Lara Hancock will join Penguin Random House Children’s in the newly-created position of publisher for picture books and partnerships.
Hancock, who currently runs the picture book list at Simon & Schuster, will begin on 21st September reporting to Amanda Punter, publishing director for fiction, picture books and partnerships.
Hancock’s list will include authors and illustrators Allan Ahlberg, Julia Donaldson, Shirley Hughes, Raymond Briggs, Helen Oxenbury, as well as Beatrix Potter, Tom Fletcher, Ed Vere, Sophy Henn and Nadia Shireen. Hancock will also manage new partnerships with the likes of the V & A museum and closely with publisher Jo Hanks and editorial director, Andrea Macdonald, both of whom will report to her.
Hancock began her career as a bookseller, before joining OUP's sales team and then moving into editorial. She joined Egmont in 2004 and has worked on titles including Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and on classic publishing including Winnie the Pooh, Tintin, Rupert the Bear and Miffy. She joined S&S in 2012 as as editorial director for children's picture books and novelty following eight years with Egmont.
Punter said she was “delighted” by Hancock’s appointment and praised her “creative, child-focused and collaborative approach.” Punter said: “Her appointment is key to our plans for growing our picture books and illustrated list.
"Lara has an excellent understanding of the picture book market at home and internationally, and great experience working with classic brands such as Winnie the Pooh and Tintin, as well as with newer talent like Sue Hendra and Benji Davies.
“She has a commercial head combined with a creative, child-focused and collaborative approach.”
Hancock said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the Penguin Random House Children’s team. I’m very much looking forward to working across several areas of children’s illustrated publishing as part of a dynamic team with ambitions to grow.
She added: “It’s a fabulous opportunity and I am very excited about the future.”