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June 2021

One of the best feelings as an agent is being able to open an email, click on a document, begin to read, and—instantly find yourself transported into an entirely different place, world, universe. Some stories land in your Inbox—and your heart!—pretty much fully formed, and never was that more the case than with Tara Dairman’s THE GIRL FROM EARTH’S END. 

Want a teaser? Here is the story thumbnail…

Twelve-year-old Henna has lived her whole life on the tiny island of Earth’s End, with her dads and the most occasional visitor via the supply boat. Her days are packed full, and Henna is never happier than when she is tending to her plants. But the discovery that her papa Niall is fatally ill, and that there is a mysterious and nearly extinct plant that could save his life, changes everything. Henna knows that she must do anything to find him that cure—even if it means, for the first time in her life, venturing out beyond the boundary of Earth’s End.

Earth’s End—and its surroundings—is one of those places that lives long in the mind, and Henna and her friends are unforgettable. I am overjoyed to say that this outstanding MG adventure has found its perfect home at Candlewick Press, with Christine Engels at its editorial helm. Watch for this book on shelves in spring 2023! 

Congratulations, Tara!

Cynthia Levinson continues to come up with great texts exploring important events that affect the rights of kids in America. Next up is FREE TO LEARN: HOW ALFREDO LOPEZ FOUGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO GO TO SCHOOL, a picture book based on the true story of a boy whose family was part of Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court case that won access to education for undocumented immigrant children in the U.S. It is sad that America needs reminders of advances like these and needs to be introduced anew to the thinking behind them!

Atheneum, which published Cynthia’s THE YOUNGEST MARCHER, will publish, with Sophia Jimenez editing (we love the first deal with a new-to-us editor!), and the incredibly talented Mirelle Ortega (repped by James Burns at The Bright Agency) will illustrate.

It’s due spring 2024, which can’t come soon enough! Congratulations, Cynthia!

—Erin

What’s better than one new book? Oh, boy. Let me say this: It’s not every day that you get to announce a two-book deal for one author—from TWO different publishers!

It all comes down to the fabulously talented Maria Gianferrari’s keen eye for the natural world, and her irresistible voice in sharing that view with the rest of us. Without further ado, here are the two books which I’m thrilled to share news of today:

YOU AND THE BOWERBIRD is a lyrical story which follows two bowerbirds and their very colorful adventures (including trickery and sabotage) while a young child observes their behaviors, nest-building, and vibrant display-making. This unique and gorgeous tale has been paired with art by NYT bestselling illustrator Maris Wicks for a whopper of a gorgeous book, signed on by Emily Feinberg at Roaring Book and heading your way in 2024.

FUNGI GROW is the absolutely definitive ode to the time-honored mushroom–from food to forest and back again, getting up close and personal with this intriguing, essential, and often under-appreciated specimen, all wrapped in a fun and kid-friendly parcel, for maximum enjoyment. This book will be illustrated by the brilliant Diana Sudyka, and is publishing with Andrea Welch at Beach Lane in 2023.

The only problem I’m seeing with all this good nature literature is – how on earth will we wait until publication date?? Huge congrats to Maria and all these talented teams!

- Joan

Some book connections take time to find their perfect home; other ones just seem to jump magically into the outstretched arms of that perfect editorial connection. And never was the latter more the case than with Curtis Manley’s latest picture book deal.

CLIMBING THE VOLCANO is a non-fiction leaning text written entirely in a series of haiku. It tells the story of a family’s hike up the dormant volcano South Sister, as seen through the eyes of a young narrator who is making that trek. Rich with detail and grounded in Curtis’s own experiences hiking this mountain, the result is a delightful and inspiring celebration of poetry and nature and mountainous majesty. 

And great was our delight when this submission found an immediate connection in Neal Porter. Almost before we knew it, the deal had been made, including a pairing with the talented Jennifer K. Mann to illustrate. The resulting picture book is planned for spring 2024, and I for one can’t wait to see the finished product!

Congrats to Curtis and all!

- Joan

I'm sure If you follow Janet Fox on social media at all, you have had a window into life in Montana, where snow comes much earlier in the fall and later in the spring than in most places. It’s no wonder that Janet is well aware of the pleasure of growing green things indoors when the ground is too frozen for outside gardening. And it’s a short hop from that to celebrating those joys in a picture book—a particularly lush and lyrical one, in Janet’s hands.

I am pleased to say that this picture book, WINTERGARDEN, has been signed by Neal Porter at his eponymous Holiday House imprint, and he has matched illustrator Jasu Hu (repped by Marzena Torzecka of the Marlena Agency) to the text. Jasu has a book on Neal’s list that will be out next spring, and we’re very excited about seeing what she does with WINTERGARDEN, which is slated for fall 2023.

Congratulations, Janet!

—Erin

One of the wonderful things about bookmaking is that it transcends time and season—for instance: here we are, poised on the verge of summer, the days heating up and the sun chasing away the clouds (here in the northeast, anyway!). But in book-land, big fat flakes of snow might be falling on a tiny confectioner’s store, where in the window, a small spun-sugar dancing girl awaits her moment to shine. 

Does this sound a book you’d like to read? Here’s the official deal announcement:

Katherine Harrison at Knopf Children’s has acquired at auction ESPERANZA CARAMELO by Lotería author Karla Arenas Valenti with illustrations by Pura Belpré honoree Elisa Chavarri. In the vein of the Nutcracker or Doña Flor, this is a tale of spun-sugar ornaments come to life and cake catastrophe averted on the eve of Nochebuena. Publication is slated for Fall 2023. Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author and Claire Easton of Painted Words represented the illustrator in the deal for World rights.

For yet another dose of wonder, this picture book text was inspired by Karla’s own grandmother, a baker and creator of extraordinary spun-sugar figurines. It was a special joy to sell this book at auction, and to see it paired with such a perfect illustrator.

Huge congratulations, Karla!

-- Joan