Socks and Ties and Underpants – A Father’s Day Story by OUR HOUSE author Tom Easton

On Tuesday after school Mummy banned us from using screens and made us all go out into the garden. We didn’t really mind. No-one wanted to watch TV anyway because William D had sat on the remote that morning and somehow made the screen go orange and we couldn’t turn it back.
“It’s Father’s Day on Sunday,” Mummy said as I wandered past the kitchen door. “Go and ask Daddy what he wants.” Continue reading Socks and Ties and Underpants – A Father’s Day Story by OUR HOUSE author Tom Easton

Piccadilly to publish new title from Mark Lowery – LEAPING DOLPHIN


Senior Commissioning Editor Matilda Johnson has acquired World English language rights for middle grade standalone LEAPING DOLPHIN, plus one more unnamed title from Mark Lowery. Rights were acquired from Gillie Russell at Aitken Alexander Associates in a flurry of international pre-empt deals. Rights have also sold to Rowohlt in Germany; Van Goor in Holland; Pocket Jeunesse in France; de Agostini in Italy and Planeta in Spain. LEAPING DOLPHIN will publish as a paperback original with proofs available in 2017.

LEAPING DOLPHIN is a special and powerful story, from rising star Mark Lowery who was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize twice for his previous novels SOCKS ARE NOT ENOUGH and PANTS ARE EVERYTHING. His Roman Garstang Disaster series with Piccadilly Press includes THE JAM DOUGHNUT THAT RUINED MY LIFE and the upcoming release THE CHICKEN NUGGET AMBUSH, plus two more titles scheduled for 2017.


This latest acquisition marks a change in tone for Mark, with a focus on family, grief and brotherhood, in a touching story which retains Mark’s delightful pace and humour whilst bringing an extra layer of emotional depth through the main character’s poetry which is scattered throughout the text.

Mark Lowery said:

“I’m delighted and excited that my new book, LEAPING DOLPHIN, will be published by Piccadilly Press. The reaction to the story so far from across Europe has been wonderful and very humbling. It appears to have struck a chord with a lot of people and I can’t wait to share it with a wider audience.”

Matilda Johnson said:

“I immediately fell under the spell of the characters in LEAPING DOLPHIN and Mark’s writing is wonderfully confident, warm and affecting. The Roman Garstang Disasters are pitch-perfect comedies, and this new story confirms Mark’s talent as a very special writer indeed.”

Mark Lowery grew up in Preston but now lives near Cambridge with his young family, where he writes and works part time as a primary school teacher.

For more information please contact Rosi on

OUR HOUSE by Tom Easton

Our House Graphic 1

The crazy, awesome Our House by Tom Easton is out today! To celebrate, we’re creating paint names from the first letters of our first and last names. If that sounds a little bonkers then we can assure you that it’s befitting of this eccentric and utterly loveable book!

Want to know what we mean? Take a look for yourself: Our House

Tweet us @PiccadillyPress with your crazy paint names & the hashtag #OurHouse

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Flying Fergus – hear from Clare Elsom, the illustrator!

Clare Elsom head shotBikes?! When Piccadilly first approached me, that was my first thought. Ask any illustrator. Bikes, (along with horses and hands, for some reason) are a tricky business.

But then . . . I read a few snippets of Fergus. I was told about his freckly, knobbly-kneed, big-hearted charm. I fell in love with Chimp. I adored feisty Daisy. I couldn’t wait to hear more about this heart-warming story. I really, REALLY wanted to illustrate Fergus and his fantastical worlds.

So I quickly embraced my new life as a crazy Pinteresting-scrapbooking-sketchbooking-bike-drawing woman:

bikes_clare Elsom

Creating Fergus, his family, and the rest of the gang was quite a smooth process. There are a fair number of characters in the books, but Chris and Joanna had given me some great descriptions to work with. I tend to read and re-read character descriptions, then let them wander around my head for a few days. Then I begin sketching different designs. In this instance, Fergus and friends began to spring quite easily onto the page. Here are some of my sketches:

characters Clare Elsom

And here are some finished characters from the books:

final characters clare elsom

After everyone felt happy with the characters, we started on the cover. Jet, the fantastic art director, had some super ideas and we worked together to create a vibrant, punchy style for Fergus. We played around with some different type and character poses for the first two covers:

cover ideas

Soon we’d decided on some consistent elements such as bright colours, a bold hand-rendered title and a subtle tyre-track print in the background to give the series a strong look. Here are the first two finished covers:

Book cover reveal

As for the interior illustrations, the stories allow me to create energetic, funny, character-filled images. Right up my street! So far, my pencils have scribbled fantastic friends, crazy castles, scary serpents, marmalade sandwiches, jet boosters, villains . . . and a good splattering of mud. And that’s just the first two books. I can’t wait for more!

Fergus and Daisy

FLYING FERGUS is a new series of children’s books by Chris Hoy and Joanna Nadin, illustrated by Clare Elsom.

THE BEST BIRTHDAY BIKE and THE GREAT CYCLE CHALLENGE are out now and available to buy here:                                                                         or here:

Piccadilly Press Acquires Middle Grade Garth Nix Novel FROGKISSER!

Garth Nix

Piccadilly Press is delighted to announce that Garth Nix will be joining the imprint with a new middle grade novel, FROGKISSER! which will be published in Spring 2017. Emma Matthewson, Publishing Director for children’s fiction at Bonnier Zaffre acquired UK and Commonwealth volume rights including audio and eBook (excluding Canada and ANZ) from Antony Harwood of Antony Harwood Limited in association with Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

FROGKISSER! is a wry take on the classic fairy tale of a princess kissing a frog, with magic and humour along the way. It will publish as a lead title on the Piccadilly Press list, whilst Garth’s Old Kingdom sequel for older readers publishing this Autumn, GOLDENHAND will remain on the Hot Key Books list.

Garth Nix said:

“FROGKISSER! is one of those novels that just bubble out of the imagination and demand to be written all at once and won’t permit anything else to get in the way. I am delighted that my various publishers have all responded to the book with as much exuberance as I felt while I was writing it.”

Emma Matthewson said:

“FROGKISSER! is a wonderfully warm and funny tale brimming with humour, and races along with Garth’s impeccable storytelling. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to publish this younger fiction from Garth on the Piccadilly Press list, alongside his Old Kingdom titles on the Hot Key list.”

Executive Director Jane Harris said:

“Garth is such a fantastic storyteller, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to publish a younger story from him, and with our Piccadilly Press and Hot Key imprints, it is very exciting to be able to cater for our authors who write for children of all age ranges, as we view this as an integral part of our author care.”

The book will publish simultaneously with Allen and Unwin in ANZ, and with Scholastic in the US.

Garth will visit the UK for a promotional tour for his Hot Key Old Kingdom title GOLDENHAND in the Autumn. Pitches are now welcome for events.

For more information, please contact PR Manager Rosi on

Flying Fergus Takes Off


It’s a big day here today at Piccadilly Press, when we can finally unveil to you THE BEST BIRTHDAY BIKE and THE GREAT CYCLE CHALLENGE, the first two exciting adventures of an ordinary nearly nine-year-old boy with an extraordinary imagination.

Flying Fergus is Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy’s brilliant series of books about a bike-mad boy, Fergus Hamilton, and the amazing adventures that happen to him when the pedals on his bike spin backwards.

Here’s Sir Chris himself to tell you all about it.

Hop on over to the Flying Fergus website  for more and check back on the Piccadilly blog as we share some more behind-the-scenes looks at creating the characters and Fergus’s world.

New November Books!

Christmas is coming soon and this month we’ve got lots of heartwarming books for you. Watch the video below to find out more:

November Covers Piccadilly

NOT BAD FOR A BAD LAD by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Michael Foreman

Head over to our Twitter @PiccadillyPress for a chance to win all 3 titles!

New October Books

It’s the first day of October and we’ve got some gems for you this month! Watch the video below to find out more about our new titles.

SNOWBALL: THE BABY BIGFOOT by Ruth Symes, Illustrated by Tina Macnaughton
MEGASTAR: THE FINCREDIBLE DIARY OF FIN SPENCER by Ciaran Murtagh, Illustrated by Tim Wesson

And two gorgeous new editions:


And of course, head to our Twitter @piccadillypress for a chance to win our new books!

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New September Books

This month we’ve got two brand new (and very colourful!) books for you. Want to know more? Watch the video below:


Beasts of Olympus: Dragon Healer by Lucy Coats

The Jam Doughnut That Ruined My Life by Mark Lowery

We also filmed a hilarious video with Mark Lowery, who explains why doughnuts are so dangerous:

And if you’d like a chance to win our new books, head over to our Twitter @PiccadillyPress. Happy reading!

A Kingdom Of Horses by Zillah Bethell

We are delighted to announce the acquisition of a heartfelt and emotional middle grade story – A KINGDOM OF HORSES by Zillah Bethell. Editor Matilda Johnson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for KINGDOM, plus a second untitled book from Julia Churchill at A.M. Heath at auction. The book will publish in hardback in autumn 2016, followed by a paperback edition in spring 2017.

The story follows Serendipity Gouge, a twelve year old living in Lahn Dahn, a city with a wall around it, ten people high, called the Emm Twenty Five. Nobody comes in and nobody goes out. The rich live in crystal towers with magnificent wealth and the poor spend their days doing back breaking physical labour for a lone potato or a sup of goat’s milk.

Serendipity loves horses, but no-one in Lahn Dan has ever seen one. All that remains are statues and paintings, as well as the little wooden horse her mother gave her. But when Serendipity’s mother dies, she is left all alone and the Minister’s law means that orphans will shortly be moved into work-houses. Serendipity knows she must get away. When she finds a map that suggests there is life outside of Lahn Dahn, and a place where horses roam, she knows she needs to escape from the city, out beyond the wall and the Minister’s grip. With the help of a trader boy called Tab, and his little dog Mouse, she heads into the unknown to find the horses she’s always dreamed of.

This is a journey of hope and freedom, escape and adventure, perfect for fans of THE LAST WILD.

Zillah Bethell was born in a leprosy hospital in Papua New Guinea, spent her childhood barefoot playing in the jungle, and didn’t own a pair of shoes until she came to the UK when she was eight. She was educated at Oxford University and lives in Wales with her family. Zillah has written two adult novels for a small Welsh press. This is her first children’s book.

Matilda Johnson said:

“I was absolutely captivated by Serendipity’s voice from the first page and am thrilled that Zillah is joining the Piccadilly list. She is a natural storyteller.”

Zillah Bethell said:

“I am delighted to be joining the excellent list of Piccadilly Press. Such awesome books that they are. I am trespassing on air!”

We hope you’re all as excited about A KINGDOM OF HORSES as we are!