Walker acquires O'Farrell's third picture book

Walker acquires O'Farrell's third picture book

Walker Books is to publish a third picture book by Maggie O'Farrell, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini. 

World rights were bought by senior commissioning editor Maria Tunney from Victoria Hobbs at the A M Heath agency, with illustrations acquired from Stephanie Alexander-Jinks at The Artworks. Provisionally titled The Tidy and Untidy Room, it is slated for October 2023.

The acquisition follows previous deals the children's press has secured with the duo. The debut picture book, Where Snow Angels Go, was acquired as part of a two-book deal made in 2019. The second book, provisionally titled Deep Down Inside the Hill, will publish in October 2022.

All three books feature different characters and settings, but are interconnected, each touching on a different element each time. Where Snow Angels Go is about water, Deep Down Inside the Hill explores fire, and book three is about air and centres around two very different sisters, inspired in part by O'Farrell's own stammering.

O'Farrell's books for adults have won the Betty Trask Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Costa Novel Award. Most recently, her latest novel Hamnet (Tinder Press) won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020 and was named Waterstones Book of the Year. 

Commenting on her third picture book collaboration, she said: “I’m thrilled to be continuing work with the dream team of Walker Books and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini. The people at Walker talk about “making” a book, rather than “publishing” one, and this choice of verb encompasses their collaborative, inventive and involved attitude to producing stories for children. Daniela’s illustrations are always beautiful and strange, possessing a wildness of spirit that appeals to the child in all of us: I couldn’t wish for a better partner-in-narrative.”

Terrazzini studied Fine Art in Milan and moved to London to study photography at the London College of Printing. She is now an illustrator of both detailed paintings and graphic surface patterns. She has illustrated The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller (Simon & Schuster) and My Miniature Library (Laurence King).

She said: "Working with Maggie on her children’s books fills me both with pride and gratitude in equal measure. I feel a strong connection to her writing, both for grown-ups and for children. Her second book, which we’re currently collaborating on, especially so. I feel very lucky to have teamed up with her and even luckier that our partnership is proving so joyful. It sometimes feels like we are two naughty children on an adventure together."

Tunney added: “Maggie’s stories are about strong, fiercely independent children. But they are vulnerable, too. And it is in this vulnerability that Maggie invites magic: a snow angel that protects an ailing Sylvie and now, in this next title, an ancient creature, a nouka, that ignites mischief and chaos, allowing Jem – a boy with no firm foothold in the world – to finally feel joy and freedom, to finally feel like himself.

"We are all immensely proud to be the home for Maggie’s children books and there is no one better placed than Daniela to bring to life on the page the power that Maggie’s words hold within. Their visions are perfectly aligned. We are beyond thrilled that this collaboration will continue into 2023.”