Stripes Publishing, an imprint of the Little Tiger Group, has acquired a young fiction series written by Sylvia Bishop, with two-colour illustrations by Ashley King.
Associate publisher Jane Harris bought world rights to three titles in the 44 Tiny… series from Bryony Woods at DKW and struck a deal for King to illustrate with Hannah Whitty at Plum Pudding.
Stripes will publish 44 Tiny Secrets in May 2020, and there are two further titles in development: 44 Tiny Acrobats (November 2020) and 44 Tiny Chefs (May 2021). Ahead of Frankfurt Book Fair, an auction saw Polish rights in all three titles won by Zielona Sowa.
“44 Tiny Secrets tells the story of Betsy Bow-Linnet, who longs to become a world-famous pianist like her parents. Sadly, Betsy doesn’t share their musical talents, so when a mysterious letter arrives claiming to know of an unusual method that will make her playing ‘stupendous’, Betsy jumps at the chance,” reads the synopsis. “There’s just one condition – she must keep the method a secret. It sounds simple enough … until Betsy discovers that the method relies on the help of 44 tiny mice.”
Harris said: “I’m thrilled to be publishing 44 Tiny Secrets, a funny, pitch-perfect story about the true nature of family love and having the courage to be yourself. Betsy Bow-Linnet captured my heart from the start – she is smart, resourceful and brave, but she’s far from infallible, and this makes her all the more intriguing. Her world is peppered with larger than life characters, family secrets and an abundance of cream cakes – not to mention the antics of her 44 tiny mice. I can’t wait for readers to fall in love with Betsy, as I have! Sylvia’s writing is brimful of heart; her warmth and wit shine through and her characters leap off the page. And we couldn’t be more excited that Betsy’s world is being brought to life with gorgeous two-colour illustrations by the hugely talented Ashley King.”
Bishop added: “I’m so excited to be publishing Betsy’s story with Stripes. It’s partly a tale of some tender family relationships, but partly a tale about some ridiculous mice, and Stripes have understood that blend perfectly. Their vision for the series is brilliant, and I’m sure these are going to be really beautiful books. I’m especially excited to be working with the very talented Ashley King, who I know will bring Betsy to life perfectly – and has the saintly good cheer needed to put up with drawing my 44 tiny mice!”