Dr Ranj Singh, of ITV’s "Dr Ranj: On Call" and CBeebies' "Get Well Soon" series, has signed a three-book deal with Hachette Children's Group—including a picture book celebrating key workers in the coronavirus crisis.
The television presenter works on the front line of the NHS as a consultant paediatrician and has been using his platform during the crisis to keep families informed on the coronavirus.
The picture book A Superhero Like You will be authored by Singh and illustrated by Liam Darcy, an illustrator from London who trained at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, to celebrate key workers: "the real-life superheroes who make the world a better place".
The story is told through the eyes of Lily, who as the synopsis explains is "a young girl who knows what she wants to be when she grows up—a superhero! But not one of those silly superheroes who wear their pants over their trousers—an altogether different type of superhero. Readers can join Lily as she meets the extraordinary superheroes who are all around us, from doctors and air ambulance paramedics to recycling truck drivers and carers."
Twenty-five pence from every copy of the picture book will be donated to NHS Charities Together.
A Superhero Like You will publish on the Hodder Children’s Books imprint in paperback in autumn 2020, with two illustrated non-fiction titles following on the Wren & Rook imprint in February 2021 and February 2022.
Liza Miller, managing editor at Wren & Rook, signed the deal for world rights in all languages with K T Forster at K T Forster Literary Agency for Singh and, for David O’Connell—who will illustrate the first non-fiction title—with Jodie Hodges at United Agents. Frances Elks, editorial director, Picture Books, signed Darcy with Frederica Dawson at The Bright Agency.
Miller said: "Dr Ranj has long been the nation’s favourite doctor, and now he has emerged as one of the most trusted voices for children and families in this time of crisis even as he juggles hospital shifts on the frontline. HCG is honoured to be his children’s book publisher; we’re thrilled to be introducing his upbeat and reassuring messages to young people of all ages."
Dr Ranj said: "No matter who you are, where you’re from, or how old you are, reading should be an integral part of all our lives, especially during current times. Books allow us to escape into our imaginations, learn about the world around us, nourish us and support our growth and that’s why I’m hugely honoured to be writing these books for children and young people. I’m super excited to be working on these projects and I cannot wait for everyone to read them!"