David Walliams and illustrator Tony Ross are returning with an “action-packed page-turning adventure”, Megamonster, on 24th June.
The book is released by HarperCollins Children's Books in hardback, with a simultaneous e-book and an audiobook version narrated by Walliams himself alongside a star-studded cast.
HarperCollins Children’s Books said the book “is set to become a classic in the Walliams publishing portfolio”, adding: “This timeless story takes place on an island in the middle of shark-infested waters – where the Cruel School stands on top of a dormant volcano. The lessons are appalling, the school dinners are revolting and the teachers are terrifying – especially the mysterious Science teacher, Doctor Doktur.
“When Larker is sent to the school for pulling a prank, she quickly realises something very odd is going on...something involving Doctor Doktur, a pair of strange spectacles and a ‘Monsterfication Machine’. And ultimately she finds herself face to face with a real life Megamonster. There seems to be no escape – but for Larker nothing is impossible...”
This is Walliams' first new book of 2021 and comes after another huge year for the writer, who has sold 20.2 million books in the UK in total for £118.7m. Last year's The World's Worst Parents shifted 329,928 copies through Nielsen BookScan's TCM outside of lockdown, making it the biggest-selling children's title of 2020. His bestseller is Gangsta Granny, published in 2013, which has sold 1.45 million copies.
Walliams said his son came up with the title Megamonster for him, explaining: “We kept talking about how great it would be if there was a giant monster made up of all different monsters. I thought this was a wonderful starting point for a story.”
HarperCollins Children’s Books executive publisher, Ann-Janine Murtagh, added: “We are thrilled to be publishing David’s new book this summer. It’s a phantasmagorical adventure with an irrepressible little girl hero, Larker, at its heart. Larker’s love of jokes will endear her to readers as she sets out to unravel some very mysterious events in this surreal and high-octane adventure.
“David’s thrilling new story is set to make children hold their breaths in suspense, roar with laughter and revel in the twists and turns of this glorious tale of the unexpected and the extraordinary. David’s storytelling is on fantastical form in a story that fizzes with energy, invention and fun. It will delight all Walliams fans all summer long.”