Author and former model Sophie Dahl is making her first foray into kids’ books after signing a four-book deal with Walker.
The initial title by Dahl, granddaughter of Roald Dahl, is picture book Madame Badobedah with illustrations by Lauren O’Hara. It follows Mabel, a girl who lives in a hotel by the sea, who goes on fantastical adventures with an eccentric old lady.
Commissioning editor Emma Lidbury bought world rights to Madame Badobedah and three other titles from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown.
"The story follows a sparky young girl called Mabel who lives in a hotel by the sea. When an imperious old lady comes to stay, with her towering pile of bags and boxes and a host of exotic pets, Mabel’s interest is piqued – who IS this guest, how long is she staying, and why, oh why, are her trunks full of gold?" Reads the synopsis. "As Mabel begins her investigations, an unlikely friendship grows, leading to a series of fantastical adventures that take the pair well beyond the carpeted corridors of their seaside home."
Dahl said: “I couldn’t be more delighted that Walker Books, home to such an incredible stable of original, beloved authors, is publishing my first children’s book. I feel honoured to be sharing this company, and most of all feel that Madame Badobedah has found a great home.”
Lidbury added: “We’re thrilled to be publishing Madame Badobedah and to be bringing this timeless story to the world. Sophie’s writing is so expressive and her voice is both playful and original and will connect directly with children. The unforgettable characters burst off the page and together with Lauren’s art Madame Badobedah is set to be a picture book classic.”