Egmont Books will publish Australian children's series Real Pigeons, written by Andrew McDonald and illustrated by Ben Wood.
Lindsey Heaven, publishing director for fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for three books from Charlotte Bodman at Rights People, acting on behalf of Australian independent publisher Hardie Grant Egmont. The first book in the series, Real Pigeons Fight Crime, will be published in April 2021.
The synopsis for the title reads: "Did you know your city is protected by a secret squad of crime-fighting pigeons? It’s true! With master of disguise Rock Pigeon, bendy Tumbler, strong Frillback and super-finder Homey, the Real Pigeons are here to solve mysteries, catch bad guys and make you laugh your beak off."
The deal comes after the series was picked up for development by Nickelodeon, which struck a deal with James Corden and Ben Winston, and their production company Fulwell 73, to produce an animated movie and TV series based on the books.
Heaven commented: "Real Pigeons has been such a massive hit in Australia and we can’t wait for our feathered crime-fighting friends to fly round the other side of the world and win over all the young readers here in the UK. We’re delighted that the major streaming deal with Nickelodeon means that millions of children have another way to immerse themselves in this hilariously addictive world."