Neal Porter has acquired Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds, about a bird who can't seem to fit in anywhere, for his imprint at Roaring Brook Press. The picture book, by the author of the Caldecott Honor-winning Creepy Carrots, will be illustrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies, author/illustrator of Ben Rides On and the forthcoming Ben Draws Trouble. Publication is scheduled for fall 2015; Paul Rodeen of Rodeen Literary Management negotiated the two-book deal for world rights on behalf of author and artist.
Regina Griffin at Egmont has bought debut author Frances Lee Hall's novel Fried Wonton, an illustrated chapter book in which comfort food takes on a new meaning for Lily Lo as she struggles to deal with Gung Gung's funny, old-fashioned ways. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015; Marietta Zacker of Nancy Gallt Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Christy Ottaviano of Christy Ottaviano Books at Henry Holt has acquired Smelly Baby, a picture book debut by Betsy Devany to be illustrated by Christopher Denise. Everybody thinks Smelly Baby is gross, but she is beloved by Lucy. No one understands how amazing Smelly Baby is – or so Lucy thinks until Smelly Baby is ripped from the family car. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016; Emily van Beek at Folio Literary Management did the deal on behalf of both Devany and Denise.
Caroline Abbey at Bloomsbury has acquired Jean Reidy's picture book text Sneak a Peek Construction Week, in which progress at a busy playground construction coincides with the progression of the days of the week, and will again pair Reidy with illustrator Leo Timmers, for a spring 2015 publication. The team's All Through My Town debuted earlier this year. Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary did the deal for world rights for Reidy; Timmers represented himself.
Liza Baker at Little, Brown has bought world rights to two Birdie picture books by Sujean Rim, who creates artwork for Daily Candy, Tiffany & Co, and UNAIDS, and the creator of the Birdie picture book series, for publication in spring 2015 and spring 2016. Baker also bought an untitled picture-book adventure starring a panda named Chee-Kee who struggles to adapt to a new land filled with unfamiliar customs, inspired by Rim's own family's immigration to the U.S., for fall 2016 publication. Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties brokered the deal for world rights.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin's Nancy Paulsen Books imprint has acquired world rights to Lori Nichols's Maple and Willow, the sequel to her debut, Maple, and two untitled picture books. The story follows two sisters who get in a fight after spending too much time together, only to realize that they like playing with each other much more than playing alone. Publication for Maple and Willow is planned for fall 2014; Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary brokered the deal.
Megan Tingley at Little, Brown has acquired I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai, a young readers’ edition of I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, written with Christina Lamb, which Little, Brown is publishing for adults this month. The book chronicles the story of this Pakistani girl who risked her life for the right to go to school; in October 2012, at age 15, she was shot in the head for her efforts to campaign for girls’ education. She survived the attack and has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and education. The new edition will be co-written with Patricia McCormick, and will be released in August 2014. I Am Malala will be edited by Farrin Jacobs and Elizabeth Bewley.
Paul McCartney's High in the Clouds will be adapted for a 3D CGI feature film, to be released in 2015. The picture book, which McCartney wrote with Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Geoff Dunbar, tells of a squirrel's quest to find a fabled animal sanctuary called Animalia. RGH Entertainment and Unique Features are partnering to produce the movie; Tony Bancroft (Bunyan and Babe; Mulan) will direct from a screenplay by Josh Klausner (Shrek Forever After; Date Night). McCartney will compose a number of original songs for the film.
Jean Feiwel and Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends have acquired two new YA novels from Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles quartet. The first, Heartless, is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland and will tell the untold story of the Queen of Hearts. Publication forHeartless is set for fall 2015, after the conclusion of the Lunar Chronicles in winter 2015. The second book will publish in fall 2016. Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Adah Nuchi of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired a middle-grade novel by YA author Elana K. Arnold (Sacred and its forthcoming sequel, Burning). In The Question of Miracles, scheduled for fall 2014 and set in perpetually rainy Oregon, Iris struggles to accept the death of her friend and tries to make sense of conflicting beliefs about souls and miracles. And in a second deal, Andrew Karre of Carolrhoda Lab bought Arnold's Infandous, set for spring 2015. In the YA novel, 17-year-old Sephora struggles with a secret so horrible she cannot speak of it even to those closest to her. Rubin Pfeffer at East West Literary Agency negotiated both sales.
Liza Kaplan at Philomel has acquired North American rights to former Hollywood actress Kerry Kletter's debut novel, The First Time She Drowned, in a two-book deal. In the first book, set for a summer 2015 release, 18-year-old Cassie O'Malley struggles to overcome a tumultuous – and at times, crazy – upbringing, and discovers the strength to break out of the role assigned to her by her family and start over. Catherine Drayton at InkWell Management did the deal.
Krista Vitola at Delacorte has acquired The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson. The middle-grade adventure, pitched as Harriet the Spy meets Coraline, follows 11-year-old Fairday, who moves into the haunted house on the hill with her parents and stumbles upon dark secrets hidden behind the padlocked third floor. Publication is scheduled for fall 2015; Rachael Dugas at Talcott Notch Literary was the agent.
Rebecca Short at Delacorte has bought Andy Brumbach's The Well of Midnight, a debut middle-grade adventure set in the 1920s, in which two cousins navigate the streets of New York City to recover an ancient mysterious mirror and save their grandfather. The book is slated for fall 2015. Danielle Chiotti at Upstart Crow Literary did the deal for North American and open market rights.
Christy Ottaviano of Christy Ottaviano Books at Henry Holt has acquired A Fairy Friend by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Claire Keane, a picture book about fairies and their miniature world. It's tentatively scheduled for fall 2015; Jennifer Unter of the Unter Agency did the deal for the author, and Steven Malk of Writers House represented the artist.
Andrew Karre at Carolrhoda Books has bought Vaunda Micheaux Nelson's picture book Great-Grandmother Nell. It's the story of the relationship between an African-American girl and her hard-to-love great-grandmother, whose own difficult youth is revealed through snippets of memory and precious objects from her past. Tracey Adams at Adams Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books has acquired world English rights to Mister Puffball, Stunt Cat to the Stars, a chapter book series by debut author-illustrator Constance Lombardo. The first in a three-book deal, Mister Puffball tells the story of a cat's theatrical aspirations and adventures behind the scenes in Hollywood. The book is scheduled for fall 2015; Lori Nowicki of Painted Words negotiated the deal.