Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books has acquired Haunted Hearts by Katrina Leno (Horrid; You Must Not Miss), a YA novel about four close-knit sisters and the ghost they love. Publication is scheduled for summer 2025; Wendy Schmalz at Wendy Schmalz Agency sold world rights.
Allison Cohen at Running Press has bought Nikki Van De Car's YA debut, The Skin of the Ocean, a coming-of-age novel set on the Big Island of Hawaii. When Emma finds a lost boy in the forest, she uncovers a hidden world of forest spirits, menehune, and kūleana (responsibility), in a story about indigenous identity, community, and the magic that lies beneath. Publication is slated for summer 2025; Sara Crowe at Sara Crowe Literary sold world rights.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has acquired, in a six-figure preempt, the debut middle grade graphic novel Through the Black Gate by Alfredo Cáceres. The story features 12-year-olds Irene and Francis, alongside a cat that Irene believes harbors her father's soul, who travel to the land of the dead where they must reckon with the recent grief of losing their loved ones, face their fears, and embrace what makes life special. Publication is set for fall 2025; Jennifer Azantian did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Bethany Buck at Pixel+Ink has bought two books in the new The Alien Zoo series by Samantha van Leer (Between the Lines). Thirteen-year-old Ava helps her family, experts in Extraterrestrial Living Beings, run the government's Alien Zoo. Protecting ELBs used to be an honor, but growing ignorance threatens them now, and when they get loose, it's up to Ava to make sure they don't get into the wrong hands, or worse. Publication is planned for spring 2025; Laura Gross at Laura Gross Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jody Corbett at Scholastic has acquired world rights to a middle grade historical novel by Steve Watkins about the "wolf children" from East Prussia who were orphaned and left homeless at the end of World War II. When 12-year-old Astra and her sister Sophie lose their mother while attempting to escape East Prussia, they're forced to embark on a dangerous journey—and a year hiding in forests with other orphaned children—as they search for survival and a life beyond. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author.
Joy Bean at Arctis Books USA has bought middle grade novel The Picture Visitors: A Case for the Van Gogh Agency, written by Christina Wolff (l.), translated from the German by Claire Storey. It's a mystery set in the art world in London, in which a boy is able to jump into paintings and explore their landscapes. But not all is right in some of the paintings, and 13-year-old Vincent sets out to find out why. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Anette Thumser at Agentur 008 sold world English rights.
Siobhan Ciminera at Simon Spotlight has acquired world rights to Pizza for Pia!, an early reader for the Ready-to-Read line by former HMH publisher Betsy Groban (l.), illustrated by Allison Steinfeld. It tells the story of a girl whose family assumes she loves pizza (don't all kids love pizza?) until she bravely informs them that she doesn't. Publication is set for summer 2024; the author represented herself, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Winsome Bingham at Reycraft has bought a new early reader series called Amaya Nunez by poet Adria Quiñones (l.), illustrated by Mrinali Álvarez Astacio, about a girl named Amaya embracing family, friendship, and community. Publication begins in spring 2024 with Amaya Nunez: Mi Tierra, to be followed by The Other Side of the Wall and My Abuelo. Victoria Wells Arms and Ellen Goff at HG Literary represented the author for world rights, and the illustrator represented herself.
Jennifer Besser and Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook have acquired, at auction, two picture books written and illustrated by Loren Long. The first, The Yellow Bus, is a reflection on purpose and joy that follows a school bus through time as the world around her changes and she encounters a series of new beginnings. It's planned for spring 2024; a second untitled picture book will follow. Steven Malk at Writers House sold world rights.
Jessica Garrison at Dial Books has bought two titles in author-illustrator Mike Boldt's humorous new Can Do series featuring Cantaloupe and HoneyDo who, together, are learning what they can and can't do—at least not at first. In Cantaloupe and HoneyDo Ride a Bike, due out in summer 2024, the melons help each other learn how to cycle successfully, and in the second book, Cantaloupe and HoneyDo Bake a Cake, due out in spring 2025, the friends attempt to follow a recipe. Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the six-figure deal for world rights.
Daria Harper at Chronicle Books has acquired the wordless picture book Finding Forgiveness by Ezra Jack Keats Award-winning author Marta Bartolj (Every Little Kindness). When a boy's neighbor accidentally lets out his pet bird—which flies away—he doesn't think he'll ever be able to forgive her, but his journey to find forgiveness brings a lesson in the importance of letting go. Publication is slated for spring 2025; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio sold world English rights.
Sonali Fry at Crown has bought world rights to author-illustrator Monica Mikai's picture book, Wash Day with Mama. This story chronicles a memorable day shared between mother and daughter that is dedicated to hair-washing and self-care. Publication is scheduled for spring 2025; Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency brokered the deal.
Jill Santopolo at Philomel has acquired world rights to Little Freddie Two Pants by Drew Daywalt (l.), illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, a picture book about a dog who can't figure out how many pants he ought to wear. Publication is set for spring 2025; Steve Malk at Writers House represented the author, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Michelle Frey at Knopf has won, in a five-house auction, world rights to My Abuela Is a Bruja by Mayra Cuevas (l.) (Does My Body Offend You?), illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gómez, a picture book about the magical relationship between a girl and her Abuela on her grandmother's finca in Puerto Rico. Publication is planned for summer 2025; Saritza Hernández at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Aneeka Kalia at Viking has bought world rights to Princess Battle Royale by Phaea Crede (l.), illustrated by Jen Hill, in which fairy tale princesses from across the globe compete in a MMA-style tournament to win the Enchanted Championship belt. Publication is scheduled for summer 2025; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has acquired world English and Dutch rights to Grandma's Roof Garden by Tang Wei (l.), translated by Kelly Zhang. This picture book, inspired by the author's own beloved relative, tells the story of one grandmother determined to bring fresh produce and sustainable living to her Chengdu neighborhood. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Jianing Guo at Beijing Poplar Culture Project Co. represented the author, and the translator represented herself.
Alexandra Hightower at Little, Brown has bought world rights to A Santa Like Me by Tonya Abari (l.), illustrated by Raissa Figueroa. In this picture book, a child starts to question if Black Santa is real, losing his holiday spirit, only to find it again as family, friends, and a special visit help to restore the magic of Christmas. Publication is set for fall 2025; Natalie Lakosil at Looking Glass Literary & Media represented the author, and Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Krestyna Lypen at Algonquin Young Readers has acquired world rights to Rebecca the White House Raccoon by April Genevieve Tucholke (l.), illustrated by Dave Szalay, a picture book that shares the humorous tale of President Coolidge's pet raccoon that causes havoc in the White House. Publication is planned for fall 2025; Eric Myers at Myers Literary Management represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the artist.
Sally Morgridge at Holiday House has bought world rights to How the Forest Feels, a picture book by Wendi Silvano (l.), illustrated by Mirka Hokkanen. The story follows a child who goes on an adventurous autumn walk and explores the many textures found in nature. Publication is slated for summer 2025; Marie Lamba at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency represented the author, and Laurel Symonds at KT Literary represented the illustrator.
Anna Sargeant at Sourcebooks Explore has acquired world rights to A Thank You Letter to My Homeschool, a picture book by Deb Adamson (l.), illustrated by Airin O'Callaghan, in which a child narrator thanks his homeschool for all the ways it lets him be free to be himself. Publication is scheduled for summer 2025; the author represented herself, and Christina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon Crossing Kids has bought Zandi's Song by Zandile Ndhlovu (l.), South Africa's first Black female freediving instructor, illustrated by South African artist Katlego Keokgale. The picture book is a fantasy story about protecting our oceans, featuring a girl who goes on an underwater adventure and is tasked with bringing a message of conservation to the world. Publication is set for spring 2024; Bieke Van Aggelen at African Literary Agency represented Pan Macmillan South Africa in the deal for world English rights minus Southern Africa.
Kei Nakatsuka at Bloomsbury has acquired world rights to I'm Always Loving You by Kathy Wolff (l.) (All We Need), illustrated by Acamy Schleikorn, a picture book celebrating guardians' unconditional love for their children. Publication is planned for fall 2024; Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic represented the author, and Claire Morance at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Nan Froman at Groundwood Books has bought world rights to Summer Sunday by Leila Boukarim (l.), illustrated by Ruaida Mannaa; Samantha Dewaele will edit. The whole family is coming over for Sunday lunch and Yasmine is making the hummus… except she's never made it before. With help from her baba, Yasmine gets to work, but wonders if her dish will taste like real Lebanese hummus. Publication is slated for winter 2025; Hannah VanVels Ausbury at Belcastro Agency represented the author, and Naima Danawi at Illozoo represented the illustrator.
Tom Peterson at Creative Editions has acquired world rights to Three Oranges by Beth Kephart (l.), illustrated by Olga Dugina, a very modern story inspired by an old fairytale. Publication is scheduled for 2025; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.