HarperNonFiction has signed a parody of Charlie Mackesy's bestseller The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (Ebury) by author and illustrator Paul Magrs.
Senior commissioning editor Anna Mrowiec acquired world all language rights to The Panda, The Cat and the Dreadful Teddy from Piers Blofeld at Sheil Land. It will publish on 30th September.
The publisher said it was "a timely parody of one of the biggest publishing sensations of the last few years" adding "what started for Paul as a few posts on social media soon blossomed into a book of cartoons so delightfully hilarious that HarperCollins rapidly bought up the rights. It joins a fine tradition of other literary parodies, from the likes of Fifty Sheds of Grey (Boxtree) and Eats, Shites and Leaves (Michael O'Mara)."
Its synopsis says: "Paul Magrs invites readers to enter the world of the Panda and his sometime-friends Cat and Teddy, who can be found living their best lives, trying (and occasionally succeeding) to be nice to each other. Unfortunately, Panda’s irritation with Teddy (whom he terms a ‘vicious little backstabber actually’) sometimes gets in the way, particularly when it turns out Teddy is after his own book deal..."
Inspirational wisdom from the book can be found in captions such as: "Just because you’re struggling, it doesn’t mean you’re failing… But it might do." Another line reads: "Nothing beats kindness,’ said the cat. ‘Gin does’, said Panda."
Mrowiec said: "I’m yet to show Paul’s cartoons to anyone who doesn’t howl with laughter, and I truly believe this book is the perfect tonic to another uncertain and difficult year. In the face of relentless social pressure to be optimistic and soldier on, these characters reveal to us another route: to swear, complain loudly and protect yourself from self-righteous teddies. I cannot wait to share Paul’s book with the world."
Magrs added: "This past year has been one of those times when you think: what is it I really want to be? What do I want to create? And I knew straight away. I wanted to create a book of very foul-mouthed cartoons as my response to the times we’re living in. I’m so very glad HarperCollins snapped it up, and we all hope it’ll make you laugh and think and perhaps be a little kinder to each other…"