Mr Gum author Andy Stanton is working on a picture book with illustrator Neal Layton, which will be published by Hodder Children’s Books (HCB).
HCB publishing director Anne McNeil acquired world rights to Danny McGee Drinks the Sea, including merchandise and a film, from Stanton’s agent Eve White and Layton’s agent Alison Eldred. The book is based around the question of whether Danny can drink the sea—he does just that, but ends up swallowing other things too, including trees, flies, fleas, peas and even mountains.
McNeil said the partnership between the pair wouid “set the picture book world alight”. She added: “Danny McGee has the hallmarks of an enduring and I have been lucky enough to work with Neal for many years and I’ve admired Andy’s work: this is a partnership made in heaven,” she said.
Stanton’s Mr Gum series, published by Egmont, has achieved value sales of more than £5m through Nielsen’s Total Consumer Market, and won prizes including the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Red House Children’s Book Award and two Blue Peter Book Awards.
Layton is the author/ illustrator of books such as The Story of Stars and the Mammoth Academy series (both HCB), and has also illustrated titles for Michael Rosen and Cressida Cowell.
Danny McGee Drinks the Sea will be published in 2016 in hardback.