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October 2020

We’re so excited about this one. Jill has put her comedy writing skills to good use and we’ve got a hilarious early reader series starting in 2021. Two dinosaurs trying to become friends in a world where you usually have to run for your life is perfect for readers of all ages. This series is going to be a fun one!

Siobhan Ciminera at Simon Spotlight has acquired world rights to three titles in a new series, Thunder and Cluck, in the Ready-to-Read early reader line by Jill Esbaum (We Love Babies! ), illustrated by Miles Thompson. In the first book, Friends Do Not Eat Friends, a cheeky little dinosaur tries to convince a hungry T. rex he'd be better as a friend than a meal. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself. 

Congratulations, Jill!


Is confinement getting you down? Feeling the need for some bookish escape? Look no further! Our own immersive author extraordinaire—New York Times bestselling, award-winning, top thrills-per-page expert—Jennifer A. Nielsen has a new book on the way, and this is one you will NOT want to miss. 

Here’s the scoop: 

Lisa Sandell at Scholastic has acquired New York Times bestselling author of THE FALSE PRINCE and A NIGHT DIVIDED Jennifer A. Nielsen’s newest middle-grade historical thriller. RESCUE tells the story of a girl in Nazi-occupied France who becomes entangled with spies and secret codes in hopes of rescuing her father from a POW camp. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for World rights, for publication in spring 2021.

The best thing about this announcement is that the book is on shelves SO VERY SOON – yes, you read that right, spring 2021. Which, as we know, is just around the corner. So mark those calendars now and be on the lookout!

 Congratulations, Jen!

- Joan

Earlier in 2020, Random House Studio purchased TREE HOLE HOME by Melissa, illustrated by Amy Hevron, and now she’s back with another. This book will enthrall readers of all ages, and with Rob Dunlavey illustrating, will be a feast for the eyes as well. 

Melissa Stewart's WHALE FALL, about a whale fall, which is when a whale dies and drops to the bottom of the sea; as it decomposes, it supports a rich assortment of sea life, illustrated by Rob Dunlavey, to Ann Kelley at Random House Studio, for publication in spring 2023, by Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency for the author, and by Ashley Valentine at Pippin Properties for the illustrator, on behalf of Elena Giovinazzo (world).

Congratulations, Melissa!


Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop
Alice Faye Duncan

Alice Faye Duncan has written a honorific to Coretta Scott King that will become a classic and partnering with her to bring it to life again is R. Gregory Christie, the illustrator for Alice Faye’s MEMPHIS, MARTIN, AND THE MOUNTAINTOP (Calkins Creek, 2018), which garnered a load of stars and a CSK Honor for Illustration. 

You know what that means. This new book, CORETTA’S JOURNEY: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CORETTA SCOTT KING, is going to be amazing. 

Carolyn Yoder at Calkins Creek has bought North American rights to CORETTA’S JOURNEY: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CORETTA SCOTT KING by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. This nonfiction picture book is a portrait of the courageous American leader and the fiery trials of her childhood that emboldened her to fight racism and injustice with tactics of non-violence. Publication is set for spring 2023; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself. 

Congratulations, Alice Faye!


Karla Valenti has a unique perspective on some of our science icons of times past—she has reimagined them as Super Science Heroes! The first book in this series, MARIE CURIE AND THE POWER OF PERSISTENCE, made its debut this year—and now, it’s time to open the curtains on a follow-up title.

The character in question this time is Alan Turing, and the book is aptly titled: ALAN TURING AND THE POWER OF CURIOSITY. Are you curious yet? You should be! This fantastic book will once again be illustrated by the talented Annalisa Beghelli, and published by Sourcebooks.

Hooray, and three cheers for Karla and team!


Have you met Lana Lynn yet? This adorable sheep made her picture book debut last fall, in LANA LYNN HOWLS AT THE MOON – and she quickly worked her way into the hearts of readers everywhere. And when a reader wants more, what is a happy author, illustrator, and publisher to do?

Why, sign up a sequel, of course!

Here is the official news-that-matters:

 Kathy Landwehr at Peachtree has acquired World rights to Lana Lynn and the New Watchdog, written by Rebecca Van Slyke and illustrated by Anca Sandu. In this sequel to Lana Lynn Howls at the Moon, our titular feisty young sheep takes on a new job guarding the flock—with unexpected and hilarious results. The author was represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency, and the illustrator represented herself. The book will be published in Fall 2021. 

Three cheers for Rebecca and the whole Lana Lynn team! (And don’t forget that waiting for the sequel gives you plenty of time to catch up on the original that started it all. Don’t miss out!!)