Penguin Random House (PRH) Children’s will this autumn release a middle-grade novelisation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, written by Michael Morpurgo.
Morpurgo revealed the news at a Penguin Random House Children’s showcase, held in London yesterday (13th March).
“It has been an honour and a sheer joy to tell again, in my own way, Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, arguably one of the most beloved books in the world,” said Morpurgo. “I have loved doing it, as I hope to goodness you love reading it. It is different, but the same.”
The novel will feature the characters from Briggs’s original story, first published as a picture book in 1978, but the book will be aimed at older readers - children aged seven and over. It will be published in hardback in October.
PRH Children’s struck a deal for world rights from Morpurgo’s agent, Veronique Baxter at David Higham Agency, and from Hilary Delamere at The Agency for Raymond Briggs.
Other authors who spoke at the presentation yesterday included Tom and Giovanna Fletcher, Allan Ahlberg and Nadia Shireen.
Ahlberg spoke about his upcoming picture collaboration with Emma Chichester Clark, saying he wasn’t sure about the front cover PRH chose. “There was a disagreement about the cover so there's actually two covers, one under the over,” he said. “It deserves two covers. It actually deserves thirty-three covers,” he said.
Shireen spoke about her next picture book, Billy and the Beast, which is her first title to have a human protagonist rather than an animal. Shireen said the character was based loosely on herself because "there weren't many characters in books who looked like me when I was growing up." The heroine, Billy, has curly hair, where she keeps useful items, including snacks for her pet, Fat Cat.