Walker Books has bought two more titles in a new illustrated fiction series from Philip Ardagh and Elissa Elwick about a detective duo of a young girl and her French poodle.
Emma Lidbury, the publisher’s fiction commissioning editor at Walker Books, acquired the text directly from Philip Ardagh and the illustrations from Jodie Hodges at United Agents for Stick and Fetch: Barking Up the Wrong Tree, as well as a second title in the series.
Ardargh said the idea for the story first came to him 20 years ago. Stick and Fetch: Barking Up the Wrong Tree follows two of “hapless young detectives”, Sally Stick and her shaggy French poodle, Fetch. It is aimed at children aged between five and eight and is due to be published in spring 2018.
Ardagh and Elwick collaborated on four titles in The Little Adventurer series together which were acquired by Walker in 2015.
Lidbury said: “You cannot fail to love the optimistic Sally Stick and her adoring shaggy poodle, Fetch. In their own heads, they’re detectives, solvers of mysteries; the sky’s the limit. In reality they’re frequently chasing their own tails, leaving a trail of mayhem wherever they go.
“We’re delighted to be publishing Philip’s fun, sparky stories for the youngest of readers, and seeing them brought to life by Elissa’s charmingly retro illustrations.”
Ardagh said: “The idea for Stick & Fetch –a girl and dog detective duo, both with unmanageable hair – first came to me over 20 years ago. I knew Elissa would be the ideal choice to draw Stick and Fetch. We understand each other.
“Elissa did a few sketches, we added them to my text and took them to Emma at Walker, such a splendid publisher.”
Elwick added: “These are Philip’s stories rather than something we've come up with together, so it's fun intuiting characters that reside in his brain alone. Sally Stick, Fetch and the situations they get themselves into are great fun to draw and I'm thrilled to be dipping my toes (and brush pen) into the fiction world for the first time.”