Hachette Children’s Group has acquired further titles and ancillary rights including stage, merchandising, TV, film and audio in the Lion Inside collection by Rachel Bright and Jim Field, taking publishing for the pairing into 2026.
Emma Blackburn, trade publisher, signed the deal with with Jodie Hodges from United Agents for Field and with Mandy Suhr at Miles Stott Agency for Bright. Karen Lawler, head of licensed content and brand strategy, and the Hachette Children’s licensing team, said they will "strategically exploit the ancillary rights for the brand, working with the best partners to build the modern classic series beyond the page".
The next title in the collection will be The Gecko and the Echo, a "flamboyantly funny, sun-drenched tale about the power of giving out love – and feeling it come echoing back", which publishes on 13th October 2022.
Blackburn said: "With over three million copies sold, Rachel Bright and Jim Field’s The Lion Inside collection of books has captured the hearts and minds of a generation of children all over the world. I am delighted that the acquisition of these new titles in the series, along with the ancillary rights, will allow us at HCG to build upon existing successes to unlock new and exciting opportunities for this stellar partnership. We are enormously proud to be Rachel and Jim’s publisher and look forward to working with them in bringing their wonderfully distinct brand of picture books to market."
Lawler added: "The Lion Inside collection is an incredibly rare thing – with both heart and humour, Rachel Bright and Jim Field have managed to create something truly unique, which has chimed with parents and children around the world and managed to become a modern classic in the just six years since the first title was published. The almost unlimited potential for these books to reach beyond the page is incredibly exciting and we are thrilled to be handling these rights going forward."
Field said: “It’s a dream to collaborate with Rachel, it seems her words and my pictures have struck the right chord with children and parents around the world. Hachette have worked wonders to get The Lion Inside collection into over 40 languages and it is so exciting to see what new adventures our little mouse and gang will go on."
Bright commented: "Working with Jim has been nothing short of wonderful. From the very beginning (when we were working on a certain Lion and Mouse story), I could feel a little bit of alchemy happening. There was a certain kind of magic dance between the words I wrote and Jim’s stunning illustrations. It makes me so happy that so many people across the world have chosen these stories to share. Every time we are gifted the opportunity to create something new together by the amazing team at Hachette, we get to look out again at the endless horizon and wonder where it will take us next. It’s such a joy. I’m so thrilled we’ll be journeying on for a long time to come."