Hachette Children’s Group (HCG) has secured a deal with author Shane Hegarty for a series with illustrator Jeff Crowther.
Rachel Wade, senior commissioning editor at HCG, acquired world rights from Marianne Gunn O’Connor at Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary, Film & TV Agency for The Shop of Impossible Ice Creams series, with the first title scheduled for summer 2022 and the second and third books to follow in 2023.
The first title in the series, The Shop of Impossible Ice Creams, is illustrated throughout and is “a high-speed, high-concept story with a heart-warming family dynamic at its centre,” HCG said. “When Limpet’s mum opens an ice-cream shop full of her favourite new flavours: mushroom and tuna ice cream, roast parsnip and gravy, Limpet’s not too sure. He likes a nice, safe life. His favourite ice-cream flavour is vanilla. But when wicked Mr Fluffy arrives with his Mega Emporium of Amazing and Spectacular Ice Creams, Limpet knows he’s got to fight back."
Wade said: “Shane is one of the brightest talents on the HCG list and we are over the moon to be building him with this exceptional new series. The Shop of Impossible Ice Creams series really is wish fulfilment in its purest form, and its hero Limpet will melt the hearts of all who encounter him.”
Hegarty, who is based in Dublin, said commented: “I’m so excited to be sharing The Shop of Impossible Ice Creams, which I’ve had so much fun writing. The story of Limpet and his friends as they face off against the dastardly Mr Fluffy is for anyone who likes jokes, ice cream, adventure, magic, silliness, more ice cream, chickens, cliffhangers, ninja fairies and even more ice cream. And Jeff Crowther’s fantastic illustrations are the extra special treat on top.”
Hegarty’s writing has been shortlisted for an abundance of awards. His younger middle grade title Boot (Hodder Children's Books) was shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s Book Award, nominated for the An Post Irish Book Awards and chosen as Unesco Dublin City Of Literature Citywide Read in 2020. Darkmouth (HarperCollins) was nominated for the Waterstones Prize, the An Post Irish Book Awards and the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards. It is being developed into an animation. Before becoming a full-time writer, Hegarty was a journalist and editor of the Irish Times and worked in radio and music.
Crowther’s work has appeared in picture books, graphic novels, magazines, educational publications and on television. The Shop of Impossible Ice Creams will be his UK fiction debut.