Ladybird, part of Penguin Random House Children’s, has acquired a picture book about Mabel, an unlikely hero, from self-taught author and illustrator Kim Hillyard.
Mabel and the Mountain: A Story About Believing in Yourself follows Mabel the fly, as she sets her sights on climbing a mountain, much to the disbelief of her friends.
Shannon Cullen, Ladybird’s publishing director, acquired world rights in a two-book deal directly from the author. She said: “In our Ladybird picture-book range we publish stories with a purpose. These are great stories in their own right that also help a child to learn about the world around them, whether that’s making bedtime less challenging, gently introducing a new experience, or a toolkit to understand complex topics like emotions or mindfulness.
“Everyone at Ladybird instantly fell in love with Kim’s fabulous and charming storytelling and pictures. Kim has a wonderful ability to bring warmth, humour and natural charm to serious topics like peer pressure, which parents may struggle to discuss with their young children.”
Hillyard has a degree in drama from the University of Exeter and spent nine years working as a music journalist. She has also worked as a drama and arts facilitator, delivering storytelling workshops in schools and bookshops.
Mabel and the Mountain: A Story About Believing in Yourself is scheduled for UK paperback publication in spring 2020. A second standalone book will be released in 2021.