Macmillan Children’s Books is publishing Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ third book in their Ladybird Heard picture book series featuring "a cacophony of noisy new zoo-animal characters".
Hannah Ray, editorial director of picture books, acquired What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday through Caroline Sheldon at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency and illustrations through Hilary Delamere at The Agency, with world rights. The title will publish in hardback in the UK on 29th June retailing at £11.99.
A Macmillan spokesperson said: “What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday has a cacophony of noisy new zoo-animal characters, a cameo from the Queen and her corgis, and, of course, a cunning plan from thieves Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh. It’s a pity for them that a certain crime-busting ladybird is on holiday in the very same city and she’s got a good idea that will ensure the dastardly pair won’t get away with it! This new story is destined to become yet another glittery classic in the Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks collection.”
Donaldson says: “In the last Ladybird story, I had ruled out the thieves returning to the farm, so I needed a different setting this time around. I wrote What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday while on a book tour in South Africa and the animals I saw there gave me the idea for the new adventure. I was excited when I discovered that the Royal corgis are called Holly and Willow, as I had already written a lot of the story and needed rhymes for ‘golly’ and ‘pillow’ - it seemed meant to be.”
Monks adds: “I was so thrilled to get to go on holiday with the little ladybird. Working on this new story feels like spending time with an old favourite. We meet some new friends and visit some new places. A perfect holiday treat.”
According to Macmillan, the paperback of What the Ladybird Heard Next (February 2016) spent 22 weeks as the number one bestselling ‘non-media’ picture book in 2016, and is Donaldson and Monk’s fastest-selling title, with over 105,000 copies of the paperback sold to date.