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April 2022

This is the book deal that almost wasn’t. Was the stinkbird too stinky? Who knows? But where there’s a Jill, there’s a way . . . or a Susan Kochan. Both books are just fabulous and illustrated by an equally fabulous guy, Bob Shea. This two-book deal is a pleasure to announce. I promise that if you don’t think animals have superpowers, you will after reading these books. I promise!

Susan Kochan at Putnam has acquired world rights to Stinkbird Has a Superpower and Parrotfish Has a Superpower by Jill Esbaum (l.), illustrated by Bob Shea. Both books introduce readers to unusual animals who have very unexpected and entertaining superpowers that help them survive. Publication is slated for summer 2023 and spring 2024; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator. 

Congratulations, Jill!


Some years ago, Penny emailed me to say she had a book idea. And was it okay that it was nonfiction? I said it was absolutely okay and what was the subject. 

Folks, confession time. I really don’t like spiders. I won’t enter a room if there is a spider on the ceiling. (Call it a very bad experience with spiders in my younger years. They still scare me very much.) And when Penny told me what the book was about, I thought “oh no, this is the first book idea that a client has that I can’t work on because I will be too scared.”

So, in truth, I could never be Nan Songer with thousands of spiders in her home, but I’m truly proud of Penny for writing this amazing book. First of all, it’s an astounding story, second of all, Penny wrote it so that even I, her spider-phobic agent can bear it, and third, kids are going to love Nan’s story. 

For all you fellow spider scaredy-cats, THOUSANDS OF SPIDERS!!! 

Okay, I’m done freaking out now. 

Carolyn Yoder at Astra/Calkins Creek has acquired North American rights to Spider Lady: Nan Songer and Her Arachnid WWII Army by Penny Parker Klostermann(l.), illustrated by Anne Lambelet. This debut nonfiction picture book biography tells the story of a woman who raised thousands of spiders in her home and harvested their silk for the war effort. Publication is planned for spring 2025; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator. 

Congratulations, Penny!


I'm so beyond thrilled to be celebrating Lauren Emmons' debut author-illustrated picture book, NO CATS IN THE LIBRARY. As a very big cat person, I fell head over heels for this from the first moment I saw Lauren's sample images - and it's matching with Catherine Laudone couldn't be more perfect! 

Catherine Laudone at S&S/Paula Wiseman Books has bought, in a preempt, author-illustrator Lauren Emmons's debut picture book, No Cats in the Library. Stray cat Clarisse loves to look at picture books, but there's just one problem—cats are not allowed in the library. But Clarisse is determined to find a way back inside and prove the library is exactly where she belongs. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Tara Gonzalez at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author for world rights.

I can't wait for this one to arrive on shelves in Spring 2024! Huge congrats, Lauren!

- Tara

It’s time to celebrate an exciting new picture book deal for top funny-guy Stephen W. Martin! From the editorial team that brought you the not-to-be-missed FLUFFY MCWHISKERS: CUTENESS EXPLOSION comes a fantastic ode to creativity, collaboration, and friendship. Here’s everything you need to know… 

Karen Wojytla at McElderry has acquired World rights to Stephen W. Martin’s next picture book, I Can’t Draw, with illustrations by Brian Biggs. This humorous story examines the artistic process through the lens of a boy who desperately wants to be able to draw as well as his exceptionally talented friend, until together they find a way to bring out their best artistic selves. The deal was managed by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency for the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House for the illustrator, for publication in late 2022.

The great news about this relatively late-stage announcement is simply this: look at that publication date! It’s practically around the corner! In fact, it is available for preorder right now, so don’t hesitate – this book is one you won’t want to miss.

Congratulations, Stephen!


There is a time and a place for deep and thoughtful and meaningful stories that move our deepest senses. There is also a time for celebrating JOY! And few things could be more joyful than this happy hug of a new book series, coming your way from the inspired pen of celebrated poet Shauntay Grant. These two books sold in an exciting preempt, and I could not be happier with the pairing!

Here is the deal announcement for the first two books in the series . . . with more hopefully on the way very soon :D 

Meredith Mundy at Abrams Appleseed has acquired Shauntay Grant’s Sandy Toes and Snowy Mittens, the first two titles in the Let’s Play Outside! board book series celebrating the unconstrained joy of outdoor play, whatever the season. The books will be illustrated by Candice Bradley. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the deal for the author and Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator in a deal for World rights. The first book will publish in Fall 2023.

Hooray to Shauntay, and happy playtime celebration to us all!

- Joan

As an unabashed lover of patterns in the world around me, it was a delight to sell a book based on Lisa’s gorgeous prose about patterns in nature and how ubiquitous they can be. I see them every single day.

Matched with amazing photographs showcasing such pattern examples makes this book even more special and exciting. I just know kids will eat this up! Make sure to add this one to your 2023 lists and get copies for your kids, extended family, friends, and students. And then wait to see how many patterns they are able to find for themselves in our lovely world!

Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has bought world rights to Patterns Everywhere by Lisa Varchol Perron. This lyrical nonfiction photo book is an invitation to explore the many places in nature where patterns can be found, from leaf veins to snowflakes to sand dunes. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary brokered the deal. 

Congratulations, Lisa!