Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

Magabala picture book scores North American sale

A number of Australian children’s picture books have been sold into international markets over the past few months, including a North American sale for Indigenous publisher Magabala Books.

Magabala Books has sold North American rights to Little Bird’s Day (Sally Morgan, illus by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr) to Blue Dot Books via Natasha Solomun at The Rights Hive. The 2019 picture book—the first collaboration between the well-known author and emerging illustrator—tells ‘a simple, universal story of a day in the life of Little Bird as she sings the world alive, flies with Cloud, travels with Wind, nestles with Moon and dreams of flying among the stars’. ‘Sally’s gentle words and Johnny’s intricate artwork combine to make this a beautiful, distinctive publication with global appeal,’ said the publisher.

Literary agent Jacinta di Mase has sold North American rights to We Love You, Magoo! by Briony Stewart (Puffin)—a rhyming picture book about a loveable dog who is still learning the rules—to Kira Lynn at Kane Miller via Annabel Barker Agency and Jacinta di Mase Management. A follow-up, Where Are You, Magoo?, will be published in Australia later this year.

Affirm Press has sold world Portuguese rights to The Ultimate Survival Guide to Monsters Under the Bed (Mitch Frost, illus by Daron Parton)—a humorous, step-by-step guide to a classic childhood fear—to Leya; Walker Books has licensed Dutch co-edition rights to How to Make a Bird (Meg McKinlay, illus by Matt Ottley)—‘a moving and visually stunning picture book that celebrates the transformative power of the creative process’—to Standaard Uitgeverij; and Scholastic Australia has sold Turkish rights to Joe and the Stars (Phil Cummings, illus by Connah Brecon, 2021), the story of a young boy who moves to the city only to discover the stars that he loves to watch are much harder to see. In children’s nonfiction, Hardie Grant has sold North American rights to Sophie Beer’s picture book for little activists, Change Starts With Us.

In middle-grade fiction, UQP has sold UK rights to Peter Carnavas’ My Brother Ben (October 2021)—a moving story of sibling bonds from the author of the award-winning, internationally published children’s book The Elephant—to Pushkin Press, and Hachette has sold German translation rights to Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne—the first title in a new fantasy middle-grade series—to Arena-Verlag. ‘Combining magic, science and an unforgettable female protagonist, the Wednesday Weeks series has the potential to become an international middle-grade sensation,’ said the publisher.


Category: Think Australian newsletter Rights sales