HarperCollins Children's Books has signed Small’s Big Dream, the first picture book written by Manjeet Mann (pictured above) and illustrated by Amanda Quartey, in a three-book deal.
World rights were acquired by Alice Blacker, publishing director for picture books, from Felicity Trew at the Caroline Sheldon Agency, representing Mann, and Anne Armstrong at the Bright Agency, representing Quartey.
Publishing in paperback in April 2022, Small’s Big Dream is described as “a beautifully lyrical and empowering picture book about the importance of dreaming big”. The blurb goes on: “In Small’s world, everything is small – her shoes, her bed – everything! – but her dreams are big. And Small discovers that when you dream big anything – and everything – can happen.”
Blacker said: “The minute I read Small's Big Dream, I knew we had to publish it. Manjeet has the most wonderful way with words – poetic and so powerful. She’s an exceptionally exciting new picture-book author. With Amanda Quartey’s vibrant and beguiling illustrations, this is an exciting new partnership set to supercharge the picture book market.”
Mann is an actress, playwright, screenwriter, director. and founder of Run the World, an organisation that works with women and girls from marginalised backgrounds and helps to empower them through sport and storytelling. She is the author of two YA novels including Run, Rebel (Penguin), which won the Shadower’s Choice Award from the Carnegie Medal 2021.
She said: “I’m so happy to be joining the HarperCollins family with my debut picture book. When I met Alice and the team I knew instantly they would be the best fit to take Small and her big dream out into the world. I grew up feeling like I wasn’t allowed to dream big so I hope that this book will inspire children from all walks of life to realise their dreams and not be afraid to pursue them.”
Debut illustrator Quartey (pictured, right), added: “It was such a pleasure working on Small’s Big Dream and alongside Manjeet and the HarperCollins team. Getting the chance to create a bright, colourful and quirky world full of whimsy for Small was incredibly fun to work on.”