Walker signs Sophie Dahl picture book

Rights - Fiction Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Publisher has world rights in four titles; Lauren O'Hara will illustrate

Sophie Dahl has signed with Walker Books to publish her first book for children. Madame Badobedah (October 2019) will be illustrated by Lauren O'Hara, co-creator of Hortense and the Shadow and The Bandit Queen. Walker commissioning editor Emma Lidbury signed world rights for Madame Badobedah and three further titles from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown; Walker has world rights in O'Hara's illustrations through Angharad Kowal Stannus at the Kowal Stannus Agency.

The story follows a sparky young girl called Mabel who lives in a hotel by the sea. When an imperious old lady comes to stay, with her towering pile of bags and boxes and a host of exotic pets, Mabel's interest is piqued - who is this guest, how long is she staying, and why are her trunks full of gold?

Lidbury said: "Sophie's writing is so expressive and her voice is both playful and original and will connect directly with children. The unforgettable characters burst off the page and together with Lauren's art Madame Badobedah is set to be a picture book classic."

Dahl said: "I couldn't be more delighted that Walker Books, home to such an incredible stable of original, beloved authors, is publishing my first children's book. I feel honoured to be sharing this company, and most of all feel that Madame Badobedah has found a great home."

Dahl is the author previously of two cookbooks, of the illustrated novella The Man with the Dancing Eyes, and the novel Playing with the Grown-ups.

Photo of Sophie Dahl by Matt Easton

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