Jessica Love will follow up the award-winning Julian is a Mermaid with a new book, set to be published by Walker Books in October 2020.
Following her breakout début Julian Is a Mermaid (Walker), author-illustrator Love will revisit the world of Julian in Julian at the Wedding.
"Julian at the Wedding is set at a wedding celebration where Julian and a fellow free-spirited child are taking part in the ceremony," reads the synopsis. "The two form a magical friendship while surrounded by a community that embodies love and acceptance."
World rights in all languages were acquired in a two-book deal by Candlewick executive editor Katie Cunningham from Meredith Kaffel Simonoff of DeFiore & Company. The book will be edited by Cunningham and designed by executive creative director Ann Stott. Walker Books plans a co-ordinated global marketing and publicity campaign for the new publication, with a global release in the US, UK, and Australia scheduled for October 2020.
Love’s first book, Julian Is a Mermaid, débuted to critical acclaim in 2018. In 2019, the book received several major international awards, including an American Library Association Stonewall Book Award, the Bologna Ragazzi Opera Prima Award for Début Authors, the Klaus Flugge Prize, and an Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor. It was also shortlisted for both the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Kate Greenaway Medal. Julian Is a Mermaid is currently available in 14 languages internationally.
Love said: “My greatest hope was that the first book about Julian would find not only the kids who immediately identify with Julián, but that it would find the kids who don’t immediately understand. I wanted those kids to go on the journey with him, feel empathy when he is downcast, and elation when he finds his people. Because everyone knows what hope, shame, and joy feel like—I hoped that if I made a sort of crumb-trail of emotional identification that would bring everyone who reads the book, regardless of their background or identity, safely through the forest and out into the sunshine. My hope for the next book is that Julian’s journey into the sunshine continues, with continued emphasis on love and acceptance, and a new journey of friendship.”