Hachette signs Syrian-inspired picture book

Rights - Children Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Last Garden is by debut author and illustrator duo Rachel Ip and Anneli Bray

The Hachette Children’s Group has signed a picture book inspired by the refugee crisis in Syria,
under its Hodder Children’s Books imprint.

The deal for world rights was brokered between Hachette Children’s Group group picture book publisher Emma Layfield and Clare Wallace, at Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency, for Rachel Ip and Anneli Bray directly.

The Last Garden will be published in hardback and paperback in 2020 and follows the story of a little girl who tends the last garden in a war-torn city.

'As the city breaks, everyone is forced to leave and soon the girl must leave her beautiful garden behind. Whilst the garden is left alone, its seeds scatter throughout the city and roots begin to take hold. Slowly, as people return the city begins to bloom again, and the girl comes home to her garden.'

Emma Layfield said: "It’s so exciting to see two new talents come together to create something so special. Movingly illustrated, this thoughtful and tender story of hope touches on timely issues of conflict and migration."

Author Rachel Ip said: "I’m thrilled to be part of the Hachette family and delighted The Last Garden has found a home with Emma and her team. Working with Hachette has been an incredible experience and I’m excited that The Last Garden has been paired with such a talented illustrator. Anneli’s illustrations are exquisite and we can’t wait to share the story.’

Illustrator Anneli Bray said: "It really has been an honour to work on such a special picture book, especially as a debut. To illustrate Rachel’s beautiful story – which sadly is a reality for many – has been difficult at times, but this is overpowered by the importance of its subject matter. It has been an honour to work The Last Garden. It’s such a special picture book – with a really hopeful message at its centre."

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