Simon & Schuster Children’s UK has acquired a dog-themed picture book from Richard Jones, his first as both author and illustrator.
Picture book editorial director Helen Mackenzie Smith bought world rights from Arabella Stein at The Bright Agency. It will be published in April 2020 in hardback and paperback formats.
Perdu is billed by S&S Children’s UK as “a beautiful and poignant tale about a dog who goes looking for a place to call home and an exquisite future classic from a rising star in children’s picture books”. The publisher’s rights team have already sold rights in five territories with further deals expected, the publisher said.
After graduating from the University of Plymouth with a first class degree in graphic design and illustration, Jones stayed on to complete a PhD. He has worked with the publisher before as an illustrator for The Snow Lion (2017) and Paper Planes (2019) with texts by Jim Helmore. This is the first book he has both written and illustrated.
Jones said: “To write and illustrate a book of my own is a dream come true and I could not be happier to be sharing Perdu’s story with the world.
“While Perdu’s journey to find a home explores feelings of longing and uncertainty, his roller-coaster experience in the big city allowed me to explore the gentler side of things, to document unnoticed moments of tenderness and to celebrate the kindness of strangers.”
Smith said: “We are so very proud to publish this moving, tugs-at-the-heartstrings tale by the incredibly talented Richard Jones. We have always known that he could draw like a dream; how delighted we were to find that he can write like one, too.”
S&S Children’s UK m.d. Rachel Denwood added: “We are committed to growing and nurturing top author-illustrator talent and in Perdu Richard Jones confirms his position as a world-class picture-book-maker.”