Compiled by Cecilia Cackley
This is an occasional series keeping track of the book deals announced by Latinx writers and illustrators. The purpose of this series is to celebrate book deals by authors and illustrators in our community and to advocate for more of them. If you are an agent and you have a Latinx client who just announced a deal, you can let me know on Twitter, @citymousedc. If you are a Latinx author or illustrator writing for children or young adults, and you just got a book deal, send me a message and we will celebrate with you! And if I left anyone out here, please let me know! Here’s to many more wonderful books in the years to come.
Anne Schwartz at Random House/Schwartz & Wade has acquired world rights to The Queen’s Pangolin by Melinda Beatty, author of the Heartseeker series, and illustrated by Paola Escobar, illustrator of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré. In this picture book, a pangolin breaks his queen’s swing, and struggles with telling her the truth about what happened. Publication is set for fall 2022. Illustrator agent: Amy Kitcherside at Pickled Ink.
Nina Gruener at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Herbert & Dorothy: The Story of a Postal Clerk and a Librarian and Their Extraordinary Collection of Art by Jackie Azúa Kramer, illustrated by Julie Breckenreid, a picture book about the New York couple who loved art, collected it, and gave it all away to museums across the country. Publication is slated for fall 2021. Author agent: Stephen Fraser at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.
Carolina Ortiz at HarperCollins has bought world English rights to Ashanti Fortson‘s debut, Cress & Petra. Set in the near future, the YA graphic novel follows the friendship between Cress Orozco, an autistic teenager with plenty of problems and big thoughts about life, and Petra, a lab-made AI looking for adventure. Their intertwining experiences raise the question: what does it mean to be human? Publication is planned for fall 2022. Author agent: Susan Graham at Einstein Literary Management.
Holly Rice at Disney-Hyperion has acquired world rights to the first three books in Bibbidi Bobbidi Academy, an early chapter book series written by Kallie George and illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gómez. Young fairy godmothers-in-training go on adventures and attend magical classes at Bibbidi Bobbidi Academy, a reimagining of Disney Park’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. Publication for all three books is slated for fall 2022. Illustrator agent: Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency.
Joanna Cárdenas and Sydnee Monday at Kokila have acquired world rights to The Cot in the Living Room, a picture book debut by Hilda Eunice Burgos, author of Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle. Debut picture book artist Gaby D’Alessandro will illustrate. Based in New York City’s Washington Heights, it follows a Dominican-American child’s journey from jealousy to empathy as her parents babysit young people from the neighborhood whose families work night shifts. Publication is set for summer 2021. The book was submitted to Kokila’s yearly open call for unagented manuscripts. Illustrator agent: Gail Gaynin at Morgan Gaynin.
Louise May at Lee & Low has bought world English and Spanish rights to The Turquoise Room by Monica Brown, illustrated by Pura Belpré Award honoree Adriana M. Garcia. This bilingual picture book recounts the artistic lives of three generations of women in the author’s family as they pass their creativity from generation to generation for more than 100 years. Publication is scheduled for 2021. Author/Illustrator agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.
Beth Terrill at NorthSouth has acquired world rights to Baptiste Paul‘s picture book, Climb On!, which follows a father and daughter as they hike to the top of a mountain. Jacqueline Alcántara (The Field) will illustrate. Publication is set for spring 2022. Author agent: Karen Grencik from Red Fox Literary. Illustrator agent: Adriana Dominguez from Full Circle Literary.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired world English rights to Doomed by Laura Pohl (The Last 8), the story of four troubled friends, one murdered girl, and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed. While investigating the murder of their best friend, four reimagined fairytale heroines must uncover connections to their ancient curses and attempt to forge their own paths before it’s too late. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021. Author agent: Sarah LaPolla at Bradford Literary Agency.
Harriet Low at HMH has bought world rights to Hello, Puddle! by Anita Sanchez, illustrated by Luisa Uribe. The nonfiction picture book tells of the ways animals use puddles, from nurseries for frogs to drinking fountains for butterflies, underscoring the accessibility of the natural world and helping children understand the intricate link between wildlife and their habitats. Publication is slated for spring 2022. Author agent: Regina Ryan at Regina Ryan Publishing. Illustrator agent: Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency.
Kelsey Skea at Amazon/Two Lions has acquired world rights to Estelle Laure‘s Before the World Wakes, a celebration of the magical moments witnessed on an adventure before daybreak, illustrated by Paola Zakimi. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Author/Illustrator agent: Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management.
Stephanie Stein at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, in a two-book deal, middle grade novel The Insiders by Schneider Family Award winner Mark Oshiro (Anger Is a Gift). The book features a queer boy who, fleeing from bullies, discovers a magical closet that not only provides him sanctuary, but also unites him with two other kids facing persecution at their own schools across the country, helping them find friendship and strength in one another. Publication is slated for fall 2021. Author agent: DongWon Song at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.
Mark Siegel at First Second has acquired Monster Locker, a middle grade graphic novel series written by Jorge Aguirre with art by Andrès Vera Martinez, in which a sixth-grader named Pablo and his friends must stop various monsters that emerge from a portal inside of his locker from destroying their entire grade school. Publication is scheduled for 2022. Author/Illustrator agent: Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary.
Beth Terrill at NorthSouth has bought world rights to Baptiste and Miranda Paul‘s picture book, Peace, a concept picture book that explores definitions of words and actions small and big that foster peace. Estelí Meza, winner of the A la Orilla del Viento, the premier Picture Book Contest Award in Mexico, will illustrate. Publication is set for fall 2021. Author agent: Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary. Illustrator agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has acquired world rights to Alison Wilgus and Rii Abrego‘s middle-grade graphic novel Grace Needs Space!. In this SF adventure, Grace is excited to spend the weekend away from her overbearing mother and finally get to spend time with her “fun” mom on a delivery to Titan, but when things go sideways, it’s up to Grace (with some help from her mother back home) to save the day. Publication is planned for 2022. Illustrator agent: Molly O’Neill at Root Literary.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought world rights to Hair Story by NoNieqa Ramos. Written in rhythmic verse, this picture book follows two friends, a Boricua girl and a black girl, as others first try to tame their tresses and eventually celebrate their gorgeous, natural hair. Keisha Morris will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2021. Author agent: Emily Keyes at Fuse Literary Agency.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks has bought the middle-grade series Who Invited the Villain? by debut author Victor Pineiro. Pitched as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in middle school, the first book, Pirates Make Terrible Guests, follows Javi de Silva, a sandwich-obsessed Puerto Rican sixth grader, who inadvertently lets Blackbeard the Pirate loose on his town when his antique dinner table brings his homework to life. Book one is slated for fall 2021. Author agent: Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency.
Alison Deering at Capstone has bought middle grade novel The Greatest Superpower by Alex Sanchez (Rainbow Boys, and the Lambda Award-winning novel So Hard to Say). As summer draws to a close, 13-year-old Jorge wants nothing more than to spend his days hanging out with his fellow comic book-obsessed friends. But then his parents announce they’re divorcing for a reason Jorge and his twin brother never saw coming—their father comes out as transgender. Publication is set for spring 2021. Author agent: Miriam Altshuler at DeFiore and Company.
Sylvie Frank at S&S/Wiseman has acquired, on exclusive submission, New York Times Best Illustrated Award winner John Parra‘s untitled picture book debut as author-illustrator. Inspired by Parra’s childhood, it follows a boy as he accompanies his father, a landscape contractor, through his day on the job. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022. Author agent: Adriana Dominguez and Stefanie Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.
Kiara Valdez at First Second has acquired, in a preempt, Magnolia Porter Siddell and Maddi Gonzalez‘s Tiffany’s Griffon, a middle-grade graphic novel about a girl whose favorite fantasy book series comes to life, leading her to lie about her identity in order to steal the destiny of the Chosen One from a popular girl in her grade. Publication is slated for 2022. Illustrator agent: Susan Graham at Einstein Literary Management.
Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press has acquired world rights to Alexandra Alessandri‘s bilingual picture book Isabel and Her Colores Go to School, illustrated by Courtney Dawson. Isabel doesn’t speak much English, preferring the colors and comfort of Spanish, yet she still finds creative ways to communicate when words won’t work. Publication is set for fall 2021. Author agent: Deborah Warren at East West Literary.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has bought Pura Belpré Honor author Rebecca Balcárcel‘s next middle grade novel, Luz. Injured soccer star Luz is having a hard enough time reframing her identity as a computer programmer, but when her father reveals a secret from his native Guatemala, she learns what it means to truly start over—by first opening her heart. Publication is set for spring 2022. Author agent: Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates.
Ben Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired Yehudi Mercado‘s Chunky and an untitled sequel. The middle grade graphic memoir is about the author’s lifelong struggle with his weight and trying to meet the expectations of his sporty dad while growing up in a lower middle class Mexican-Jewish family in Houston in the 1980s. Will Hudi’s imaginary mascot, Chunky, be able to cheer him in the right direction of pursuing theater? (Hint: Yes, he will.) Publication is slated for summer 2021. Author agent: Charlie Olsen at InkWell Management.
Melissa Manlove at Chronicle has bought world rights to Elizabeth Brown‘s The World Entire, a picture book biography of Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who defied his government during World War II and helped save thousands of Jewish refugees, at great personal cost. Society of Illustrators Original Art gold medalist Melissa Castrillón will illustrate. Publication is planned for fall 2022. Illustrator agent: Helen Boyle at Pickled Ink.
Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz, leader of the two-time Latin Grammy-winning children’s band, The Lucky Band. Inspired by the song of the same name, the debut picture book is an immigrant anthem in which all corners of the city come together over ice cream. Micah Player (Friday Night Wrestlefest and Vote for Our Future) will illustrate. Publication is planned for summer 2021. Author agent: Sara Camilli at the Sara Camilli Agency.
Karen Greenberg at Knopf has bought world rights to How to Hear the Universe, a picture book biography of Gabriela Gonzalez, written by Patricia Valdez, illustrated by Sara Palacios. The book follows Gabriela’s journey to discover the existence of gravitational waves in space, which Albert Einstein first theorized a century ago. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Author agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media. Illustrator agent: Minju Chang at Bookstop Literary.
Caitlyn Dlouhy has bought, for her eponymous imprint at Atheneum, world rights to Jazz for Lunch by Jarrett Dapier, illustrated by Eugenia Mello. The picture book is about the joys of food and jazz, and how the world is just a little bit better when you’ve embraced both. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the author and the illustrator in the deal.
Michelle Frey at Knopf has acquired world rights to Mystery of the Monarchs, written by Golden Kite Award Winner for nonfiction Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Erika Meza. The story centers on entomologist Fred Urquhart, who was obsessed with bugs since childhood and who, along with his wife Norah plus a team of citizen scientists, uncovered one of nature’s biggest secrets when they discovered where monarch butterflies migrate each fall. Publication is set for summer 2022. Illustrator agent: Claire Cartey at Holroyde Cartey Limited.
Karen Greenberg at Knopf has bought, at auction, world rights to Tia Fortuna’s New Home, written by Pura Belpré Award-winning author Ruth Behar and illustrated by Devon Holzwarth. The picture book follows a Sephardic Jewish girl and her great-aunt, who is leaving her beloved Miami home to begin a new chapter of her life. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Author agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has acquired world rights to My Brother Is Away by Caroline Starr Rose, writing as Sara Greenwood, and illustrated by Luisa Uribe. In this picture book inspired by the author’s childhood, a girl navigates her various, and sometimes complicated, feelings toward her incarcerated brother. Publication is slated for fall 2022. Illustrator agent: James Burns at the Bright Agency.
Andrew DeYoung of Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Rochelle Melander‘s Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing. This middle-grade anthology of biographies features authors and poets, social activists and politicians, explorers and journalists, and more. It focuses on inspiring kids through these stories; writing tips and prompts encourage them to enact change in their own lives and communities. Melina Ontiveros will illustrate; publication is set for spring 2021. Illustrator agent: Kate Kendrick at Astound.
Alexandra Cooper at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Not So Small by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Paola Escobar. This picture book takes cues from nature to demonstrate how even those who feel too small to get noticed can create something world-changing by coming together. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022. Illustrator agent: Amy Kitcherside at Pickled Ink.
Liza Kaplan at Philomel has bought world rights to novelist Jenny Torres Sanchez‘s debut picture book, With Lots of Love. The book follows a girl named Rocio as she discovers the importance of finding pieces of home wherever she is. André Ceolin will illustrate. Simultaneous English and Spanish publication is slated for spring 2022. Author agent: Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg Rostan. Illustrator agent: Mela Bolinao at MB Artists.
Cecilia Cackley is a Mexican-American playwright and puppeteer based in Washington, DC. A longtime bookseller, she is currently the Children’s/YA buyer and event coordinator for East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill. Find out more about her art at www.ceciliacackley.com or follow her on Twitter @citymousedc