Jill Santopolo, publisher of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, has signed a three-book deal with award-winning author Isabel Allende for her first works for children.
Allende, author of critically acclaimed adult novels The House of the Spirits and Eva Luna, among others, will partner with illustrator Sandy Rodriguez on their picture book series starter, Perla, the Mighty Dog! The first book will be published on June 4, 2024, and simultaneously released in a Spanish-language edition, ¡Perla, la súper perrita!
Perla, the Mighty Dog!, inspired by Allende’s own relationship with her rescue dog, follows the adventures of magical pup Perla, whose strengths include barking loudly and being beloved by her family. Upon learning that her human brother Nico is being bullied at school, Perla makes it her mission to save Nico.
“I love dogs more than people because we have so much to learn from them,” Allende said in a statement. “Perla and Nico’s adventures are about the power of friendship, teamwork, and the magic hidden in our daily lives.”
Santopolo said, “In the same way that her novels have mined the essential aspects of being human, these picture books mine the essential aspects of being a child—and do so with humor, grace, and a touch of magic.”