HarperCollins Children’s Books is celebrating a decade of David Walliams’ chart dominance with new editions of his first two novels and two of his “most beloved” titles.
On 8th March new editions of Mr Stink (first published in 2009) and Gangsta Granny (2011) will hit the shelves with new illustrations from Walliams’ illustrators, Tony Ross and Sir Quentin Blake, and introductions from the author. They will be followed by Grandpa’s Great Escape (first released in 2015) on 26th July and The Boy in the Dress (Walliams’ first book, published in 2008) on 1st November.
All of the special editions will be printed in hardback, priced at £14.99, and will only be published in this 10th anniversary year, said HarperCollins.
Walliams is one of the most successful children’s writers working today, selling 12.6 million print books for £71.2m through Nielsen BookScan. His top-selling title, Gangsta Granny, has sold £7.9m, while Mr Stink has shifted £5.3m. Sales of Grandpa’s Great Escape come to £6m and The Boy in the Dress total £4.1m. Bad Dad is shortlisted in The British Book Awards' Children's Book of the Year category.
Along with releasing the anniversary editions, HarperCollins is also planning a year of celebrations to mark the milestone. Walliams’ school helicopter tours will resume in June and a ‘David Walliams Live’ event will tour literary festivals. Schools will be a “major focus” for the celebrations, with the publisher working with education charity Shakespeare Schools Foundation (SSF) to create dramatic performances based on Walliams' books.
Ann-Janine Murtagh, children’s books executive publisher, said: “It’s been the most extraordinarily exhilarating ten years since David’s ground-breaking debut The Boy in the Dress was so perfectly illustrated by Quentin. David has remained tireless in creating unforgettable and truly original stories for children with each and every one of his books written from the heart. We are very proud to be David Walliams’ publishers and look forward to sharing this glorious anniversary with his readers across the globe.”
Walliams added: “It is hard to believe there are children reading my books who hadn’t been born when I started writing them. What started off as a something of a hobby for me has completely taken over my life. I am thrilled with the special colour editions of my books, and am planning to spend as much time as I can this year meeting my young readers.”