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April 2021

…but the protagonist of her most newly contracted picture book does not!

Or at least, he doesn’t at FIRST. 

Just out in PW Children’s Bookshelf:

Kate O’Sullivan at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has signed  NYT bestselling author of the Caldecott Honor-winning OUTSIDE IN  Deborah Underwood’s THE MAN WHO DIDN’T LIKE ANIMALS, illustrated by the Caldecott Honor winning, New York Times bestselling LeUyen Pham for publication in spring 2024. The picture book tells the story of a man whose life is changed by the stubbornness and affection of a parade of animals who come to live with him. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented Underwood and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented Pham in the deal for world rights.

(How much do I love that the author of the Caldecott Honor-winning OUTSIDE IN and the creator of the Caldecott Honor-winning OUTSIDE, INSIDE have joined forces?)

I can’t wait to share this one! Congratulations, Deborah!


There’s a new book on the horizon from master storyteller Adi Rule, and this one is gonna be a chiller! Have you ever had “that one person” in your life who you couldn’t quite pin down? Are they legit . . . or are they devious and manipulative? And why are you the only one who can see it??

This is the premise at the heart of Adi Rule’s new thrill ride of a YA novel – and here’s all the details you need to know:

Maya Marlette at Scholastic has acquired Adi Rule’s Why Would I Lie? a twisty YA psychological thriller about a high school senior and class valedictorian who becomes obsessed with proving that a charismatic classmate is not all that he seems. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights, and for publication in fall 2022.

This book can’t come out fast enough; rest assured we will be on the edge of our seats until then! Huge congrats, Adi!!

- Joan

Somehow, the month of April is upon us, and (for those of us on the East Coast at least) this is extra good news: Spring is on the horizon! And that seems to be as good a time as any for a little weather-related flashback, as we announce an exciting new, shivery-winter deal for talented and prolific picture book creator, Maria Gianferrari.

Here’s the details for ya:

<<Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has acquired world rights to Ice Cycle by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Jieting Chen. This poetry collection explores the many forms ice can take and the many names for it, from frost to cat ice to frazil. Publication is set for fall 2022;  Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.>>

This gorgeous poetic exploration hits all the right notes, and will be just the thing to sweep us back through into the wonders of winter when the right time comes. Stay tuned and mark those calendars!

Congratulations, Maria!

 - Joan

What a thrilling day to introduce a debut talent onto the children’s book publishing scene—and not just any talent, but a spectacular new illustrator! I was first introduced to Jerry Jordan through a chance retweet; after seeing samples of his work as a fine art painter, I was blown away. (Here, take a look for yourself—you’ll see what I mean: (I know, right??!)

Without any hesitation, I reached out to Jerry to ask if he had any interest in illustrating children’s books. He did, and we set up a time to talk, and things moved forward from there. 

That was how it started, folks, and I am thrilled to say that book publishers are responding to Jerry’s work with every bit of the enthusiasm I was expecting! And to kick things off, here is our first thrilling deal announcement for Jerry Jordan’s debut picture book:

Christy Ottaviano at Christy Ottaviano Books/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired World rights to MARCHING FOR THE VOTE: THE STORY OF IDA B. WELLS AND THE WOMEN’S MARCH OF 1913 written by Dinah Johnson (Black Magic) and with illustrations by acclaimed fine art painter Jerry Jordan in his picture book debut. Scheduled for Winter 2023, this nonfiction picture book tells the story of Ida B. Wells and her life as a suffragist, with a focus on the Women’s March of 1913. Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal for the author; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency negotiated the deal for the illustrator. 

I couldn’t be more thrilled for you, Jerry! Welcome to the kids’ book world!!

- Joan

Five Minutes: (That

Five Minutes: (That's a Lot of Time) (No, It's Not) (Yes, It Is)
Liz Garton Scanlon
Audrey Vernick

There is something extra-magical about a co-authorship that shows off the strengths of both writers and just hums along making good things happen. So it goes with Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, who first paired in BOB, NOT BOB and most recently published FIVE MINUTES (THAT’S A LOT OF TIME) (NO, IT’S NOT) (YES, IT IS). Humor and heart, that’s this co-authorship in a nutshell!

FIVE MINUTES was sold at auction to Stephanie Pitts/Putnam in a two-book deal, and at last, we’re ready to tell the world about book #2:

THE WORLD’S BEST CLASS PLANT, in which a group of kids is terribly disappointed in the lack of a class pet—until a class plant turns out to be the best thing ever, is now scheduled for summer 2023 (in time for back to school), and will be illustrated by the wonderful Lynnor Bontigao (repped by Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency). 

I can’t wait for you to meet the kids and of course the real star of the show—the plant—in this book!

Congratulations, Liz and Audrey!


Lusia Harris was an Olympian and the first WOMAN to be officially drafted by the National Basketball Association and her story will inspire so many young readers. Matched with Keith Mallett’s gorgeous illustrations, this is going to be a wonderful book.

Carolyn Yoder at Calkins Creek has acquired North American rights to Give the Ball to Lucy by Alice Faye Duncan (Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop; Just Like a Mama), illustrated by Keith Mallet, a picture book that details the story of Lusia Harris, a U.S. Olympian from the Mississippi Delta and the first woman to be officially drafted by the National Basketball Association. Publication is planned for 2024; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.  

Congratulations, Alice Faye!