Simon & Schuster Children’s Books is launching a new picture book partnership between author Frances Stickley and debut illustrator Eamonn O’Neill, signing two books from the pair.
The partnership launches in April 2022 with Not a Cat in Sight. Billed as "a fast, funny ‘It’s behind you!" tale with a "rollicking rhyming" text, the picture book features Mouse who "sets off, blissfully unaware (in the tradition of all the best cat-and-mouse capers) that he is being followed every step of the way".
A second title from Stickley and O’Neill is to follow, and S&S has also acquired O’Neill’s debut picture book as both author and illustrator, publishing in 2023.
Helen Mackenzie Smith, picture book publisher, bought world rights, acquiring Stickley’s texts from Penny Holroyde at Holroyde Cartey and O’Neill’s illustrations from Jodie Hodges at United Agents.
Mackenzie Smith said: "We love a bit of matchmaking here at S&S and with Frances’s hilarious, delightfully child-friendly text and Eamonn’s joyful, hugely characterful illustrations we have a match made in picture book heaven! Look out for more from this dynamic duo."
Stickley said: "Not a Cat in Sight has been wonderfully brought to life by Eamonn’s bright, dynamic characterisation and I am absolutely delighted that our cat caper found a home here with Simon & Schuster. I consider myself so lucky to be working with Eamonn and the whole team and I cannot wait for our next project together."
O'Neill added: "Frances’ wonderful text immediately grabbed my attention. I could see that the humour and tone was a perfect match for my illustration. I’m beyond thrilled to be working with the team at Simon & Schuster. The whole process has been a dream come true and I’m excited to create more books with them in the future."
- S&S bags two from Fraser with Hindley and Warburton to illustrate
- S&S UK Children's celebrates Hendra and Linnet's 10-year publication success
- S&S Children's sign four more in Supertato series
- S&S Children's scoops 'unmissable' debut middle-grade novel by Juckes
- S&S Children's scoops 'family-centred' picture-book series on Black hair