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October 2019

Who’s hungry? 

If not, you will be after this picture book. There are thirteen delectable bites of Niki Nakayama’s life and just thinking about her talent with food will make you hungry for more. Debbi co-authored the book with the talented Jamie Michalak and what a fun project! It’s going to be a drool worthy book for all of us kids who aspire to be just a little bit better in the kitchen!

Grace Kendall at FSG has acquired, at auction, world English rights to Niki Nakayama: A Chef's Tale in 13 Bites by Jamie Michalak (l.) and Debbi Michiko Florence (c.), to be illustrated by Yuko Jones. The picture-book biography spans the Japanese-American chef's rise to fame—from overcoming gender bias in Japanese haute cuisine to opening her Michelin-starred restaurant. Publication is set for winter 2021; Victoria Wells Arms at Wells Arms Literary/HG Literary represented Michalak, Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented Florence, and Christy Ewers at CAT Agency represented Jones. 

Congratulations, Debbi (and Jamie) and look for this gorgeous book in stores in winter 2021. 


EMLA has been growing, and now we’ve got a full house! I am so pleased to share the news that award-winning author Miranda Paul has joined EMLA as Associate Agent and has already begun building her own client list.

Miranda interned remotely for me over the summer from her home in Wisconsin and I was blown away by her know-how, her organizational skills, and her passion. She has worked with students (and campers) in every grade from Pre-K through college, is a co-founding member of the nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books, and has presented at SCBWI conferences, The Writing Barn, the Highlights Foundation (Nuts and Bolts of STEM writing) and the Library of Congress Young Readers Center. In her other lives, Miranda has worked as a freelance writer and journalist. Her picture books includeOne Plastic Bag, Water is Water, 10 Little Ninjas, I Am Farmer, Nine Months, Little Libraries, Big Heroes, and many more. 

Miranda has her sights on prolific writers and writer-illustrators who are able to craft geeky-yet-wildly-entertaining manuscripts that bring science to lay audiences, make her laugh out loud, or have a strong social justice bent; and novels, memoirs, or nonfiction that are philosophically and emotionally gripping. She will be following EMLA’s standard submission policy, which can be found here.

I’m so thrilled to have you aboard, Miranda!



Jean Reidy

Jean Reidy’s TRUMAN is the story of a sweet little tortoise whose devotion to his Sarah is never in doubt, even when she leaves one day for much longer than usual. It has been getting a lot of love out there in the world—two starred reviews, the most quotable quotes (my favorite words: enchanting, uplifting, heartwarming), and even a high school teacher’s suggestion of using it to teach kids the hero’s journey (!). 

Of course we love Jean’s perfectly soulful text, but we cannot overstate the importance of Lucy Ruth Cummins’s charming art, either, or the fantastic match these two have made. And so we are very pleased that Jean and Lucy will be working together on another picture book, again at Atheneum! Here’s the full announcement:

Alexa Pastor at Atheneum has acquired world rights to TRUMAN author and illustrator Jean Reidy and Lucy Ruth Cummins’s SYLVIE, about a surreptitious spider who gathers the courage to help the neighbors she has watched over from afar. Publication is planned for Spring 2022. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.

Huge congratulations to Jean!


Everybody knows that toddlers just love vehicles, and therefore board books about vehicles! Kersten Hamilton’s RED TRUCK is a perennial favorite that just sells and sells, and so we’re very happy to be adding more companions to it (along with already-published BLUE BOAT and YELLOW COPTER)! GREEN TRACTOR and one other to be named will be published again by Viking, illustrated again by Valeria Petrone, and edited this time by Aneeka Kalia.

Get ready for some bouncy good farm fun!

Congratulations, Kersten!


Many of you may know Elaine from her alter-publishing-ego, as author of the fantastic award-winning middle grade novels, LIKE MAGIC and PAPER CHAINS. In today’s deal, however, our intrepid author forges into completely uncharted new territory: a dark and insightful YA psychological thriller.

Here is a little more about FADEAWAY, E. B. Vickers:

When hoops hero Jake Mercado goes missing the night after leading his team to the state title, six of the people closest to him hold a piece of the puzzle that could lead to his return. But they each hold part of the blame too.

The best friend.

The little brother.

The ex-girlfriend—and the guy she’s dating now.

The head coach—and the fired coach whose place he took.

The disgraced former player who lost the championship last time.

 And the one who knows exactly where Jake disappeared to—and why? That’s who’s fighting hardest to make sure nobody else finds out. 

Beartown meets Where Things Come Back in this YA suspense novel about addiction, redemption, and the lies we tell each other—and ourselves.

This outstanding novel was snapped up in a whirlwind preempt by the illustrious Michelle Frey at Knopf. It will be publishing in Spring 2021, so keep on the lookout print the stunning new literary work.

Congratulations, Elaine!!

- Joan

Anybody who knows me, knows that I have a major soft spot for baked goods. I mean, who are we kidding? I practically AM a baked good :)  So when a super-talented author writes a picture book manuscript entitled THE TINY BAKER, you know that I am all in!

By now I’m sure you have guessed that this is no hypothetical author nor hypothetical manuscript! Not only that, but this small and delicious treat has found the most perfect of homes with the most perfect of illustrators. Without further ado, here is the announcement that just posted up:

Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired THE TINY BAKER, by Hayley Barrett (Babymoon), to be illustrated by Alison Jay (I Took the Moon for a Walk; Listen, Listen). Emma Parkin and Lisa Rosinsky will edit and art direct. This deliciously quirky story features a miniature baker whose devoted insect clientele help her weather an unexpected disaster at her stylish tea shop. Publication is planned for Autumn 2020; Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Alison Jay represented herself in the deal for world rights.

It’s a good thing that 2020 is just around the corner, because I for one can’t wait. Congratulations, Hayley!

 - Joan

There are some things in life that you have to really work hard and struggle for. But every so often, something falls in your lap in a way that feels both effortless and inevitable. And never was that more the case than here with this wonderful picture book! It began with a text by Maria Gianferrari, which was paired up with illustrations by the award-winning illustrator Felicita Sala. The result? Pure magic.

Yes siree, if you haven’t figured it out yet, we are talking about a brand-new picture book deal–and here’s the official announcement:

Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has won, at auction, world rights to publish Maria Gianferrari’s new picture book text, BE A TREE, with illustrations by Felicita Sala. This lyrical book explores the beauty, majesty, and connectivity of trees, and how they compare to each of us individually, and as a society. The author was represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency, and the illustrator by Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions, for publication in spring 2021. 

Hooray and enormous congratulations, Maria! Is it 2021 yet? J

- Joan