Neil Gaiman has won armfuls of prizes for his books for adults and children. Now the bestselling author is set to publish his first picture book for the very young, Chu’s Day, the story of a little panda with a very big sneeze.
Gaiman has just signed a five-book deal with his American publisher HarperCollins, which will see him focusing on children’s books. The deal is for three children’s novels – including a sequel to Odd and the Frost Giants and a book titled Fortunately, the Milk, illustrated by Skottie Young – and two picture books. Chu’s Day will be illustrated by Adam Rex and published next January.
“Chu’s Day is the first book I’ve ever written for really little kids. Ones who cannot read. Ones who can only just walk. Those ones. I hope that they like it, or at least, that they love Adam Rex’s amazing illustrations,” said Gaiman on his blog. The picture book will follow the sneeze-prone Chu on a day of adventure that will “test his sneeze-resisting powers to the limit – there’s the library (dusty books!), the diner (pepper!), and then the circus (all those animals!). How big can a sneeze really be? Just wait and see …”
“We are thrilled to sign these wonderful and diverse books by the immensely talented Neil Gaiman, who is such a treasure and has so many fans of all ages,” said Gaiman’s US editor Rosemary Brosnan, who signed the multi-book deal for North American rights.
Gaiman won the Carnegie and the Newbery medals in 2010 for his children’s novel The Graveyard Book, which tells the story of a boy raised in a graveyard by ghosts. Also winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker and World Fantasy awards, the author has just finished writing a new adult novel, tentatively titled Lettie Hempstock’s Ocean.
“I think it’s a good book – or at least, I think it’s a real book, and I’m proud of it, and whether it’s good or not will be up to other people to judge. Despite the protagonist being about seven years old for most of the novel, it’s a book for adults. Or at least, I think it is,” he wrote on his blog recently. “Now I’m doing things to it, including worrying that there’s a better title and rereading it and making it better and clearer and scarier wherever I can. But it’s a new book for adults, one I didn’t even know I would write until February, and it makes me happy that it exists.”
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