Independent children's publisher Owlet Press has landed Ian Eagleton's “magical and groundbreaking” reimagining of fairytale "The Little Mermaid", with LGBTQ+ inclusivity at its heart and a subtle environmental message.
Sam Langley-Swain, founder and publisher at Owlet, bought rights directly from the author, with agent Eunice McMullen brokering the deal on behalf of illustrator James Mayhew. Nen and the Lonely Fisherman will be published on 1st June 2021 to coincide with international Pride month.
The synopsis explains: “A modern adaptation of the classic 'Little Mermaid' tale, Nen and the Lonely Fisherman tells the story of a merman’s search for true love. Nen sends a song of hope across the sea while a lonely, caring young fisherman named Ernest hopes to find warmth in his heart. As the two meet, they feel a special connection, much to the dismay of Nen’s father, Pelagios, who creates a wild sea storm to protect his son and the ocean. Can Nen save Ernest?”
Eagleton, co-founder of the Reading Realm app and an education consultant, said: "As a child I always wanted to see myself in a fairytale and was fascinated and inspired by the story of the Little Mermaid – it is a magical story that has always stayed with me. I wrote Nen and the Lonely Fisherman as a way to celebrate the many ways in which we find happiness and love. I can’t wait for everyone to meet Nen and Ernest and dive into their enchanting world, which James has brought to life beautifully. I hope that the book helps children, and adults, understand that we are all deserving and worthy of a happy ever after."
Mayhew commented: “This is such an important book for me, as it represents something that resonates very deeply – the need for a fairytale with a different and diverse happy ending. I loved Ian’s beautiful prose, and the underwater settings and starlit skies were a joy to illustrate. I greatly admire Ian, and Owlet Press, for having the courage and vision to create this magical and ground-breaking book, celebrating acceptance and love.”
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