Egmont has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly series of graphic novels after a “hotly contested” multi-publisher auction.
The series is about Narwhal, a happy-go-lucky character, who teams up with no-nonsense Jelly, a jellyfish, for adventures, waffles and parties, and combines short stories with facts and jokes about the ocean. They are fully illustrated in colour.
Fiction editorial director Lindsey Heaven acquired four books from Ellen Greenberg from the Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency and will publish the first two titles in May next year. Sales of the first three titles have already reached 600,000 in the US only two years after publication, according to Egmont.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Ben and the utterly charming Narwhal and Jelly to the Egmont pod,” said Heaven. “This witty, warm and underwatery young graphic novel series is perfect for young Key Stage 1 children looking for their first ‘reading book’ after picture books. The minimal but perfectly-judged level of text with full-colour comic illustrations makes this a real market changer for the age group. As an editor, and parent of small people, I have been looking for something like this to fill a significant gap in the market for a very long time.”
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea! and Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt will be released on 2nd May (p/b, £5.99).