The Hug has that rare feeling of being a perfect artwork. Sales in 13 languages pre-publication, with multiple auctions and pre-empts. Quite a debut for Eoin McLaughlin, and his partnership with Polly Dunbar.
Eoin’s second, with Ross Collins, follows soon after: Secret Agent Elephant. And Polly has a brilliant tantrum book to come later in the year: Red, Red, Red.
Emer Stamp roars back into the fray post-Pig with two books this year: Daddy Fartypants – a first picturebook with Matt Hunt – and then in June, the first of a new MG series called PESTS.
Sean Taylor has three from different publishers: Kiss The Crocodile with Ben Mantle has already chalked up several co-editions for Walker; My Mum Always Looks After Me So Much! is a funny, tender new title with Dave Barrow and Frances Lincoln; and Humperdink with Claire Alexander follows the success of The Snowbear for Quarto.
Michelle Robinson makes her debut for Walker with two beautiful books, The Pawed Piper and Tooth Fairy In Training; Jane McGuinness follows her hedgehogs with badgers in Tim Knapman’s lovely What’s Next?; and Dawn Casey brings us another blessing to follow Held In Love, this time for an Apple Cake, rather than a baby(!)
The Wonderbird is something very rare and special from David Lucas – a musing on togetherness and the transcendent. And we’re very excited indeed about Susannah Lloyd’s ferocious debut, The Terribly Friendly Fox with Ellie Snowdon, which tips its blood-flecked hat to Agatha Christie, no less.
And finally, Susan Pickford, aka Sue Cheung, tells the mind-blowing story of being dragged up rough through the 1980s, in the Chinese takeaways of Nottingham, Coventry and Hull. Chinglish gives children’s literature a whole new voice.