Nosy Crow has signed a four-book deal with Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winner Philip Ardagh, with Axel Scheffler to illustrate.
M.d. Kate Wilson acquired world rights all languages directly in the unagented deal to The Grunts, about "a disgustingly disgruntled family".
The titles will follow the adventures of Mr and Mrs Grunt "who are neither clean nor clever" and who live with their "adopted—in fact, abducted—son, Sunny, in a donkey-drawn caravan in a time and place not quite like our own".
Wilson said: "Philip makes me laugh—as a person and as an author. . . His combination of professionalism and irreverence make him the perfect Nosy Crow author, and we are pleased and flattered that he's chosen to publish with us. Pairing him with Axel Scheffler is going to make this an utterly irresistible series for children of 8 and up."
Ardagh said: "I'm delighted that The Grunts, my latest series of (very silly) novels, is to be published by Nosy Crow with the crow so fresh from the egg, and still slightly yolky."
Scheffler added: "It's been several years since I've illustrated fiction, but there was an anarchy and humour in the outrageous Grunt characters that really appealed to me, and I look forward to working with Philip on his series with Nosy Crow."
The first title, The Grunts in Trouble, will be published in May 2012.