*I missed the March update as we all acclimated to our new normal and as a nation, I think, collectively grieved this worldwide change. I hope you and yours are all healthy and well. Over here, we are well and trying to celebrate the bright spots where we find them. With that said…*
This month, I have some big personal news! My second picture book as an author, Princesses Can Fix It! is coming in 2021 from Page Street Kids!
From the deal announcement:
Courtney Burke at Page Street Kids has bought world rights to Princesses Can Fix It! by literary agent Tracy Marchini (Chicken Wants a Nap); Julia Christians will illustrate. A STEM-focused take on The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the story follows three princesses who use the six simple machines in their nighttime secret workshop to solve the king’s alligator problem and prove that proper princesses can build, invent, and experiment after all. Publication is set for spring 2021; Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Susan McCabe at Lilla Rogers Studio represented the illustrator.
My clients also have some fun news, and when things reopen, you can (hopefully) check out the Wow Bao! chain of kiosk restaurants for copies of Charlene Chua’s Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and coloring sheets. Also, a big congratulations to Sally Deng on the sale of Warrior Princess: The Story of Khutulun and another book to FSG! More on the deal below!
Publishing this Month
Going Up! by Sherry J. Lee and illustrated by Charlene Chua (Kids Can Press, April 7, 2020)
Genius Jolene by Sara Cassidy and illustrated by Charlene Chua (Orca Books, April 7, 2020)
Ronan the Librarian by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie, illustrated by Victoria Maderna (Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, April 21, 2020)
Starred Reviews and Best of Lists
Rita Lorraine Hubbard and Oge Mora’s The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read (RH/Anne Schwartz Books, January 2020) was one of twenty books selected for the 2021 & 2022 Choose to Read Ohio booklist!
Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie‘s Ronan the Librarian is a Junior Library Guild Selection!
Trisha de Guzman at FSG has acquired, at auction, in a two-book, six-figure deal, Warrior Princess: The Story of Khutulun by author-illustrator Sally Deng. The book follows the life of the great-great granddaughter of Genghis Khan, a princess who could rule on the battlefield as well as—or better—than any soldier, and when faced with a potential marriage, learns that sometimes the best way to serve one’s community is to stay true to oneself. Publication is slated for winter 2022; a second, untitled book will publish in winter 2023. Tracy Marchini at BookEnds did the deal for world English rights.
Alexis Orgera and Chad Reynolds at Penny Candy Books have bought world rights to Between Two Worlds: The Art and Life of Amrita Sher-Gil by Meera Sriram. This picture book biography follows the titular Indian-Hungarian painter, who blended Eastern and Western traditions to paint that which was not previously seen in fine art—the workers, the forgotten, and, most especially, the sadness that the women around her carried. Ruchi Bakshi Sharma will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Claire Stetzer at Bloomsbury has bought world rights to Jessica Kulekjian‘s fiction debut, First Notes of Spring, a picture book about a badger who is excluded from the band that wakes up spring each year, and decides to march to the beat of her own drum. Jennifer Bower will illustrate. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Tracy Marchini and James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Rebecca Glaser at Amicus Ink has bought world rights to One Blue Gnu by Danna Smith. The picture book is a colorful counting romp at the zoo, where a box of misplaced cell phones leads one blue gnu to call two white sheep, who plan a party—beep beep beep! Ana Zurita will illustrate. Publication is set for spring 2021; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Chiara Patsias at IMC Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Rob Valois at Penguin Workshop has bought world rights to John Micklos Jr.‘s Raindrops to Rainbow. The story is about a girl who experiences a thunderstorm and learns that only with a little rain can we see the beauty of a rainbow. Charlene Chua will illustrate; publication is scheduled for spring 2021. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the illustrator.
In March, I welcomed two new clients!
I’m thrilled to share that I’m now representing author-illustrator Sina Merabian, whose portfolio is full of things both macabre and lighthearted. I absolutely love how she has three different variations on Dracula in her portfolio, from the classic horror feel to a more humorous picture book and a heartwarming, queer middle grade scene.
I also welcomed author Mike Downs, whose non-fiction I am super excited about! We have talked about so many awesome ideas for young readers and I can’t wait till we’re able to share more news about his forthcoming books!
My big news is Princesses Can Fix It! of course, but I also used Brad Mondo’s YouTube haircut tutorial a couple weeks ago, and honestly, I’m pretty dang happy with how it turned out! (Plus, I home bleached my hair just like I was back in undergrad. Definitely needed the purple shampoo to tone it down – which is something that I don’t think I was aware of/existed when I was in college – but I’m pretty happy with that, too. It took longer for me to get used to than I thought it would though, since I pretty much spent years as a bottle blonde in my twenties. Weird.)
MSWL of the Month
I’m looking for more clever, witty picture books with a pop culture sensibility, chapter books and young graphic novels with series potential, and middle grade that’s full of hope.
And as always, I’d love to see more author-illustrators in my inbox that really explore the advantages of being able to juxtapose art and text yourself!
You can query me at http://queryme.online/tmarchini for this and any other of my #mswls any time I’m open to queries.
Last Month in The Quacktory
In the last issue of The Quacktory, I talked about what it means to write from the heart, and how that sometimes gets muddled when we’re also trying to write for the market. This month, I’ll be talking about creating in difficult times.
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