HarperCollins Children’s Books has scooped an “exquisite” new picture book from Oliver Jeffers, written and illustrated for his young daughter.
Executive publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh acquired world rights from Paul Moreton at Bell Lomax Moreton. What We’ll Build will publish globally on 6th October, with simultaneous release in audio and e-book.
The book is billed as the perfect companion to Oliver’s 2017 bestseller, Here We Are, which was inspired by the birth of his son and sold one million copies worldwide, according to HarperCollins.
Its synopsis explains: “What We’ll Build is an enchanting story of a father and a daughter who set about laying the foundations for their life together, building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe and love to keep them warm. This rare and enduring story is about a parent’s boundless love, life’s endless opportunities and challenges, and the tools needed to build a together future.”
Jeffers said: “When my son was born, Here We Are was written for him as I tried to make sense of the world for both of us. Not long after our daughter was born, I realised I’d never hear the end of it if she didn’t get a book too, so it’s a good thing I was experiencing a not-dissimilar internal dialogue of transition with new parenthood. For one thing, contemplating the importance of raising a daughter in what will hopefully soon no longer be a man’s world, but more than that, this poem contemplates what home is, the importance of family, but also the strength of the invisible bonds of any loving relationship through thick and thin. It is all about the pure potential of what will come, both good and bad, and how, ultimately, people need each other. Even if that is just for someone to listen to all your plans.”
Jeffers’ books have been published by HarperCollins for more than a decade and include How to Catch a Star, Lost and Found and the New York Times bestsellers Stuck, This Moose Belongs to Me and Once Upon an Alphabet. He is also the illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home in collaboration with Drew Daywalt. His books have sold over 14 million copies in 46 territories worldwide, the publisher said. He has sold 1.5 million books for £9.39m through the TCM.
Murtagh commented: “We are immensely proud to publish Oliver Jeffers on the HarperCollins list and can’t wait to bring his incredible new book to the world. Following the phenomenal success of Here We Are, Oliver continues to break the boundaries of picture book publishing in this companion which is beyond beautiful. Oliver’s genius for capturing human emotion and aspirations within his words and pictures creates a book so full of love and compassion it will make your heart sing. What We’ll Build is profoundly moving, sublimely beautiful and quite simply the most perfect picture book. It is set to be one of the biggest picture-book launches ever.”