Ruqayyah Daud at Little, Brown has acquired, in a preempt, As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by debut author Zoulfa Katouh. Pitched for fans of The Book Thief and Salt to the Sea, the speculative YA novel set amid the Syrian Revolution follows Salama Kassab, a teenager who must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are—not a war, but a revolution—and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria's freedom. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Alexandra Levick at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Kelsey Murphy at Philomel has bought, at auction, in a six-figure deal, North American rights to The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers plus an untitled second book by Surrender Your Sons author Adam Sass. The contemporary YA rom-com follows Micah, who posts sketches of his imaginary boyfriends to Instagram while dreaming of having the courage to one day ask someone out. So, when a meet cute with the much-anticipated Boy 100 goes wrong, Micah embarks on a Prince Charming-like quest throughout Chicago to find true love. Publication is set for fall 2022 and fall 2023, respectively; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary did the deal on behalf of Dovetail Fiction/Working Partners, and Eric Smith at P.S. Literary represented the author.
Jessica Anderson at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has acquired Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard (She's Too Pretty to Burn). Pitched as Thelma & Louise meets The Twin, this queer YA psychological thriller stars two desperate teens who fake their own deaths, to murderous consequences. The book is planned for summer 2022; Lauren Spieller at TriadaUS Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has bought the young readers' edition of I Have Something to Tell You by Chasten Buttigieg, a middle grade memoir by the husband of former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg about growing up gay in a small Midwestern town, the challenges of coming out, and Chasten's journey to finding acceptance and advocating for inclusion while encouraging young people to do the same. Publication is slated for spring 2022; CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners handled the deal for world rights.
Sara Schonfeld at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought This Appearing House by Ghost Girl author Ally Malinenko. Pitched as A Monster Calls-esque story navigating the effects of trauma and illness, the novel follows a girl and her best friend who get trapped inside a haunted house that turns out to be a lot more than what it seems. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired, in an exclusive deal, the next three middle grade novels by Jamie Sumner (Roll with It; Tune It Out). Glory Be, a novel in verse, follows 10-year-old Glory as she travels all over New Orleans in search of her missing dog while struggling with the fact that her father's drinking and temper might be to blame for the disappearance. Wish You Well tells the story of three unlikely friends who pull off the biggest Make-a-Wish takeover in history. Maid for It features 11-year-old Franny who secretly begins cleaning houses to pay the bills in an attempt to keep her mom, who struggles with opioid addiction, from relapsing. Publication for the first book is set for 2023; Keely Boeving at WordServe Literary did the deal for world rights.
Maggie Rosenthal at Viking has acquired Zia Erases the World by Bree Barton. This debut middle grade novel stars 11-year-old Zia, a spirited girl battling her first depression, who finds a magical dictionary from which words can be erased. Zia embarks on an adventure to erase fear, pain, and sadness, only to discover unintended—and world-altering—consequences. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Brianne Johnson at Writers House brokered the deal for world English rights.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has bought world rights to Astrology for Black Girls: A Beginner's Guide for Black Girls Who Look to the Stars by Jordannah Elizabeth (l.), illustrated by Chellie Carroll, a middle grade guidebook for young Black readers who are interested in exploring astrology and the core foundations of the Zodiac, while also finding their place in society. Publication is slated for April 2022; the author represented herself, and Amanda Hendon at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has bought at auction Friends Beyond Measure by debut author-illustrator Lalena Fisher, creator of information graphics for the New York Times. The picture book tells a friendship story about loss and long-distance connection through the language of infographics. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has acquired Kitty and Cat and a second book by Mirka Hokkanen in her author-illustrator debut. In this series, basic concepts are elevated by art-driven friendship arcs starring felines and their animal friends. The first book will explore opposites; the second book, shapes. Publication is set for spring 2023 and fall 2023, respectively; Laurel Symonds at the Bent Agency handled the two-book deal for world English rights.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought world rights for This Little Kitty and a second title by debut author-illustrator Karen Obuhanych. With a graphic style, this young picture book catches kittens being their adorable and mischievous selves from morning to nap to night. Publication for the first book is planned for fall 2022; Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency brokered the deal.
Elise Howard at Algonquin has acquired world rights to Mermaid and Pirate by Tracey Baptiste (l.) (The Jumbies), illustrated by Leisl Adams. This picture book features a Black mermaid and a salty pirate who form a friendship after helping each other during a storm. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Marie Lamba at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency represented the author, and Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to a picture book tentatively titled You Matter by Doyin Richards (l.), author of Watch Me and founder of the Anti-Racism Fight Club, illustrated by Robert Paul Jr. Told from the POV of a pet dog, this is the story of what it's like to walk outside with his beloved family, who are Black, and who live in a mostly white neighborhood. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Frances Black at Literary Counsel represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins has acquired world rights, in a two-book deal, to How to Draw a Happy Cat by Ethan T. Berlin (l.), illustrated by Jimbo Matison, a picture book that explains not only how to draw a happy cat, but also how to keep the cat happy once you've drawn it—which will require some quick thinking and drawing, not to mention pizza, a biplane, and an epically awesome party. Publication is set for fall 2022; Susanna Einstein at Einstein Literary Management represented the author and the illustrator represented himself.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has preempted world rights to Salat in Secret, a picture book by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Your Name Is a Song), illustrated by Hatem Aly (The Proudest Blue). When Muhammad gets a special salat (prayer) rug on his seventh birthday, he is determined to do all five daily prayers on time. But one salat occurs during the school day, and Muhammad is worried he won't be able to find a place to pray. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Essie White at Storm Literary represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Nicole Fox at Simon Spotlight has bought world rights Whale, Quail, Snail: A Whale of a Tea Party and its sequel by National Jewish Book Award winner Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Sam Ailey, in which three unlikely friends team up for shenanigans. Publication of book one is planned for December 2021; Carrie Hannigan at HG Literary represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can Press has acquired world rights to And I Thought About You by The Author Experience founder and Karate Kid author Rosanne Kurstedt (l.), illustrated by Ya-Ling Huang. This picture book celebrates a working mother and child thinking about each other as they journey through their days. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Amy Kitcherside at Pickled Ink represented the illustrator.
Nicole Frail at Sky Pony has bought world rights to Everybody Has a Belly Button by actress and author Cerina Vincent (l.), illustrated by Zoi Hunter. We will always teach babies where to find their belly button, nose, eyes, and toes, but we should also be teaching them that our differences make us all special. Publication is set for spring 2022; Dan Mandel at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author, and the artist was unagented.
Brett Duquette at Little Bee Books has acquired world rights to Peaceful Protestor: Bayard Rustin and the March on Washington by Michael G. Long and illustrated by Bea Jackson, in partnership with GLAAD. This nonfiction picture book follows civil rights activist Bayard Rustin as he overcomes obstacles, including homophobia, to organize the historic March on Washington in 1963. Publication is planned for spring 2023; John Rudolph at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Kayla Tostevin at Page Street Kids has bought world rights to Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles by Mike Allegra, illustrated by Jaimie Whitbread, in which a charismatic capybara calms the rainforest rumpus with personalized cuddles for all consenting animals. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary represented the author, and Jamie Weiss Chilton at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Edna: The Flavorful Life of Southern Chef Edna Lewis by Melvina Noel (l.), illustrated by Caldecott, Siebert, and Coretta Scott King Honor artist Cozbi Cabrera, a picture book about a culinary star and early proponent of farm-to-table food. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; the author represented herself, and Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates represented the illustrator.
Czeena Devera at Sleeping Bear has bought Summer's Call by Amber Lynn Hellewell (l.), illustrated by Gretchen Ellen Powers. This picture book celebrates the beauty of a Michigan summer day through the eyes of a child. Publication is planned for spring 2022; the author represented herself, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired Yoga Adventure! by debut author Jamaica Stevens (l.), the founder of JAMaROO Kids, and illustrated by Rocío Alejandro (Mindful Tots). This singalong picture book takes readers around the world with a sequence of yoga poses inspired by animals on all seven continents. Publication is slated for fall 2021; the author and the illustrator represented themselves in the deal for world rights.
Phoebe Yeh at Crown has acquired, in a seven-editor auction, Finding Jupiter by debut author and #PitchWars alum Kelis Rowe, in a two-book deal. The contemporary YA romance with found poetry elements follows Ray as she meets Orion at the local Memphis skating rink. The teens fall fast and hard into summer love, until a mystery from their past threatens to rip the couple—and their families—apart. Publication is planned for summer 2022 and summer 2023 respectively; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary did the deal for North American POM rights.
Foyinsi Adegbonmire at Feiwel and Friends has bought Donut Fall in Love and a second untitled novel from Adiba Jaigirdar (The Henna Wars). This pun-filled YA contemporary romance follows Shireen, a Bangladeshi Irish girl still healing from a breakup with her ex-girlfriend, and who can think of nothing better than to win the Junior Irish Baking Show, a Great British Bake Off-style reality competition, even if it means competing against her ex and another contestant she may be falling for. Publication is set for spring 2023 and spring 2024 respectively; Uwe Stender at Triada US negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has acquired Hurricane Girls by National Book Award winner Kimberly Willis Holt, a middle grade novel about three best friends born in the wake of Hurricane Katrina who must confront storms of their own 12 years later. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Amy Berkower at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Liz Kossnar and Krista Vitola at Simon & Schuster have bought Best Friends, Bikinis, and Other Summer Catastrophes by Kristi Wientge (Honeybees and Frenemies). In this middle grade novel, a 12-year-old tomboy's plans to spend the summer building the world's most awesome treehouse with her best friend seem ruined when he gets his first-ever crush on a popular girl from their school, until she starts to realize that this girl doesn't have to be her rival but could be a potential new friend. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Allyn Johnston at Beach Lane Books has acquired two picture book biographies by author-illustrator Katie Mazeika, each featuring a woman who made history and had a disability. Annette Feels Free stars Annette Kellerman, who took to the water after an illness left her unable to walk unaided and went on to set (unbroken) world swim records as a teen and in 1907, won the right in court for women to wear a swim costume the same as a man's. The second book tells the story of prolific inventor Beulah Louise Henry who had what we now know as synesthesia, and who patented more than 100 inventions ranging from dolls with operable eyes to ice cream makers. Publication is set for summer 2022 and 2023, respectively; Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank at Fairbank Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Mary-Kate Gaudet at Little, Brown has bought Beneath by Cori Doerrfeld. This picture book is an introduction to empathy featuring a child and their grandfather going on a nature walk and looking "beneath" the surface of all they encounter. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the author-illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to Dario's Tiger by debut author-illustrator Z.B. Asterplume, a picture book about a boy whose day goes from lean to lush when he opens the pantry door in search of food and finds a tiger instead. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Deborah Warren at East West Literary brokered the deal.
Jeff Salane at Little Simon has bought two interactive novelty board books by Color Wonder series creator Chiêu Anh Urban. 123 Zoom and ABC Roar incorporate cutout layers for a hands-on exploration of letters and numbers. Publication is slated for spring and summer 2022, respectively; Jamie Weiss Chilton at Andrea Brown Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired Hello Sacred Life and Hello Sacred Creatures, written and illustrated by Kim Krans (The Wild Unknown series). These two board books introduce little ones to big-picture concepts and contribute to children's awareness of the world around them. Publication for both books is planned for June 2022; Meg Thompson at Thompson Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Celia Lee at Orchard has bought world rights, in an exclusive submission, to The Little Old Lady Who Ate Leftovers by Melissa de la Cruz and illustrated by Primo Gallanosa. Inspired by the aswang (vampires) of Filipino mythology, de la Cruz's picture book debut follows Doña Esmeralda, a little old lady who has to eat children’s leftovers, until she's had enough of scraps and decides to eat everything in her path. Publication is set for summer 2022; Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment represented the author, and Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary represented the illustrator.
Margaret Quinlin at Peachtree has acquired world rights for Wombat Said Come In by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Brian Lies. Inspired by the 2019 Australian bushfire tragedy as well as Deedy's own experience as a refugee, the picture book follows a kindhearted wombat who sacrifices personal space and comfort to shelter a series of animals escaping a wildfire. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the artist.
Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to debut picture books by 2020 National Young Arts Winner Uma Menon (l.), both illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell. My Mother's Tongues follows seven-year-old Sumi, who observes her mother’s ability to speak two languages and switch between them at the speed of sound. Our Mother's Names is a story in which she celebrates the many names that mothers answer to all over the world. Publication is slated for fall 2023 and fall 2024, respectively; Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired world rights to two picture books by Caldecott Honoree Kelly Starling Lyons (l.) (Going Down Home with Daddy). Riding Magic, featuring a boy who visits his uncle's ranch, but who is scared to ride the horses, will be illustrated by Floyd Cooper; and Lyric's Favorite Season, a rhyming celebration of the seasons, will be illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson. Publication for both books is set for 2023; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, Claire Easton at Painted Words represented Johnson, and Cooper represented himself.
Krestyna Lypen at Algonquin has bought world rights to Beatrice Likes the Dark by April Genevieve Tucholke (l.), illustrated by Khoa Le. This picture book for gothic-leaning kids is about sisters Beatrice, who likes the dark, and Roo, who likes the light, and their quest to understand the other's point of view. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Michelle Nagler at Random House has acquired world rights to Honest June by Tina Wells (l.), illustrated by Brittney Bond; Sasha Henriques will edit. In this middle grade series starter, June's life is turned upside down when her secret fairy godmother "blesses" her with the inability to tell a lie. Can she learn to live the whole truth and nothing but—or is she destined to be cursed for the rest of her life? Publication is scheduled for December 2021; the author was unagented, and Kate Kendrick at Astound US represented the artist.
Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has bought world rights to Wonder Dogs! by Linda Ashman (l.), illustrated by Karen Obuhanych. The picture book celebrates the extraordinary and the ordinary things dogs do—whether they're working, competing, rescuing, or simply sharing comfort and love with their human companions. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Kayla Tostevin at Page Street Kids has acquired world rights to Mending the Moon by debut author Emma Pearl (l.), illustrated by Sara Ugolotti, in which the moon falls to Earth and a girl, her grandfather, and all the animals on the mountain must work together to return it to the night sky. Publication is planned for fall 2022; the author represented herself, and Amanda Hendon at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Charlie Ilgunas at Little Bee Books has bought world rights to Our World of Dumplings by Francie Dekker (l.), illustrated by Sarah Jung, a picture book about a group of children helping each household in a multicultural apartment complex prepare dumplings from each of their cultures for a rooftop potluck. Publication is set for fall 2022; Ariana Philips at Jean V. Naggar Literary represented the author, and Shadra Strickland at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Dear Wild Child by Wallace J. Nichols and Grayce Nichols, illustrated by Drew Beckmeyer. This picture book is inspired by the real letter a father wrote his daughter to tell her that they had lost their home to a California wildfire. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; the authors represented themselves, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to Zahra's Blessing: A Ramadan Story, by Shirin Shamsi (l.), illustrated by Manal Mirza. When Zahra sees the Ramadan moon, she wishes for a sister... but she never dreams that volunteering with her mother at a refugee center might help her wish come true. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.