HCG signs new mischief-making series from Emer Stamp

HCG signs new mischief-making series from Emer Stamp

Hachette Children’s Group is publishing a new fiction series from author and illustrator Emer Stamp—Stamp’s first for the Hachette Children’s Group.

The new series, PESTS, is about a little mouse, Stix, who lives behind a washing machine with his Grandma.

The first in the series publishes in paperback on 2nd April 2020, with a glow-in-the-dark cover and a hidden message on the book’s fore-edge to appeal to young readers. Subsequent titles are currently scheduled for 2021.

The launch will be supported by a "creative and extensive" marketing and publicity campaign, HCG has promised, with plans for the book already including: an advance proof copy mailing in branded PEST-O PIZZA boxes; interactive point-of-sale material for bookshops, schools and libraries including Pest character trails and shelf talkers; a large-scale digital advertising campaign; a competition for independent bookshops to win an illustrated window by Stamp; and a national schools tour and events programme.

Helen Thomas, editor-at-large for Hachette Children’s Group, acquired world rights from James Catchpole of The Catchpole Agency, welcoming Stamp to list as "one of the most naturally creative and funny talents out there".

"In this new series, PESTS, she’s tapping right into the space children love: what disgusting-but-loveable creatures might be lurking in our homes and making menace beneath the floorboards, behind the washing machine, right under our noses," said Thomas. "I couldn’t be happier to be working with Emer again, and we’re all proud to welcome her to the Hachette Children’s Group to take a very important space on our young funny fiction list."

In the book, Stix's grandma has always taught him to stay out of sight and out of trouble, until one day he stumbles across PESTS – the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels – in the basement of his block of flats. Along with a whole host of new pesty friends (and enemies), he’s about to rip up Grandma’s rule book and make a real pest of himself.

Stamp, who started out as a graphic designer and was creative director for the ad agency behind the John Lewis adverts, published The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig and three follow-up books with Scholastic.​ She has sold 85,430 copies for £450,047 in total through Nielsen BookScan, with her bestseller, 2014’s The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig, at 23,407 copies sold. Her most recent title, Daddy Fartypants (Orchard Books), has sold 2,067 copies.