Bloomsbury Children’s Books has signed Jordan Stephens, best known for being one half of Rizzle Kicks, in a six-figure three-book deal.
Emma Blackburn, publishing director of illustrated publishing, struck a deal for three titles covering picture books, fiction and poetry with Julia Churchill at A M Heath.
The first book will be a picture book, written by Stephens and published in 2021, about the author’s love for his late grandmothers. It will play a crucial role in “encouraging empathy and compassion as well as changing attitudes to emotional health and well-being”, according to Bloomsbury. Talks are ongoing with an "exciting illustrator", Bloomsbury said.
The picture book follows Sunny, a little girl who loves jigsaw puzzles. When a puzzle is missing its final piece, Sunny sets off to hunt for it and make friends along the way. Details of the third book are yet to be revealed. Details about the second and third books in the deal are yet to be revealed.
Blackburn said: “Jordan is a really exciting addition to the Bloomsbury Children’s Books list. His writing is warm, evocative, full of heart and draws on his own experiences of growing up. He has a real passion for children’s books; a strong connection with, and understanding of children; and an energy and commitment to creating books that will make a real and lasting difference. Jordan is an enormously likeable, clever and thoughtful person who offers something completely unique to the Bloomsbury list. We are hugely excited to be his publishing home and look forward to creating many successful books with him.”