Canongate is to publish illustrated children's book The Biggest Footprint by brothers Rob and Tom Sears next year.
Hannah Knowles, editorial director, acquired world all language rights in the non-fiction title from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown.
The synopsis states: "There are 7.8 billion of us. All breathing, eating, drinking and thinking deep thoughts. It’s an unimaginably large number. Or is it?
"The Biggest Footprint introduces the megahuman: all the people in the world smooshed into one giant human being. Although it’s a big, lumbering creature, the megahuman is slowly beginning to understand the problems it has created for Planet Earth by consuming so much. Other smooshed animals and objects, from giant giraffes to whopping great burgers, help the megahuman learn how to stop damaging the world and make it a happier, healthier place to live.
"Every page of The Biggest Footprint is packed with brain-bending stats. For example, did you know that if all the tigers in the world were made into one single big cat, it would fit on the toenail of the megahuman? And that it would take you 2,500 years to speak to every human on earth for just 10 seconds?
"Join the megahuman on a journey of self-discovery, perfect for all humans great and small."
Rob Sears has written comedy and fiction for McSweeney’s and is the author of the tongue-in-cheek series The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin: Life Coach and Choose Your Own Apocalypse with Kim Jong-un & Friends. He said: "I enjoy writing irreverently about things that scare me, and I've long wanted to find a non-heavy way to tackle how humans treat the planet. The Biggest Footprint actually began as an illustrated thought experiment about how huge our species is. Then, as we planned out the book on the wall of Tom’s shed, and discussed our ideas with Gordon and Hannah, we saw that it could also be a fable about humans collectively turning over a new leaf."
Tom Sears is a London-based illustrator and animator. Before going freelance, he managed the in-house creative studio at London Zoo, designing and producing immersive exhibitions and experiences (for the visitors, and sometimes for the animals too). He also illustrated Vladimir Putin: Life Coach.
He added: "We’re always hearing extraordinary stats about the state of our planet, but often the numbers are hard to get your head round. The Biggest Footprint uses fantastical illustrations to visualise the true scale of humanity, the considerable mess we make, and just how big we’ve become compared to almost every other species on earth. Hopefully some of the strange scenes in the book will stick in people’s heads and not slide straight out their ears like statistics are prone to."
Knowles said: "It’s wonderful to reunite with Rob and Tom on the story of another human wreaking destruction on the earth. This is a characteristically witty, brilliantly original, beautifully illustrated and timely book for kids and adults alike to help us all wake up to the perils of mass consumption and climate change."
Publication of The Biggest Footprint will be in spring 2021.