HarperCollins Children’s Books has signed a deal with Rob Biddulph for three books based on the #DrawWithRob videos he has launched for youngsters stuck at home during the lockdown.
World rights were acquired by publishing director for picture books Alice Blacker from Jodie Hodges at United Agents.
The activity books will be 64-page, full colour, interactive drawing guides published in paperback, featuring some of Biddulph's best-loved characters. The first is set to publish in July 2020, book two in October 2020 and book three in May 2021. All will be priced at £6.99.
Launched in response to the closure of schools, Biddulph has shared his #DrawWithRob videos twice a week on social media, encouraging and teaching children to draw their versions of some of his characters, while providing much-needed entertainment for children and parents.
The initiative has seen him appear on a string of TV news programmes and the videos have amassed around two million impressions on YouTube alone since their launch in March.
Biddulph has published his picture books exclusively with HarperCollins since his 2014 debut, Blown Away, which won the Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year award (2015). His 10th picture book, Dog Gone, will be published in September 2020. He is also the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019 and 2020.
He said: “I have been totally overwhelmed by the response to my #DrawWithRob films. Since I first had the idea before the lockdown started and posted a teaser video from my sofa, the drawings and messages from all over the world have not stopped arriving in my inbox. I'm delighted that I’ve been able to persuade even the most reluctant artist to pick up his or her pencil, and I’m thrilled that these books will, hopefully, keep all of my little Kahlos, Hockneys and Picassos busy long after the quarantine period is over.”
Blacker added: “Rob's #DrawWithRob videos immediately struck a chord with parents and children—and quickly became a firm highlight of the home-school day. We're so excited to be harnessing this passion for drawing that Rob's videos have created—and to be bringing the brilliance of Rob's videos to this innovative and interactive book form.”