Faber will publish Eoin McLaughlin's picture book The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug in June, a follow-up to the pandemic-inspired While We Can’t Hug (Faber). The series is illustrated by Polly Dunbar.
While We Can't Hug was published last summer to provide "invaluable support in bringing families together during extremely challenging and unprecedented times". The title has sold 34,655 print copies via Nielsen BookScan in the UK, not including lockdown era sales.
World rights for the second title were acquired by Faber publisher Leah Thaxton from James Catchpole at the Catchpole Agency.
The synopsis reads: "After a long hibernation, Hedgehog awakes desperate to be reunited with best friend Tortoise... but Tortoise isn’t to be found anywhere! A charming and touching new tale, The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug is a much-needed celebration of friendship and reuniting with loved ones."
The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug will be published on 29th June 2021 in paperback and 1st July 2021 in a small format hardback.
Thaxton said: "There’s so much comfort in this book. The heart-warming title is a hug in itself. Yes the wait will be worth it; yes we will come out of this; yes there will be hugs galore. I think we all need to hear this message. Thank you, Eoin and Polly, for your grace and wisdom!"
McLaughlin commented: "It’s been very special to see Hedgehog and Tortoise help so many children cope with social distancing this year. We never intended to keep them apart, so it’s with extreme joy that Polly and I have brought them back together. A reminder of the people we’ve missed, as well as the happiness waiting for us when we can finally hug them again."
Dunbar added: "I’m so delighted that Hedgehog and Tortoise meet again and they can hug at last – yippee! These characters have become friends to me so to illustrate a third book was an absolute joy, especially a story that is so full of hope and happiness, just what we need... and of course is very funny too."