Jeffers book delayed after Suez Canal blockage

Jeffers book delayed after Suez Canal blockage

The latest picture book from illustrator Oliver Jeffers will hit bookshops later than planned this year because hardbacks are still at sea after the "Ever Given" ship became lodged in the Suez Canal in March.

Jeffers revealed on Facebook that There's a Ghost in This House, originally due to publish on 14th September, will now have a new publication date of 5th October.

The Suez Canal, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, was blocked for almost a week earlier this year, causing delays to hundreds of vessels.

Jeffers said: "The fallout from the ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal has been long and complicated and, as a result, all the Ghost books are still at sea and won’t reach the shops in time for the original mid-September launch. So we have set a new publication date for the 5th October (I happen to like that day anyway).

"Sorry everyone. You’ll still be able to pre-rder pretty soon to make sure you have one in time for Halloween. This world, it’s all connected."

The book has an unusual format, enabling readers to find ghosts hidden in its pages. HarperCollins Children's Books explained earlier this year: "With every turn of the page, readers will delight in making ghosts appear and disappear with the translucent paper pages that overlay Jeffers’ incredible mixed-media illustrations.”

HarperCollins Children's Books declined to comment.