Studio Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, will publish How to Mend a Friend by Karl Newson, with illustrations by Clara Anganuzzi.
Frankie Jones, senior commissioning editor, acquired world rights from Emily Talbot on behalf of Jodie Hodges at United Agents. Illustration rights were acquired from Amy Milligan at Illo Agency. Publication is scheduled for June 2021.
The picture book follows a young child and her animal friends as they learn to support each other during times of sadness.
Jones said: "How To Mend a Friend is a book filled with hope and heart. Karl’s beautiful text will move children and adults alike as they recognise the ways we all need emotional support, whether our heart aches from a broken toy or the loss of a loved one. Clara’s stunning artwork adds warmth and humour, as the reader is transported across landscapes to encounter the menagerie of animals who need a friend at a tough time."
Newson commented: "This story was written in the middle of spring 2019, in the middle of my chemotherapy treatment for cancer, when the days were a haze and the future was quite uncertain. Although it was without a doubt one of the darkest times of my life, I found myself filled with love and support from all those around me: my partner, friends, family and, of course, the amazing NHS staff who made a very strange and surreal time easier. This story is my 'Thank you' to them all for getting me through."
Anganuzzi added: "During recent times we've all come to realise what is significant in our lives; friends, family and community. We're constantly learning how to care better for the ones who are important to us in different ways. How to Mend a Friend is a heartwarming, important story and it's been a great joy bringing the story and characters to life."