Penguin Random House Children's imprint Puffin Books has signed a two-book deal with Rashmi Sirdeshpande, a graduate of the publisher’s mentoring scheme for writers from under-represented communities.
Sirdeshpande’s first title, the first picture book signed through the WriteNow programme, will be How to Be Extraordinary, which celebrates 15 extraordinary people. It will be illustrated by Annabel Tempest and released in August next year.
The author will then publish If You Show a T-Rex a Book, about the power of books and what might happen if a T-Rex learnt to read, with illustrator Diane Ewen in 2020.
Editorial director Anna Barnes Robinson acquired world rights to both books from Lydia Silver of the Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency. The illustration deals were struck with Robyn Newton at The Bright Agency (for Tempest) and with Frederica Dawson, also from The Bright Agency, for Ewen.
Barnes Robinson said: “As soon as I read Rashmi’s WriteNow submission I knew that I wanted to publish her. She’s bursting with brilliant ideas and is a truly versatile talent, able to both spin a satisfyingly silly story and craft an in-depth biography - all with a sparkling humour and voice that will appeal to children everywhere. Diane and Annabel are already bringing both of Rashmi’s texts to life spectacularly and I can’t wait to share the finished books with the world.”