Sophy Henn has moved to Simon & Schuster Children’s UK from HarperCollins in a six-book deal spanning both picture books and fiction.
Rachel Denwood, the division's m.d. acquired world rights, all languages, for four fiction titles and two picture books from Paul Moreton at Bell Lomax Moreton. The deal will see S&S publish the author-illustrator across picture books and fiction.
Henn’s first launch on the S&S list is Pizazz, an illustrated series about a reluctant girl- superhero – “the eponymous Pizazz”. The first book in the Pizazz series will be published as a lead title in June 2020, in a high-spec paperback package with black-and-white illustration and comic-strip elements. Further titles in the series will follow in 2021, all “backed by a major marketing and PR campaign,” the publisher said.
S&S have also acquired an older tween novel told in diary format and designed with a journaling aesthetic. Meanwhile The Runaways, Henn’s first picture book on the S&S list, launches in Spring 2021.
Henn had moved to HarperCollins as part of a three-book contract in a “significant pre-emptive deal” in 2017. She has previously been published by Bloomsbury and Penguin Random House children's imprint Puffin.
Denwood said: “I am over-the-moon that Simon & Schuster will be the new home of multi-talented marvel, Sophy Henn. This is a hugely important acquisition for us and we look forward to publishing Sophy with a bold new creative and commercial strategy across picture books and fiction. Prepare to meet a host of wonderful characters – first up, the dazzling Pizazz! The world is ready for a big new girl-character-led series – and hilarious, nonchalant superhero Pizazz will thoroughly delight readers next summer.”
Henn added: “I am absolutely thrilled to be working with the wonderful team at Simon & Schuster and I cannot wait to get started on all our new, exciting adventures together.”
An award-winning picture book author and illustrator with an MA in Illustration from the University of Brighton, now based in Sussex. She has sold 59,143 books for £391,745 with her bestseller Where Bear? (Puffin) at 7,881 copies sold, according to Nielsen BookScan. The debut picture book was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Henn was the World Book Day Illustrator in 2015 and 2016. Her books are published throughout the world in 15 languages.