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.
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