Frances Lincoln Children’s Books will publish The B on your Thumb written by Colette Hiller and illustrated by Tor Freeman, a collection of rhymes to help young readers boost their reading and spelling.
Katie Cotton acquired world rights from Anwen Hooson at Bird Literary Agency, for Hiller, and from Penny Holroyde at Holroyde Cartey for Freeman. It will publish in hardback in September.
The book aims to help young readers "navigate the strange and tricky terrain that is the English language", with such rhymes as: "The Sh in Your Shoe; Which Witch?; Enough of Uff; See with Two Es; and The Story of Q and U (a love story explaining why the letters are always together)."
Hiller, a writer and arts producer, who for many years worked in BBC Education, said: “I believe passionately that even very young children are receptive to the joy of wordplay. My hope is that this collection will entertain and instil a love of language, whilst also teaching young readers ditties and tricks to help with their reading and spelling."
Cotton added: “I’m struck by how many parents have told me they’re reluctant to start teaching their own kids to read—there seems to be a palpable fear about ‘getting it wrong’ or not being in tune with the latest phonics scheme at school. Rhyme is an age-old way of remembering things—who can forget I before E—and I couldn’t understand why there weren’t more rhymes to help literacy. Then suddenly, Colette’s poems appeared in my inbox, like they’d fallen from the sky. Coupled with Tor’s humorous personifications, I think this book could revolutionise how children and families engage with the task of learning English; it’s utterly barrier-breaking”.