Drawn Together). Described as the official authorized biography for young readers of Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, the picture book explores the life, teachings, and legacy of the beloved global spiritual leader. The text is written as if in conversation with a group of children, with Thich Nhat Hanh sharing his experiences, from becoming a novice monk at 16 to being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jessica Garrison at Dial has acquired, at auction, world rights to picture book When Santa Came to Stay by Billy Sharff, illustrated by Eda Kaban. Pitched as the offspring of The Grinch and Snowmen at Christmas, it tells the story of a family who learns the true meaning of Christmas when Santa (and sundry other holiday characters) outstay their welcome in an attempt to prolong the holiday magic. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented the author, and Shannon Associates represented the artist.
Megan Tingley at Little, Brown has bought world rights to Away with Words! Wise and Witty Poems for Language Lovers by former Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by her son, artist Perry Hoberman, in his children's book debut. This poetry collection celebrates the playfulness of the English language. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; Gina Maccoby at Gina Maccoby Literary represented the author and artist.
Maria Russo at mineditionUS has acquired world rights to A Pair of Shoes by Robie H. Harris (It's Perfectly Normal), illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Freedom in Congo Square). This picture book is narrated by a child who, accompanied by a loving grandmother, regularly encounters a homeless man, and wants to help him. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Dan Mandel at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author, and the artist represented himself.
Courtney Fahy at Little Bee Books has bought world rights to Fridge-O-Polis by debut author Melissa Coffey, illustrated by Josh Cleland. In this pun-filled picture book that touches on the problem of food waste, a city packed with old food and souring leftovers must be saved from rancid ruin. Publication is set for fall 2022; Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Emily Easton at Crown has acquired world rights to One Turtle's Last Straw: The Rescue That Sparked a Sea Change by Elisa Boxer, illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens. A turtle discovered with a plastic straw stuck in its nostril is saved—shedding light on the global ocean pollution problem. Publication is set for summer 2022; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has bought world rights to Goat Is the Goat by I Will Be Fierce author Bea Birdsong (l.) and illustrated by Kelly Murphy, about a goat who thinks he must be the G.O.A.T, the greatest of all time, though all evidence seems to be to the contrary. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Melissa Edwards at Stonesong represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Karen Smith at Knopf has acquired Gift & Box by Ellen Mayer (l.), illustrated by Brizida Magro. The picture book follows the adventures of a special gift inside a box that makes its way from Grandma's house to its exciting destination. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator for world rights.
Cindy Loh, while at Bloomsbury, preempted world rights to Sunday Before Sundown by Patricia Hruby Powell (l.) and Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James Ransome. This picture book is based on the true story of Joe Ernst, a teenager who welcomed Ella Fitzgerald and her band into the café where he worked and defied his small-town Illinois community's racism against African Americans in the 1940s; Sarah Shumway will edit. Publication is set for spring 2023; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented Powell, Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio represented Cline-Ransome, and Ransome represented himself.
Christianne Jones at Capstone has bought world rights to My Pet Cloud by Amanda Hill (l.), a picture book that follows a boy as he adopts a pet balloon, highlighting the importance of responsibility, problem-solving, and friendship; Laia Arriols will illustrate. Publication is slated for January 2022; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Chloë Morgan at Plum Pudding represented the illustrator.
Courtney Code at Abrams has acquired world rights to The Museum of Lost Teeth by Elyssa Friedland (l.) (The Floating Feldmans), illustrated by Gladys Jose. The author's picture book debut follows first-lost-tooth, Toothy, on his journey from Liam Taylor's mouth to life beyond the gumline. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Louise Fury at the Bent Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Ariel Richardson at Chronicle has bought world rights, at auction, to The River of Dust: Africa to the Amazon by debut author Jilanne Hoffmann (l.), illustrated by Eugenia Mello. Celebrating the power and wonder of Earth's ecosystems, this nonfiction picture book follows Dust across the globe as it revels in the beauty of its journey and the vital role it plays in nurturing life. Publication is set for spring 2023; Lori Steel at Raven Quill Literary represented the author, and Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Carolyn Yoder at Calkins Creek has acquired Becoming Deborah Sampson by Beth Anderson (l.), illustrated by Anne Lambelet, a picture book on the iconic Revolutionary War soldier. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author and the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Meredith Mundy at Abrams/Appleseed has bought world rights to Odd Beasts: Meet Nature's Weirdest Animals and Odd Birds: Meet Nature's Weirdest Flock by Laura Gehl (Happy Llamakkah!), illustrated by Gareth Lucas. These board books will introduce babies and toddlers to some of the strangest creatures in the world. Publication is slated for fall 2021 and spring 2022 for Beasts and Birds, respectively; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary studio represented the author, and Claire Meiklejohn at Meiklejohn Illustration represented the illustrator.