Michael Rosen and Polly Dunbar are teaming up for the first time to create a "charming" illustrated collection of poems for toddlers with Walker Books.
Beth Aves acquired world rights for illustrations from James Catchpole at the Catchpole Agency. World rights for the text were previously acquired by Jane Winterbotham and Becky Watson from Charles Walker at United Agents. Ready for Spaghetti will publish in hardback on 2nd June 2022, with Candlewick publishing the American edition in November 2022.
The publisher said: "Ready for Spaghetti continues Walker’s relationship with Rosen and secures them as the home for his younger, illustrated poetry. Fizzing with rhythm, energy and laughter, the thirty poems delight in the details of children's daily routines. The collection is full of affectionate observations of young children which are perfect for reading aloud and complemented beautifully by Polly Dunbar's warm-hearted pictures."
Rosen said: “Ready for Spaghetti is a book for our very youngest children. From the day we are born, we are learning how to talk and to understand what people say to us – and one crucial part of how we do that is to play with words. My idea is that the poems in this book, which take us on a journey through the day, will help children see that language is indeed something you can have fun with… And that, just as they play with sand and water, they can also play with words; building things up and watching them fall. I hope you’ll find the poems are full of fun and wonder about the world – there’s so much for children to explore in Polly Dunbar’s wonderful pictures, too. Above all else, I hope this book will be a child’s springboard for playing with language themselves.”
Dunbar added: “I’ve been a lifelong fan of Michael Rosen and his work. Like the rest of the country, I was shocked when he became ill and there was a chance that we would lose him. What an incredible honour to illustrate these poems: they fizz with life and joy and seemingly poured out of him at what must have been a very difficult time. I tried to approach the drawings with the same energy and joie de vivre that Michael’s words have – having my three-year-old son around while I was making the art helped me to capture that magic age when everyday life zings with possibilities.”
Becky Watson, commissioning editor at Walker Books, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled that Michael Rosen and Polly Dunbar – two of the best-loved talents in our industry – have joined forces for the first time. Michael’s rhymes have captured the simple magic of a child’s day, and Polly’s pictures are full of beautiful observations of children and their world. It’s a perfect match and a deeply charming book… One to treasure!”