Chicken House is poised to hatch in the Netherlands, following the announcement of its latest joint venture.
The Somerset-based children's publisher, founded 12 years ago by Barry Cunningham with Rachel Hickman, and the House of Books (in Holland), have formed Chicken House Nederland, a joint publishing venture bringing together two of Europe's most innovative children’s publishing companies.
Cunningham, without whom "Harry Potter might still be languishing in his cupboard under the stairs" (according to J.K. Rowling), has enjoyed success at home and abroad with authors including Rachel Ward, Melvin Burgess and Cornelia Funke, and has always been a champion of new children’s writers, some of them talent-spotted via Chicken House's long-running fiction competition in partnership with the Times. The House of Books will now pave the way for the launch of the Chicken House imprint in the Netherlands, publishing all future CH titles. The move builds on the international success of the Chicken House imprint in Germany with Carlsen and in the U.S. with Scholastic.
Said Cunningham, whose career began at the Puffin Club and included appearances inside the Puffin costume: "I believe that children's books can cross the world and that the spirit of imagination flows in all directions. At Chicken House, the books I publish are free-ranging – but always a celebration of children's individuality and sense of adventure! Ever since I discovered Harry Potter in England, I've known that it is these qualities that will keep children reading."
The House of Books, in both the Netherlands and Flanders, is an internationally oriented company publishing adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction. In terms of both content and design, it and Chicken House are (one might say) birds of a feather and, like Chicken House, the name reflects a wish to be a "home" to their authors who include, among others, Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, whose Tunnels series is published in the U.K. by Chicken House, and Michelle Paver, author of the bestselling Chronicles of Ancient Darkness (Orion in the U.K.; HarperCollins/Tegen in the U.S.).
Noted general manager Maarten Richel: "Future publishing has no boundaries and will be based on cooperation. It’s about sharing and realizing your dreams with the best partners. We strive to work with the best authors and create the most special books – and in Chicken House we have found a partner whose children’s authors we are excited to welcome to our House of Books. Indeed, Chicken House Nederland will build an extra room to be proud of!"