Annabelle Sami signs two-book deal for 'hilarious' middle grade series with Egmont

Lucy Nathan
Rights - Children Monday, 14 October 2019

Llama Out Loud! will be illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan

Liz Bankes, commissioning editor at Egmont, has signed a "hilarious" middle grade series from Annabelle Sami, illustrated by FAB Prize finalist, Allen Fatimaharan. The first book in the Yasmin and Levi Adventure series, Llama Out Loud!, will be published in July 2020, with the second following in 2021. The two-book world rights deal was struck with with Davinia Andrew-Lynch at ANDLYN, with illustration rights acquired from Angharad Kowal Stannus at the Kowal Stannus Agency for Allen Fatimaharan.

Llama Out Loud! follows the story of shy 10-year-old Yasmin Shah, whose life is turned upside down when she discovers a grubby toy llama called Levi who talks and who is determined to help Yasmin discover her own voice. The book is described as "an extraordinary comedy with a serious heart" that furthers Sami's mission to "improve representation of funny girls and diverse characters in children's books".

Bankes said: "The brilliant Yasmin Shah and her funny, furry, slightly spitty companion, Levi, had us from the very first page, and we know that middle grade readers everywhere are going to feel the same. Annabelle is a hilarious new voice in middle-grade fiction and we are delighted to team her up with rising star Allen to create some llama drama!"

Sami said: "I’m so excited that Llama Out Loud! has found its home with Egmont! This was the first children's book I ever wrote so it has a special place in my heart. I'm looking forward to hearing what children think of Yasmin and her weird toy Llama Levi. (But most of all I'm hoping it makes them LOL.)"

Sami is a writer, director and performer who also has a middle grade mystery series out with Stripes next year. Fatimaharan was a finalist in the FAB Prize for BAME authors and illustrators in 2018, and illustrated My Hair with Hannah Lee.

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