Hachette Children’s Group has acquired a new Claude title from author and illustrator Alex T Smith, in which Claude and Sir Bobblysock find themselves offering to babysit princes and princesses on the Queen’s birthday.
Claude at the Palace will be published on the Hodder Children’s Books imprint in hardback in October 2020. Emma Layfield, picture book development director, and Rachel Wade, senior commissioning editor, signed the deal for world rights in all languages with Alison Eldred and Tamlyn Francis at Arena Illustration.
The synopsis reads: "In Claude at the Palace, Claude and Sir Bobblysock just happen accidentally to wander into the royal palace on a very special day indeed–the Queen’s birthday! Unfortunately the royal nanny, Nanny Stern-Bloomers, has had to take herself off for a lie-down and there’s no one to make sure the royal children stay neat and tidy for the big party. But… Claude and Sir Bobblysock could step in to babysit, couldn’t they? After all, princes and princesses are always on their best behaviour..."
Wade commented: "A new Claude book is like birthday and Christmas come at once: a cause for celebration! There is so much humour and heart on every page. I couldn’t be happier that we’re publishing this new book from the multi-talented Alex T Smith."
Smith said: "Claude strolled into my head, with his beret on, over a decade ago now, when I had a space on my kitchen wall. It’s astonishing to think how far he’s travelled since then—all over the world and onto TV screens. I’ve had a lot of fun returning to Waggy Avenue. Claude and Sir Bobblysock are off on another madcap adventure to the Palace, meeting princes and princesses, and filling in for Nanny Stern-Bloomers who needs a nice lie down..."
The Claude books are published in 20 languages worldwide, and is now a TV show on Disney Junior and ITVBe. The series has sold 306,239 copies for £1.35m, according to Nielsen BookScan.