Orion Children's acquires Pankhurst series

Orion Children's Books has acquired a new series for young readers by author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst, a descendant of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

Commissioning editor Jenny Glencross bought world rights in her first acquisition in her new role with Mark Mills at Plum Pudding Illustration, in the Mariella Mystery Investigates series.

The first two books in the series, The Ghostly Guinea Pig and A Cupcake Conundrum, will be published in April 2013.

Glencross said: "I am so thrilled to welcome Kate Pankhurst to the Orion list. I completely fell in love with Mariella the moment I saw Kate's fantastic illustrations and read her hilarious text. It's warm, funny and fun. As a debut author and illustrator of her own work, the energy and passion Kate puts in really shines, and I know young readers will be just as excited as I am."

Pankhurst won the Macmillan Prize for Picture Book Illustration 2002. She is related to Emmeline Pankhurst through her paternal family line.