Pamela Butchart will write two novels about Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven for Hodder Children’s Books.
The World Book Day author will be published by the Hachette Children’s Group with illustrations from Tony Ross.
Alex Antscherl, editorial director for Enid Blyton Entertainment - part of HCG, and representing every aspect of the Enid Blyton brand - secured world rights from Becky Bagnell of the Lindsay Literary Agency.
The first book, The Mystery of the Skull, will publish on 12th July 2018 with the second to come in early 2019, featuring “refreshed editions” of Ross’ original covers for the series, created by the illustrator in 2013.
Set in the same world as Blyton’s original stories, the new mysteries promise “all the fun, adventure and humour that Butchart is known for, while satisfyingly extending this much-loved series”.
The Secret Seven, the first of the 15 titles in the official series, was published in 1949 by Brockhampton Press, now an imprint of Hodder headline. Blyton's books have sold 9.8 million copies making £42.8m since 1998 according to Nielsen BookScan.
There has been much Blyton-related activity from the publishing world over the last six months and EBE first revealed a raft of new projects at Bologna Children’s Book Fair in April. HCG’s c.e.o Hilary Murray Hill said at the time: “There are many exciting developments in publishing, licensing, partnerships and rights to look forward to in 2017, enabling us to continue to place Enid Blyton well and truly at the heart of every childhood.”
Later that month, Hachette announced an “exclusive 18-month direct to consumer partnership” with The Book People promoting Blyton’s titles and Quercus published a new tranche of its multi-million pound selling parody series Enid Blyton for Grown Ups in February.
Butchart was revealed as one of the WBD authors last month with her book, The Baby Brother From Outer Space! (Nosy Crow), illustrated by Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow), listed for the 2018 offering.