Author Neil Gaiman has made a name for himself with several adult series, standalones and graphic novels. He also has produced works for young readers, such as his acclaimed story Coraline, which was recently adapted into a popular movie, and the award-winning 2010, The Graveyard Book. So we were thrilled to hear the news that this best selling author will be turning his full attention to children's books. Gaiman has just signed a five-book deal with HarperCollins Children's Books division. It includes two picture books and three novels for ‘tween readers, otherwise known as middle-grade books.
The two picture books will follow a panda named Chu, and we can’t wait to see how Gaiman puts his distinctive spin on this lovable type of animal. (Our fingers are crossed for a bear that wears rain boots because how cute would that be?) Although knowing Gaiman’s work, it’s unlikely that Chu will be all bear hugs and kisses. However, sources do say that the first of these two contracted picture books will be about Chu sneezing. So, prepare for high levels of adorableness. Adam Rex will be illustrating the first book, which thankfully, we don’t have to wait for long. Chu’s Day will be available on January 8, 2013.
The middle-grade books are being kept more tightly under wraps. We know that one will continue the adventure started in Gaiman’s 2009 novel for young readers, Odd and the Frost Giants. That story took on Norwegian mythology to tell the tale of a boy named Odd and the cold weather creatures he discovered. Meanwhile, the only information that has been leaked about the second of these three just-announced novels for young readers is that book two carries the cryptic title, Fortunately, the Milk. And Gaiman is keeping his lips zipped about the third read!
Are you as intrigued as we are for these YA reads? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’re interested in more upcoming reads and just-made deals, be sure to check out our popular column Forewords which runs every Monday, and all week long you can stop by RT’s Everything Young Adult Page for more genre news!