Scheffler and Wittkamp's 'hilarious' cat collection heads to MCB

Scheffler and Wittkamp's 'hilarious' cat collection heads to MCB

Macmillan Children’s Books has acquired a new picture book from illustrator Axel Scheffler and author Franz Wittkamp, a collection of quirky rhymes about cats for pre-schoolers and their families.

All About Cats, translated by David Henry Wilson, will publish in paperback in March 2022. Nicole Pearson, publishing director of brands and media, bought world English language rights from Kerstin Michaelis at Beltz and Gelberg “after being charmed by the delightful and humorous artwork” in the German edition, Unter Katzenfreunden (Julius Beltz GmbH).

The book collates 15 “delightfully short hilarious verses” which will reveal what cats get up to when humans aren’t around. The publisher said: “Each rhyme will be accompanied by an original, full-page colour illustration by Axel, in his recognisable and inimitable style, of cats doing all sorts of hilarious things—making mischief, playing games, taking bubble baths, singing songs and out on adventures—this is a true delight for cat lovers of all ages and the sheer exuberance of the book will encourage a love of language in young children, from the early years.”

Stephanie Barton, publisher for pre-school, brands and classics, said: “It is always a pleasure to acquire a new Axel Scheffler title. The combination of Axel’s much-loved joyful illustrations and Franz’s playful text, expertly translated by David Henry Wilson, whom we have published at MCB for many years, makes this book a true delight.”

Scheffler commented: “Little did I know, when I illustrated Franz Wittkamp's lovely light verses about cats’ lives, that I would one day share a house with some cats. I had always preferred pets on paper but had to give into pressure and now we have Mimi and Cachou as housemates. They live largely independent lives and sleep a lot—I have found out that they are nothing like the cats in the book.”

Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, m.d. of Macmillan Children's Books, added: "We are delighted to have acquired this new title illustrated by Axel and to be able to publish this alongside his other Macmillan titles. It is also particularly a great pleasure for me that we have bought these rights from our friends at Beltz and Gelberg in Germany, and to be translating Franz Wittkamp's text for an English reading audience to enjoy."