David Fickling Books (DFB) is to publish the first children’s novel by Chris Wormell, the illustrator of the covers for Philip Pullman's La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust – Volume One.
The Magic Place, described as a cross between A Little Princess and Matilda, is a moving and funny story about a protagonist called Clementine, wicked grown-ups and heroic animals. It will be illustrated with black and white line drawings.
A spokesperson for publisher David Fickling said: “This book firmly places Chris in the hall of master storytellers and is destined, we believe, to establish Chris as a leading writer for children all over the world. Have you ever dreamed of somewhere better? A life more colourful and richer? More full of joy? Well, it's time to stop dreaming and start reading. It’s time to escape into the pages of The Magic Place.”
DFB acquired world rights from Lucy Scherer at The Artworks Illustration Agency and will publish in September 2019.
As well as his work with Pullman, Wormell created the cover for H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Jonathan Cape) and created the picture books George and the Dragon and One Smart Fish (both Red Fox). His artwork has featured in advertising campaigns for Jaguar, Marks and Spencer, The Natural History Museum and the Royal Opera House.