Andersen Press has snapped up two picture books to help children tackle their problems and worries from poet Rachel Rooney and artist Zehra Hicks.
Editorial director Sue Buswell secured world rights for the two books from Felicity Trew at Caroline Sheldon for Zehra Hicks’ art, and Caroline Walsh at David Higham for Rachel Rooney’s text. The first book, The Problem with Problems will be published in the UK in spring 2020 and has already been translated into 17 languages ahead of publication.
The synopsis for The Problem With Problems explains: “This one-of-a-kind picture book will help little ones and grown-ups alike deal with their pesky problems. Have you ever met a Problem? They come in all shapes and sizes, and can pop up at the most inconvenient times. But you should know some things about them that will help you make them disappear.”
The second book, The Worrying Worries, was presented at Frankfurt Book Fair. The books teaches children how to cope with worrying with help from “The Worry Doctor”.
Buswell said: “It was one of those goosebump moments the instant I read Rachel Rooney’s extraordinary texts, written in playful style, deceptively simple, but with piercing accuracy they go to the very heart of these important themes for young children. And with extraordinary serendipity at that very same moment Zehra was introduced to us and we knew, instantly, only she could bring these books to life in her unique, exuberant and playful artwork. A rare partnership indeed.”
Rooney’s first poetry collection A Kid in My Class (Otter-Barry Books) won the CLPE Poetry Award and was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. Hicks’s book The Boy Who Hated Toothbrushes (Macmillan) was highly commended for the Macmillan Prize for Illustration, and was shortlisted for the Read It Again! Cambridgeshire Children's Picture Book Award.