Nosy Crow has signed a nine-book deal for a new series written by Kirsty Applebaum and illustrated by Sahar Haghgoo, in what will be the publisher's first colour fiction titles for four to five-year-olds.
Kirsty Stansfield, head of fiction, bought world rights in nine stories from Nancy Miles at the Miles Stott Agency. The Princess Minna series will be launched with The Enchanted Forest and The Unicorn Mix-Up in May 2022 and further titles will follow every six months.
The synopsis reads: "Princess Minna is very good at lots of things. She is good at taming unicorns, kissing frogs and fighting dragons. Princess Minna always saves the day, though she is often in great peril and gets very grubby. This series has a fresh and funny take on what a princess should be and who is allowed to have adventures. Turns out, everyone’s allowed to have adventures!"
Stansfield said: "We had been thinking for a while about starting a fiction range for very young children who are moving on from picture books but don't want to give up colour illustration. And then Kirsty Applebaum sent in an amazing short text that was everything we'd been looking for. And now we have eight more!
"The hunt began for an illustrator, someone who could bring visual freshness and zip to the stories. Nosy Crow was involved in the Pathways project, an illustration programme for a diverse group of talented artists, and that is how we met the brilliant Sahar Haghgoo. And she brought Princess Minna to glorious, technicolour life!"
Applebaum, whose debut The Middler (Nosy Crow) was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize last year, commented: "It’s so exciting to be working with Sahar and Nosy Crow on these books – together they have brought Princess Minna to life in the most wonderful, colourful way on every page! The stories were enormously fun to write and I can’t wait to introduce them to young readers next year."
Haghgoo added: "I really like Minna's character. I found a part of my childhood and my character in her. I have always loved climbing trees, flying, having long hair and helping everyone. So when I draw Minna and her adventures, I think I draw my adventures!"