S&S Children’s Books is to publish young-fiction series The Marvellous Granny Jinks and Me, written by Serena Holly and illustrated by Selom Sunu.
Inspired by the work of Jenny Mayers, the first Black woman to join the Magic Circle, each book is a standalone story in the world of central character Jada Jinks, her family and their local community. In the first book, The Marvellous Granny Jinks and me, Jada Jinks finds a box of magic tricks hidden in the back of her granny’s closet, and discovers Granny Jinks’s secret ambition to become a magician, so Jada decides she’s going to help Granny Jinks fulfil her dreams – with surprising results. The books will also include simple "how-to" guides for budding young magicians to master magic tricks at home.
Ali Dougal, publishing director, bought world rights in two books in the series from Jasmine Richards at Storymix. Illustration rights were acquired from Sallyanne Sweeney at MMB Creative. Edited by Lowri Ribbons, S&S Children’s Books will be launching the series, aimed at readers aged 6+ in January 2022, with the second book to follow in May.
Dougal said: "We are delighted to be launching this warm and engaging series for younger readers with Storymix. We have the most fabulous granny in Granny Jinks and her adventures with Jada are a gorgeous celebration of family and community. Selom’s illustrations are bursting with humour and energy and we can’t wait to introduce this magical pair to readers."
Richards added: "I've so enjoyed working to create this series with the talent Storymix is so lucky to collaborate with. Over lockdown the immense importance of the relationship between grandchildren and their grandparents have been evident to see and Granny Jinks is a grandmother like no other."
Sunu is a London-based Illustrator and character designer. His artwork is featured in Puffin’s recently announced Hey You by Dapo Adeola and his cover work includes Jason Reynolds’s Run series published by Knights Of. He has also provided character designs for animated TV shows in development at CBeebies and Disney TV.
He said: "I’m really looking forward to working with publishing powerhouse Simon and Schuster to bring Serena Holly’s charming story to life! Both my grandmas are strong, Black, inspirational role models but they are also incredibly fun just like Granny Jinks. To be working on a story where I get to play with that… now that’s what I call magic!"