Bonnier Books UK's Templar imprint has acquired cartoonist Tom Gauld's first picture book, The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess.
Editorial director Katie Haworth acquired English language rights for the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) from Cecilia de la Campa at Writer’s House, New York. Holiday House has US rights and the title will be published simultaneously on 2nd September 2021.
Gauld is a Scottish cartoonist who contributes to the New Yorker, his debut picture book is a modern fairytale about sibling love.
When the log princess goes missing her brother, the little wooden robot, sets out on an epic adventure to find her. He will encounter goblins, magic puddings, a mushroom queen and a very intimidating wood pile as he seeks to bring his sister home.
Haworth said: "It’s a good day in publishing, when a submission arrives which is so exciting that you almost fall of your chair. So it was when Cecilia de la Campa sent me The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess. I’d followed Tom’s work for a long time in the Guardian and the New Yorker, and I was always so impressed with his ability to get a big idea into the simplest of images, and with the wit and wisdom contained in those elegant drawings."
Gauld commented: "There are echoes of ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘The Snow Queen’ and many others in there too. I read the story to my kids many times as I worked on it and they offered feedback. The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess is a story inspired by three different sets of books: those I remember enjoying as a child, the books that I watched my daughters enjoy, and the books I enjoy now as an adult. I wanted the book to have its own quirky feeling but also to function like a classic bedtime story."
Gauld has previously published comic books including You’re all Just Jealous of My Jetpack (Drawn and Quarterly, 2013), Mooncop (Drawn & Quarterly, 2016) and Baking With Kafka (Canongate, 2017).