Thames & Hudson will publish the debut picture book, The Star in the Forest, by Glasgow-based author and illustrator Helen Kellock.
Editorial director Roger Thorp and commissioning and development editor Anna Ridley bought world rights to Kellock’s first title from Jenny Brown Associates, to be published later this autumn. Thames & Hudson, an illustrated books publisher, said the acquisition is part of its “growing children’s list”.
For her work on The Star in the Forest, Kellock was recognised in a number of awards including winning the 2018 Batsford Prize for Children’s Illustration, and was highly commended as part of the Macmillan Book Prize. She is based in Glasgow and The Star in the Forest is her debut.
The book follows Maisie and Pip who decide to set out into the night to find a shooting star which they saw fall out of the sky and crash into the nearby forest. Driven by their curiosity, the girls navigate their way through the eerie forest towards the star and in doing so discover creatures and overcome their fears along their way.
Thorp and Ridley offered a joint statement, and paid tribute to Kellock’s “remarkable talent”.
“Helen’s illustrations for The Star in the Forest are so rich in atmosphere, they transport you to some other place entirely,” they said. “As an art publisher, we are always on the lookout for illustrators like Helen who can present the world to us afresh and reveal something we hadn’t seen before. Combined with her charming story about the friendship between two siblings, Helen stood out to me as a young artist with incredible potential.”