Faber Children’s is publishing While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar, a picture book that "shows us how to be affectionate while social distancing".
World rights were acquired by editorial director Alice Swan from James Catchpole at the Catchpole Agency, with early rights deals confirmed in Germany, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia, and further deals in negotiation.
Swan said: "When someone jokingly suggested that we do a social distancing version of our bestseller The Hug by Polly Dunbar and Eoin McLaughlin, the idea stuck. Why not? And so in just six weeks we went from a fleeting thought to a final book! While We Can’t Hug encourages children to engage with their friends and family in meaningful, loving ways — wave, blow a kiss, write a letter — even if they can't hug them. It's the book that all our young readers need right now. A book that shows us love is powerful!"
The book is created by author-illustrator duo McLaughlin and Dunbar, whoseThe Hug sold 10,600 copies in paperback and 6,085 in hardback through Nielsen BookScan's UK Total Consumer Market. Dunbar has sold 98,142 books for £531,611 in total through the TCM.
She said: "Sometimes a story comes along that is so right it’s as if it was there all along. While We Can’t Hug is one of those. It’s a book I need to send to those I love just as soon as I can."
While We Can’t Hug has been published straight away in e-book, with hardback and paperback copies of the book available to pre-order for August 2020 publication.