Puffin will publish the first children’s book by West End actress and author Carrie Hope Fletcher, inspired by Ballet Shoes with official endorsement from Noel Streatfeild’s Estate.
World rights were acquired by Carmen McCullough, commissioning editor at Penguin Random House Children’s, from Hannah Ferguson at Hardman & Swainson with publication set for September 2020, to coincide with the 125th anniversary of Noel Streatfeild’s birth and the 80th anniversary of Puffin.
"Inspired by the much-loved classic Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and created with the official endorsement of her estate, Fletcher’s Middle Grade début is a timeless yet contemporary tale of three adopted children who live in a rickety-old-theatre with their eccentric Great Aunt Maude; told throughout with exquisite humour, heart and warmth," Puffin said. Streatfeild's classic novel was originally published in 1936 and follows three orphans living in the 1930s.
Fletcher said: "Writing my first children’s novel is exciting enough but to be writing a Ballet Shoes-inspired novel with the endorsement of Noel Streatfeild’s estate? It’s more than I ever could have imagined. When I was growing up, books were pure magic. A sense of escapism when the world got a bit too loud and scary. It feels very special to now be able to provide that escapism for other children."
The Noel Streatfeild Estate said: "By a leap of imagination, Carrie uses Ballet Shoes as the backdrop in this tale of the theatre and inspiration."
McCullough said: "I could not be more thrilled to have acquired this very special book from Carrie in conjunction with the Noel Streatfeild estate. Carrie is a powerhouse of talent – I have long been a fan of her writing and her innate ability to balance contemporary settings with a classic nostalgic feel and a touch of magic. Writing for children is such a natural next step for Carrie and we are incredibly excited to welcome her to the Puffin family."
To accompany Fletcher's book and in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Noel Streatfeild’s birth, Puffin will also reissue the original Ballet Shoes in a "beautiful new package", the publisher said.
Fletcher is an actress, singer and vlogger with over a million subscribers. Her first book, All I Know Now, and first novel, On the Other Side, were published by Little, Brown. She won a WhatsOnStage Award for the role of Eponine in "Les Misérables" at the Queen's Theatre in London's West End, and has appeared in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "The Addams Family" musical and was part of the original West End cast of the musical "Heathers".