Maggie O’Farrell signs with Walker for first children’s book

Maggie O’Farrell signs with Walker for first children’s book

The Walker Books Group has acquired Maggie O’Farrell’s first children’s book deal in a global rights deal.

Where Snow Angels Go is based on a story O’Farrell told her children at bedtime and is about a girl who, whilst playing one day, creates something that leads to an extraordinary discovery - her own guardian angel.

Deirdre McDermott, picture book publisher and creative director at Walker Books, acquired two books from Victoria Hobbs, agent and director at AM Heath, in a “hotly contested” auction. Walker Books in the UK will publish the story as a picture book illustrated by Daniela Terrazzini, alongside Candlewick in the US and Walker Books Australia in Autumn 2020.

“I have always thought of the picture book as a unique and pervasive art form, and one that has the potential to reach people from a very young age, sometimes staying with them for life,” said O’Farrell. “Many of my favourite such books have been published by Walker Books so I am over the moon that they will be publishing Where Snow Angels Go. It will be the first time I’ll be collaborating on a story with an illustrator; I can’t wait to see the result.”

McDermott added: “Everyone here at the Walker Group is absolutely thrilled to welcome Maggie O’Farrell to our list. We are all huge admirers of her adult books - it’s impossible not to be mesmerised by her characters and the immersive fictional worlds she creates. Maggie is an exceptional writer, already deeply loved by millions of readers globally, so it’s a real privilege to be publishing her first children’s book.”

O’Farrell’s adult novels include After You’d Gone, which won a Betty Trask Award, The Distance Between Us (winner of a Somerset Maugham Award) and The Hand That First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award.

She has sold 1.46m books through Nielsen BookScan, adding up to £9.9m in value terms.