Simon & Schuster Children’s Books (UK) has acquired a further two picture book titles from illustrator and "rising star" Richard Jones. The deal builds on Bologna Book Fair hit The Snow Lion, Jones' "first major picture book" written by Jim Helmore that S&S Children's is publishing in the UK in September.
Publication dates and full details of the two further picture books illustrated by Jones are yet to be confirmed. S&S Children's Books UK bought world rights for two titles from Arabella Stein at the Bright Agency.
Lara Hancock, picture books editorial director at S&S UK, who struck the deal, praised the "fantastically talented" author for his "unique approach" and his work's "magical atmosphere", while Jones in turn said he was "over the moon" to be working with Simon & Schuster again.
"His unique approach to colour and characterisation lends real depth, warmth and a magical atmosphere to his work – creating a timeless quality that beguiles everyone who sees it," said Hancock.
Jones added: "[Simon & Schuster's] list includes so many talented picture book makers, so to be a part of such an esteemed team is incredibly exciting and very humbling. I can’t wait to get going!"
Previous to the new deal, S&S Children’s will publish The Snow Lion, illustrated by Jones, in September. This is Jones’ "first major picture book", according to S&S Children's, who describe it as "a beautiful, lyrical story with a touch of magic and a poignant message about friendship and growing in confidence".
The Snow Lion has been a big hit at the Bologna Book Fair with co-edition deals signed in two languages (Catalan and Castilian) and a Chinese auction underway. More deals are said to be expected.