Simon & Schuster Children's UK is to publish two rhyming picture books by author Mark Sperring and illustrator Matt Hunt, with the first out next year.
Picture books editorial director Helen Mackenzie Smith bought world rights to the texts of If My Dad Were the Tooth Fairy and If My Gran Were the Easter Bunny from Mandy Suhr at Miles Stott Literary Agency, and struck a deal for the illustrations with Arabella Stein at The Bright Agency.
She said: "I absolutely love working with Mark, he is kind, talented and ridiculously funny. So when the opportunity to publish these fabulous texts came up, we jumped at it. And being able to bring the completely brilliant Matt Hunt to the list with his irresistible illustrations is the dream. They make such a great picture book pair—look out, world!"
The synopsis describes the picture books as: "A terrific new series about how things might be if a family member had a more… unusual job", claiming that "both titles bring together Sperring’s giddy way with words and Hunt’s immensely appealing art to make both children and adults laugh out loud".
Sperring worked for many years as a bookseller before turning his hand to writing. His picture books have been translated into over 14 languages, according to the publisher, and include Father Christmas on the Naughty Step (Puffin) and The Naughty Naughty Baddies (Bloomsbury). Hunt's hits include Daddy Fartypants by Emer Stamp (Orchard) and Choose Llamas by Charlie Green (Ladybird).
If My Dad Were the Tooth Fairywill be released in May 2021, followed by If My Gran Were the Easter Bunny in 2022.
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