New Middle Grade trilogy by Rob Biddulph to Macmillan in six-way auction

Macmillan Children’s Books has won a middle-grade trilogy from Rob Biddulph in a "fierce" six-way auction. The first title, Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City, will be published in September 2021. Associate publisher Sarah Hughes acquired world rights at auction from Jodie Hodges.

In the first book, Peanut's dad has gone missing, but she finds a pencil turbo-charged with special powers. Peanut is pulled into a world packed with more colour, creativity, excitement and danger than she could ever have imagined, and she might even find out what happened to her dad. 

Hughes commented: "From the moment the proposal for Peanut Jones came in, back in those pre-Covid days, its fresh brilliance absolutely shone. It’s a tonic for anyone looking for excitement, fun, warmth and originality. Rob’s perfectly pitched storytelling and vivid characters are a delight, and when you add his stunning artwork . . . What child could resist? I know I couldn’t."

Biddulph said: "I am beyond thrilled to be working on these books with Sarah, Chris and the incredible team at Macmillan. Their ambitious plans for Peanut and the gang wowed me from the beginning, and I'm delighted to have them in my corner as I take my first tentative steps into the world of middle-grade fiction. A lot of aspects of everyday life have changed since I first wrote this story, but I think the books' themes of creativity, friendship and acceptance are more important now than they have ever been. I can't wait for you to meet these characters."

Rob Biddulph is the award-winning, bestselling author/illustrator of picture books Blown Away, Kevin, Dog Gone, and many more. In March 2020 he started #DrawWithRob, a series of twice-weekly draw-along videos designed to help parents whose children were forced to stay home from school due to the coronavirus pandemic. It proved immensely popular, garnering millions of views and international media coverage. It has been used as a learning resource by thousands of families across the globe. On 21 May 2020 he broke the Guinness World Record for the largest ever online art class when 45,611 people tuned in to his live #DrawWithRob YouTube class. The first #DrawWithRob activity book was published in July 2020 and is a number one bestseller. Peanut Jones is his debut middle-grade series.

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