Simon & Schuster Children's has acquired two picture books from author and illustrator Richard Jones.
Helen Mackenzie Smith, picture books editorial director, acquired world rights in all languages from Arabella Stein at The Bright Agency.
The first book, Polar Bear (working title), is due to be published in October 2021, with a second title following in 2022. Polar Bear is the story of a boy who finds a tiny polar bear in his garden and takes him in and cares for him. The synopsis explains: "As the bear starts to grow, the boy realises that he must find a way to get the bear home. It’s a tender fable that will resonate with anyone who has loved and had to let go."
Commenting on the acquisition, Mackenzie Smith said: "Richard Jones is without doubt one of the most exciting picture book makers that I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I am so delighted that he has entrusted us with his next two books as both author and illustrator. His work is stunning, moving and empathetic, and we’re hugely proud to have him on our distinctive picture book list."
The deal comes as part of an ongoing partnership, as S&S released Perdu, written and illustrated by Jones, in April. Describing his reaction to the deal, Jones said: "Simon & Schuster’s list includes some of my most favourite contemporary illustrators and authors, so to be included in that family is both humbling and very inspiring. Bringing Perdu to life was a joy from beginning to end and I can’t wait to share the next story with the world."