Independent publisher Child's Play will publish two more picture books by Romani author Richard O’Neill, as part of his Romani Tales series.
The publisher acquired exclusive world rights direct from the author. The first of the new books, Can Caravan, will be published in late 2021 and is billed as a "community-focused book" which will follow a girl with a passion for design and technology who collects cans for her local recycling plant and uses the metal to create a new state-of-the-art caravan for an elderly neighbour.
The previous books in the series, Ossiri and the Bala Mengro (2016), Yokki and the Parno Gry (2016), Polonius the Pit Pony (2018) and The Lost Homework (2019), were also published by Child's Play.
Neil Burden, c.e.o. of Child’s Play, said: "We're thrilled to be working with Richard again. More than ever before, the traditional Romani values of hard work, honesty, empathy, resilience and resourcefulness deserve to be celebrated and spread far and wide. What’s more, publishing these books is only part of the story. Richard’s energy and endeavour, particularly in schools and libraries, is keeping alive the ancient tradition of oral storytelling, which is crucial to our ongoing sense of community and shared humanity."
O'Neill commented: "I'm delighted with this new deal, the Child’s Play team are fabulous to work with. The quality of everything they do, including the finish of the books, is first class and their ethical approach and respect for my artistic freedom played a big part in my agreeing to the new deal."
O'Neill is the author of 12 children's books and was the recipient of the National Literacy Hero award in 2014. He also founded the UK's Diverse Book Week, which takes place in June each year.