Macmillan Children’s Books is publishing its first new title in 37 years from Worst Witch writer and illustrator Jill Murphy this September.
Just One of Those Days is the third book in a series about the Bear family, following on from MCB titles Peace at Last and Whatever Next! which were respectively first released in 1980 and 1983. Stephanie Barton acquired world rights from agent Pamela Todd, to be publish the new picture book simultaneously in hardback, e-book and audio download.
Murphy explained: "The Bear family from Peace At Last has been tucked away in my mind, waiting for a good story for nearly 40 years. During those years, l watched all the mums and dads juggling demanding jobs, taking kids to and from nurseries and schools, usually exhausted and trying to snatch some precious time together. As it says on the first page of Just One of Those Days: ‘It had been a long night’, so all three of them are overtired and the whole day goes slightly wrong, until they get home again and do their best to make it better for each other.
"In my view, this is what family is about – whatever your family make-up – coming home to your loved ones at the end of the day, recharging your batteries and maybe even having some fun."
The new book is billed as a "warm and wry" story about the ups and downs of family life. Its synopsis explains: "Last seen having a restless night in Peace at Last, the Bear family wake up late, it’s raining outside and Baby Bear is late for nursery. Then Mrs Bear sits on her glasses at work and Mr Bear spills his coffee all over an important pile of papers. It’s just one of those days! But the lovable and stoical family muddle on cheerfully and there is even a surprise for Baby Bear at the end of the day. Gentle and warm, Just One of Those Days is full of Jill’s classic read-aloud rhythm. The wonderful and relatable story, combined with her instantly recognisable and cosily-lit illustration, is another classic in the making."
Publication in September will be accompanied by a major consumer and trade marketing campaign and extensive media coverage. MCB said advertising would be accompanied by digital activity including behind-the-scenes video content with Murphy and the Bear family. Summer 2020 will also see major Peace At Last anniversary activity across consumer and trade channels.
Publisher Belinda Ioni Rasmussen said: "We are delighted to publish a new picture book from Jill Murphy after this time. What a wonderful way to start a new decade! Peace At Last is a perennial and timeless children’s classic and everyone will be able to connect to the themes in Just One of Those Days. We are proud to publish Jill and to have this opportunity to introduce her humorously observed Bear family to a new generation of children and families."