Hachette Children's signs picture book on positive thinking

Rights - Children Friday, 08 February 2019

Ready, Rabbit? by author-illustrator Fiona Roberton will be out in January 2020

Hachette Children's Group has signed a 'powerful' new picture book by author-illustrator Fiona Roberton, author of the bestselling A Tale of Two Beasts (published by Hodder Children's Books), which has sold 220,000 copies globally.

Emma Layfield, group picture book publisher at Hachette Children's Group, has bought world rights for Ready, Rabbit? The deal was brokered with Caroline Walsh at David Higham. Ready, Rabbit? publishes in hardback in January 2020 with paperback following in April 2020.

The book is described as an 'empowering story about overcoming social anxiety, delivered with Fiona Roberton's characteristic wit and style.' Little Rabbit has been invited to a party, 'but is not at all sure that it will be as fun as everyone says... Yes, there will be cake and carrots – but what if it's too loud? And what if Rabbit gets tired and wants to come home?'

Layfield said: "Once again Fiona proves she is the master of creating a resonant emotional landscape with simple, crisp line drawings and minimal detail. Ready, Rabbit? is a sweet and funny story about the power of positive thinking that will resonate with children and adults!"

Roberton (pictured) said: "I think it's pretty normal for people of any age, even the ones who love to party, to think 'perhaps I should feign sickness or even abduction', just to avoid leaving the house, and I wanted to get the humour of that across. It's tempting as adults to get a bit anxious ourselves when talking to children about these kinds of emotions, and I wanted to reassure them that the promise of some good tunes and a tasty carrot can coax even the greatest of introverts out of the house."

Roberton won the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award for her debut book, Wanted: The Perfect Pet (also published by Hodder).

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