Walker Books signs new picture book series from Klassen

Walker Books signs new picture book series from Klassen

Walker Books Group has acquired rights to a new children’s picture book by Caldecott medallist Jon Klassen.

Executive editorial director and associate publisher Liz Bicknell signed world rights to The Rock from the Sky for the Walker Books Group from Steve Malk at Writers House. The picture book will be released globally in March 2021.

The author and illustrator has seen global success with his 2011 solo debut I Want My Hat Back (Candlewick Press) told the story of a bear who had lost his hat. The book’s companion title This Is Not My Hat became the first to receive both the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal.

According to The Rock from the Sky’s, the book is “is a hilarious meditation on friendship, fate, and that funny feeling you get when there’s something off but you just can’t put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with his trademark wry wit and existential silliness, Klassen has created a wholly original comedy for the ages.”

Bicknall said: “I love Klassen’s proud, somewhat petulant turtle and his friends armadillo and snake. This book is Shakespearean in its portrayal of human frailty.”

To date, the Canadian’s books have sold four million copies and have been translated into 27 languages worldwide, according to Walker. He has sold 200,136 copies in the UK through Nielsen for £1.3m with I Want My Hat Back his bestseller on 104,515 copies sold. 

Klassen previously worked as an animator, contributing to feature films "Kung Fu Panda" and "Coraline".