Walker to publish Dahl's 'funny and wise' picture book

Walker to publish Dahl's 'funny and wise' picture book

Walker Books is to publish The Worst Sleepover in the World in October, a "funny and wise" picture book from Sophie Dahl, illustrated by Luciano Lozano.

The Worst Sleepover in the World, out in hardback on 7th October 2021, is the second children’s book in a four-book world rights deal, negotiated by executive editorial director Denise Johnstone Burt from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown. It follows Dahl's debut children's book Madame Badobedah, which was illustrated by Lauren O’Hara and published in October 2019.

Her latest work is "a playful story" exploring the hilarious complications of first friendships. The synopsis explains: "Ramona is having her best friend Gracie to stay the night —- it’s their first ever sleepover, and she plans to make a den, dance like a wild thing, throw putty on the ceiling, feast on sweets and stay up all night. Ramona and her little sister Ruby think it will be the BEST SLEEPOVER IN HISTORY. But nothing quite goes to plan and everything is heading for disaster. Will Gracie, Ramona and Ruby still be friends in the morning? Will Mum ever get to bed? With a nod to the sentiments of beloved picture books such as Jill Murphy’s Five Minutes Peace, this marvellous new book from Sophie Dahl is sure to entertain young readers and adults alike."

Johnstone Burt said: “I loved The Worst Sleepover In The World at once, it’s a brilliant comedy of manners. Sophie’s ability to describe character and comic situations is superb, and with Luciano’s illustrations she has created a funny, wise, and clever picture book, which will make you laugh out loud, as well as positioning itself firmly in the tradition of many classics.”

Dahl has written four adult books and two for children, with 126,648 books sold in the UK for £1.3m through Nielsen BookScan's Total Consumer Market. She is a monthly columnist at House and Garden, and has written essays for Vogue, the New York Times, Sunday Times and Conde Nast Traveller. She has served as a judge on the Orange Prize for Fiction, and Vogue’s Young Talent contest. 

She said “I am thrilled to be launching a second children's book with Walker Books, who are home to an incredible stable of authors, amongst them many of my own literary heroes. The Worst Sleepover In The World is about expectation versus reality on a Saturday night. Writing it was great fun, and I hope it will resonate with children and parents alike. Luciano Lozano’s illustrations are the total icing on the cake. They sing with humour, and his picture of Gracie, on the verge of her loudest shout, makes me laugh out loud, however many times I see it.”

Lozano studied an MA in illustration at EINA University School of Design and Art, Barcelona, and he has lived there ever since and worked on numerous children's books. His art is also regularly seen in newspapers and magazines worldwide.