We are delighted to announce that we have acquired one of the four honour titles from BookTrust’s inaugural In Other Words initiative.
Louise Jordan, publisher at Wacky Bee, has signed UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Elise and the Second-hand Dog, written by much loved Danish author, Bjarne Reuter. The book is aimed at ages eight-plus, and is due out in paperback in spring 2018. The text will be translated by Siân Mackie, and will feature black and white versions of the original colour illustrations by Kirsten Raagaard.
In the story, we meet Elise, who lives with her parents in Copenhagen. We learn that her mother is working far away in the Amazon rainforest and her father is a busy musician. Seeing that Elise is lonely, her father buys her a second-hand dog. Elise discovers that the dog, called McAduddi, can talk when they are alone – in a Scottish accent!
Louise said of Elise and the Second-hand Dog: “The minute I saw this book I wanted it! It is not a cosy story by any means – both Elise and her second-hand dog, McAduddi, are a little rough around the edges to put it mildly – yet all the more loveable for it. The story is funny, sharp and acutely observed, and I love the author’s economical way with words. In short, it is exactly the sort of book that I want Wacky Bee to be all about and I am hugely proud to have acquired it as part of our growing list.”
In Other Words was launched by BookTrust in 2016 to promote the translation and UK publication of outstanding children’s literature from around the world, for children aged six-12 years. From over 400 submissions, eight finalists – including four honour titles – were partially translated into English and presented to publishers at the Bologna Book Fair in April 2017.
Chair of judges Nicolette Jones said: “This book is evidence that humour can travel. Including a darkly hilarious set-piece at a family Hallowe’en party and mad characters, it is quirky, clever and original and plotted to make the most of punch lines. I won’t be able to resist reading the rest.”
Jill Coleman, director of children’s books at BookTrust, added: “We are so delighted that Elise and the Second-hand Dog, one of the judges’ favourite stories, which had us laughing from the first page, has found a home with Wacky Bee and that they will be publishing it for UK children to enjoy. I can’t wait to read the full translation.”
Elise and the Second-hand Dog is being made into a TV series and film in Denmark.