Hodder Children’s Books has bought another Emily Brown picture book by How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell, illustrated by Neal Layton.
Emily Brown and Father Christmas will be published in autumn 2018 by the Hachette Children’s Group imprint and follows Emily and her sidekick, Stanley, as they help Father Christmas through “a series of festive mishaps”, promoting the “Christmas message of kindness and helpfulness”.
It will be the fifth title in the series, with the first book, That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown, won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award in 2006. Emily Brown and the Thing has been adapted for the stage by award-winning children’s theatre company, Tall Stories.
Cowell said: "I’m so pleased that the intrepid Emily is going on another adventure. I adore Neal’s illustrations: what he does so brilliantly is show emotion in combination with movement and action. I see so many families who started their reading journey together with Emily Brown."
Layton said: "It’s a real joy to work with Cressida, and I’m delighted to be illustrating another Emily Brown story. Her witty, heart-warming text gives brilliant scope for a wide range of media and techniques – I always have great fun with them."
Anne McNeil, senior publisher at Hodder Children’s Books said: "The Emily Brown books have been perennial favourites for over a decade, and are widely praised for featuring a strong girl hero taking the lead in the story. Cressida’s words perfectly suit Neal’s dynamic style: together they are a picture book tour de force."
Cowell told The Bookseller last month that she was concerned by the closure of school libraries and said that "there's a whole section of the population we're not reaching".