Kid Normal authors Greg James and Chris Smith are moving to Puffin for a three-book deal, kicking off with a middle-grade standalone featuring a "hospital heist, some banana-loving llamas and a talking cat called Bin Bag".
World rights for The Great Dream Robbery and two other standalones were bought by Penguin Random House Children's editorial director Carmen McCullough from Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown. The duo were previously published with Bloomsbury, and have sold more than 330,000 units of their four Kid Normal novels, plus a World Book Day title, through Nielsen BookScan UK; translation rights for the series have been sold into 22 territories.
The Great Dream Robbery—to be published in September 2021—will be "a high-concept caper packed with high-octane adventure, riotous humour and memorable characters both friendly and fearsome". It features 12-year-old Maya, who is desperate to fall asleep in order to save her father, Professor Dexter. The Professor invented a device that enables users to visit other people’s dreams, but the devious Lilith Delamere has trapped him inside a nightmare and Maya and the mysterious Dream Bandits must find a way to rescue him before it’s too late.
James and Smith said: "Along with everyone else, we spent the first part of lockdown making soda bread, sourdough bread and banana bread. But when we ran out of bread varieties, we decided to write a new book instead. And so in our gardens, in parks, at a social distance, has grown the tale of Maya Clayton and her incredible journey to save her father, the brilliant but slightly odd Professor Dexter, who has become trapped in a nightmare."
Both James and Smith are most famous for being BBC Radio 1 presenters: James hosts the morning "Breakfast Show", while Smith was the Radio 1 Newsbeat presenter. The two previously co-hosted the "That's What He Said" podcast. Their first Kid Normal book was published in 2017.
McCullough said: "The Great Dream Robbery brings together Greg and Chris’ very special brand of anarchic, playful humour, an extraordinary adventure and marvellous characters you can root for, including my personal favourite—the bold and brilliant Maya."