Scholastic is to publish Wonky Donkey’s Big Surprise by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley, the fourth title to emerge from the Wonky Donkey stable.
The Wonky Donkey picture book series includes The Dinky Donkey, which published in November 2019, with a third bestseller, The Grinny Granny Donkey, published in November 2020. The book was written in tribute to Scottish grandmother Janice Clark, whose video of her reading The Wonky Donkey to her grandson went viral in 2018, with more than 200 million views globally. Wonky Donkey’s Big Surprise will be published simultaneously in New Zealand, Australia, the US, Canada and the UK in November 2021. World rights to Wonky Donkey’s Big Surprise were acquired by Scholastic New Zealand from Craig Smith, with Felicity Trew at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency representing Katz Cowley.
The Wonky Donkey has sold 548,500 copies and, as a whole, the series has sold 863,352 copies for £4.1m, through Nielsen Bookscan's Total Consumer Market in the UK.
Commenting on the new picture book, Smith said: “I enjoyed the challenge and slightly new direction in writing Wonky Donkey’s Big Surprise, while still mixing the tongue-twisting fun and silliness that we've come to expect from my goofy boofhead.”
Cowley added: “I am delighted to be creating this next adventure in the series of Wonky Donkey’s family, as it continues to grow. This new story sees an exciting turn, full of the unexpected, to bring lots of joy, warmth and gigglicious laughter and a good sprinkling of anticipation for the whole family!”
Commenting on the new book's global release, Scholastic NZ publisher Lynette Evans added: “This playful, warm-hearted new Wonky story starring the world’s favourite, funny and most outrageous donkey family definitely contains a wonderful surprise, and who doesn’t need that right now!”