UCLan Publishing has acquired Cheesed Off!, the debut picture book from reading development and children's book consultant Jake Hope.
Hazel Holmes, publisher, bought world rights directly from the author and publication is scheduled for March 2022.
Cheesed Off! will be deliberately written in sparse text that is both "playful and engaging". It will be set at a birthday party where the word "cheese" brings mischievous mice out of their hiding hole, and the repetition of the word will reinforce engagement and appeal to to families of less confident readers, the publisher said. It will be illustrated by a student of illustration at the University of Central Lancashire.
Holmes said: "I’ve worked with Jake for many years now and have long admired his passion for children’s literacy. It’s an honour to have him to consider us for his picture book debut and I am excited for readers to discover the warm humour that he brings to Cheesed Off!"
Hope was the reading and learning development manager for Lancashire Libraries and delivers training and public speaking on books and reading. He is also a reviewer and advocate for libraries, books and reading. Hope was formally chair of the Youth Libraries Group and is currently the chair of the working party for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal.
He commented: "The relationship between reading and place has long been a source of fascination. Growing up in the north west, books were instrumental to my childhood and subsequent career. It is massively exciting to have my first picture book published by UCLan Publishing in Lancashire, a truly pioneering venture that is working innovatively to increase regional diversity and to create more opportunities for more people to help tell more stories reflecting the breadth of lives, emotions and imaginations in the UK. Cheesed Off! is a playful, interactive book that was partly inspired by my love of Lancashire cheese it could not have found a better or more apt home!"