As Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019 kicks off, children’s publishers are preparing for a bus load of Brexit-inspired characters to hit bookshelves — though publication dates are proving tricky.
“This year is going to be all about EUnicorns and merMays,” predicted an editor at Scholastic.
Macmillan Children’s Books has this morning announced it will release an updated edition of The Gruffalo by outspoken anti-Brexit author-illustrator duo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, titled The GrEUffalo.
It's the GrEUffalo! That is actually Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson...! pic.twitter.com/vINGz5N5ah— Jeremy Trevathan (@JezzaTrev) March 23, 2019
The Gruffalo isn’t the only children’s classic getting a political twist. Egmont is planning a series of reimagined fairytales, including Snow White and the 27 Member States and Goldilocks and the Three Meaningful Votes.
Meanwhile, Usborne will publish a new instalment in its popular That’s Not My series. That’s not my Brexit will follow the template of previous books in the series, with pages such as “That’s not my Brexit. It is too soft.”
Several children’s publishers have told The Bookseller that release dates are a concern. A spokesperson for Usborne said: “We are planning to publish when the UK exits from the European Union, so we were all ready to launch on 29th March, but had to postpone. We’re now watching the BBC News Channel every day with the warehouse on speed dial.”
Others reported that foreign publishers had already shown considerable interest saying: “They are looking to our books to help them make sense of what’s happening with Brexit.”
Brexit turmoil continues with further Parliamentary votes expected today, 1st April.