Puffin has snapped up Zadie Smith and Nick Laird's "endearing" debut picture book, Weirdo, featuring a judo suit-wearing guinea pig.
Puffin Picture Books editorial director Andrea MacDonald bought world rights from Natasha Fairweather, Georgia Garrett and Claire Wilson at The RCW Literary Agency. Weirdo, which will be illustrated by debut illustrator Magenta Fox, will publish in hardback on 8th April 2021.
Commenting on the acquisition, MacDonald said: "This is just a dream book – Zadie, Nick and Magenta have that incredible, magical creative symbiosis that is found in all the very best picture books: words and illustration combining to make a perfect story. I couldn’t be more delighted or excited to share Maud, a guinea pig who is firmly lodged in my heart, with the world."
"Weirdo is the story of Maud, a guinea pig who inexplicably wears a judo suit – and not everyone understands or approves," reads the synopsis. "When Maud is thrown into a new and confusing situation, it takes brave decisions and serendipitous encounters for her to find her place and embrace her individuality."
Husband and wife team Laird and Smith said: "We’re delighted to be able to work with Magenta, whose illustrations we adore. Of all the books we’ve published, this is our favourite. Three cheers for all the weirdos!"
Fox added: "Illustrating Weirdo has been a total joy and dream come true. The wonderful people at Puffin have been so supportive and encouraging throughout the process, and I can't wait for the world to meet Weirdo next year."