Transworld has acquired two new books by National Geographic explorer Lucy Cooke.
Cooke, a zoologist, writer and TV presenter, has been “chased by hyenas, cuddled pangolins, stalked drunken moose, rubbed into her skin the crimson liquid hippos secrete, and argued fervently for a reappraisal of the humble sloth” in her quest to find out the truth about animals.
Her first book, as yet untitled, is set to be published in Autumn 2017 and looks at “the ways human beings have misunderstood many creatures”. For example, Aristotle mistakenly thought eels were born out of mud, while the “lazy” sloth has a good excuse for behaving as it does - its eyes are fixed in their sockets and it lacks a startle reflex. The book examines what we know now, while making a study of our relationships with animals to reveal what this says about us as a species.
Susanna Wadeson won the book in a 10-way auction run by Will Francis of Janklow & Nesbit. She bought UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada). German rights have been sold to Piper/Malik on a pre-empt, and Hebrew rights to Modan.
Details for her second book are yet to be revealed by the publishers.
Wadeson said: "I love Lucy's writing. She is a natural storyteller, very, very funny, and her book will be full of fascinating information both from history and from today's experts in the field. Imagine if Bill Bryson turned his pen to natural history..."
Cooke is a National Geographic explorer, New York Times best-selling picture book author, award-winning television writer, producer and presenter with a Master's degree in zoology. She also studied under Professor Richard Dawkins at Oxford.
She said: “I'm fascinated by the ways we misunderstand animals, which reveal a lot about us, as well as about them. I've been ranting about pandas and sloths at dinner parties for years and I'm excited to finally get their true stories down on paper and maybe find some inner peace. I couldn't be more thrilled to be joining my old tutor Richard Dawkins in the illustrious Transworld stable."
In 2016 Cooke is presenting two high profile prime time series for BBC1 (Amazing Animals and Nature's Miracle Survivors) as well as her own six part series about animal births for ITV.
Her picture book A Little Book of Sloth, acquired by Franklin Watts, made the New York Times best-sellers list. Cooke is also a founder of the Sloth Appreciation Society.