Penny Thomas, Publisher at award-winning children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in debut MG novel Michael the Amazing Mind-reading Sausage Dog by Terrie Chilvers, from Alice Williams at Alice Williams Literary.
Michael’s dream is to go from being an unknown pup to a Hollywoof sensation and global superstar. But becoming famous is no walkies in the park…
Thomas said: ‘We’re delighted to secure this hilarious story. Terrie has created a real star turn in Michael and we can’t wait to bring his adventures to his fans.’
‘The whole Firefly team fell in love with Michael’s charisma and charm,’ said editor Leonie Lock. ‘And I hope he inspires a new generation to aim high.’
Terrie Chilvers said: ‘I’m really excited to be working with Firefly and can’t wait for readers to get their paws on Michael’s story. I knew Firefly were the right publisher for me when Penny’s dog kicked off our first Zoom call with some vigorous digging and snuffling off camera. Firefly have some amazing authors and illustrators on their books and I’m proud to be joining the ranks.’
The book is slated for publication in spring 2023.
Penny Thomas, Publisher at children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Call Me Lion by Camilla Chester from Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates.
‘I’m not stupid. I’m not weird. I’m not ill. I’m Leo. I’m Leo and I’ve just turned ten. I’m Leo, I’ve just turned ten and I still can’t talk. There are lots of things I can do. I can dance, I can understand complicated words like humiliation and catatonic and I can bounce freestyle on my trampoline. But none of this matters when you can’t talk.’
Leo loves to dance. But he thinks it’s impossible to have friends when he can’t talk. So why is Richa, the girl who has just moved in next door still trying? There’s a heatwave in Luton and it’s too hot for him to think about all of this complicated stuff. But Leo’s life is about to change…
Call Me Lion is a testament to the power of friendship, understanding, communication and expression in all its forms.
‘This is such a wonderful, bittersweet but happy book,’ said Thomas. ‘The characters bubble with life and energy, and we are delighted to be publishing their story.’
Camilla Chester said: ‘Firefly is exactly the right publisher for both myself and Call Me Lion. I feel in very safe hands and excited about the next part of our journey.’
The novel is slated for publication in summer 2022.
Penny Thomas, Publisher at award-winning children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in moving MG novel Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs? by Simon Packham from Anne Clark at the Anne Clark Literary Agency (ACLA).
Archie Ebbs has the perfect life. Good friends, a nice home and classmates who laugh at (nearly) all his jokes. But all that is about to change. As his family lose their home and move into temporary housing, Archie has his own worries … is he really starting to become invisible?
While his older sister is determined to hide their situation from her friends, Archie finds himself disappearing. But being invisible isn’t half as much fun as it ought to be. Only with the help of his new (and also invisible) neighbour, Zofia, can he get back his beloved cat, Dinger, and start to make himself visible again.
‘More and more children in the UK live in precarious home circumstances but treating a serious subject with sometimes laugh-out-loud humour is a rare skill,’ said editor Rebecca Lloyd. ‘Archie is a brilliant, relatable and heart-warming character who carries his story with a lightness of touch that had me rooting for him from the off.’
Simon Packham said: ‘I felt that the story of hidden homelessness needed to be told and I hope that through Archie’s voice, I’ve found a way to tell it that will strike a chord with younger readers.’
The novel is slated for publication in spring 2022 with a cover design by Becka Moor.
Penny Thomas, Publisher at children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press has acquired UK English rights in multi-award-winning Welsh language novel The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros, from Christopher Combemale at Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
A prize-winner in three categories of the 2019 Wales Book of the Year Award and Winner of the 2018 National Eisteddfod Prose Medal, The Blue Book of Nebo (Llyfr Glas Nebo) is a spellbinding and minutely observed story of Dylan and his mother who survive the year ‘The End’ comes.
Isolated in their lonely hillside home near Nebo in north Wales, with no idea what has happened to the world they knew before it was destroyed in a devastating attack, mother and son begin to confide their experiences, memories and secrets in a notebook – the Blue Book of Nebo.
What unfolds is a compelling and intimate account of what is left behind when everyday 21 st century life vanishes; and a changing relationship as Dylan grows up in a world like no other, where he must protect his small family, and still keep his own secrets.
‘This is a subtle and beautifully told story of survival and adolescence against an eerie and unsettling backdrop, that will speak to YA and adult readers alike,’ said Thomas. ‘We are very proud to be publishing this book, which has been adapted into English by the author.’
Manon Steffan Ros said: ‘It’s an honour to be able to work with a publishing house that I have admired since its beginnings. I’m excited about sharing The Blue Book of Nebo with a new audience, and am delighted that it has found a new home with Firefly.’
The Blue Book of Nebo has so far sold in eight territories, including France, Spain, Poland, Egypt and the US. It will be publishing in the UK in PB in January 2022.
Firefly Press have contracted Louise Forshaw to illustrate Major and Mynah by Karen Owen, slated for publication in summer 2022.
Karen Owen fell in love with books and stories at a young age. She read whenever and wherever she could. She’s been a journalist, a creative writing teacher, and an author.
Karen has written stories (real and imaginary) on everything from noisy elephants to the nomads of Mongolia. She is the author of picture books As Quiet as a Mouse (Maverick Arts Publishing) and I Could Be, You Could Be (Barefoot Books). Karen was brought up in Kent and currently lives in London. Find out more at www.karenowen.co.uk and on Twitter @AuthorKarenOwen
Louise Forshaw is an illustrator lives in a small town in the North East just outside Newcastle upon Tyne with her fiancé and 3 noisy Jack Russell Terriers.
Studying Illustration and Animation at Newcastle College, she graduated in 2008 before turning her attention to children’s books. To date, Louise has illustrated over 50 children’s books and is probably best known for her work on the ‘Busy’ series with Campbell Books and the ‘Find Out About’ series with Pat-a-Cake. When not drawing, Louise loves watching animated films and adding to her already overflowing ‘to be read’ pile and reading lots of books. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @Munkey_Pants
In Major and Mynah things are being stolen all over town, but 9-year-old Callie Major has other things to worry about – her dreaded new hearing aids, ‘The Slugs’. But when she meets Bo, an abandoned Mynah bird, she discovers something amazing; thanks to her new hearing aids, she can hear him! Can she use her Slugs to help catch the thief and save the day?
Firefly Press is publishing The Song that Sings Us, an epic environmental adventure novel by renowned children’s author Nicola Davies. The title publishes as a gift hardback this autumn, complete with stunning cover and chapter head illustrations by award-winning illustrator Jackie Morris.
Harlon has been raised to protect her younger siblings, twins Ash and Xeno, and their outlawed power of communicating with animals. But when the sinister Automators attack their mountain home they must flee for their lives. Xeno is kidnapped and Harlon and Ash are separated.
In a thrilling and dangerous adventure each must journey alone through the ice fields, forests and oceans of Rumyc to try to rescue the others and fulfil a mysterious promise about a lost island made to their mother.
‘Nicola Davies has written a thrilling rollercoaster adventure which is also a love-song to our planet,’ said editor Penny Thomas. ‘It’s a rare and wonderful combination with an urgent, deeply moving and profoundly hopeful story to tell.’
Award-winning illustrator, Jackie Morris, said: ‘This book has the feel of an absolute modern classic about it … with stunning characters and sublime poetry wrapped around action. Hope and beauty are a hard song to sing, but Nicola does, and this is it. Her work shines.’
Firefly is also releasing limited edition signed proofs with exclusive pencil-drawn cover artwork from Jackie and a letter from Nicola to trade next month. Booksellers who would like to receive a signed proof are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.