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We recently had an incredible starred review for Deborah Underwood’s April 2020 picture book, OUTSIDE IN, illustrated by Cindy Derby: Kirkus said, "Lushness without sweetness—wild, darkly romantic, and exquisite.” Isn’t that wonderful?

Shortly on the heels of that came the word that a new Deborah Underwood picture book is underway, this time to be illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier, who, like Cindy Derby, is repped by Jen Laughran of Andrea Brown. Are you sensing a trend?

This time, the story skews younger and more personal, less philosophical. It’s about a young character named Walter who goes through his first-ever friendship breakup and finds his way to wonderful new possibilities. When I sent it to Andrea Welch at Beach Lane, it took her about five minutes to make an offer. Turns out her little one was going through what Walter goes through, so she could see how much this book hits a chord instantly.

WALTER is scheduled to release fall 2022, and we can’t wait! Congratulations, Deborah!

—Erin