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Piccadilly Press acquires enchanting new series from Andy Shepherd, the bestselling author of The Boy Who Grew Dragons 

Piccadilly Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, is delighted to announce the acquisition of The Wood Where Magic Grows and its sequel: an enchanting new middle-grade series about finding magic in the everyday from Andy Shepherd, the bestselling author of The Boy Who Grew Dragons series, illustrated by children’s book illustrator Ellie Snowdon.  

Emma Matthewson, executive publisher of children’s fiction and Georgia Murray, commissioning editor at Piccadilly Press, acquired world all-language rights to two books from Jo Williamson at Anthony Harwood.  

The Wood Where Magic Grows is a story of friendship, imagination and being brave, all set in a treetop adventureland. The first book follows Iggy and his brother Cal as they discover Wildtop Wood, an overgrown woodland at the bottom of their garden that they can’t wait to start exploring. Some say it’s not safe, some say it’s a place of wonderful secrets. But the best stories always contain a seed of truth, and who knows what might grow from them, with a bit of imagination?  

Andy Shepherd said: “I grew up with a tree outside my bedroom window and it always felt like a friend, because so much changes as you grow up, but my tree stayed constant – and proved a very good listener! For me, the ability to wonder – what if trees could talk? – is transformative. I wanted to write a story that conjures the magic that is growing all around us, even on our doorsteps. In this story, a tiny wooden elephant trumpets the start of something magical and leads Iggy, Mae and Cal to an ancient tree who desperately needs their help. I hope the story inspires readers to see the natural world as somewhere to explore and to play, as well as rallying them to protect it. Because you really won’t believe what nature gets up to when you’re paying attention!” 

Ellie Snowdon said: “It’s been a joy to illustrate Andy’s magical text and bring the world of Wildtop Wood to life! From talking trees to wooden wild animals, I’ve been able to push my imagination while taking inspiration from the beauty of our own natural world. Andy’s story serves as a reminder of how we should nurture and protect the magic found within it.” 

Georgia Murray, commissioning editor at Piccadilly Press, said: “I’m so excited for readers to dive into the wonderful world that Andy has created in The Wood Where Magic Grows and to meet the Treetoppers gang in Wildtop Wood – a world bursting with wild imagination, where children’s agency is placed first and foremost, where kindness, hope and bravery abound – all in the most charming story of adventure high in the treetops, with Andy’s trademark tender realism and humour. This is a fresh, inclusive and vital Magic Faraway Tree for a new generation.” 

Andy Shepherd is the author of the bestselling The Boy Who Grew Dragons series, which has now been translated into 24 languages. The first book in the series was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Sheffield Book Award, and longlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. Andy lives near Cambridge with her husband and two sons.   

Ellie Snowdon is a children’s book illustrator living by the sea in South Wales. She is a graduate of the University of the West of England at Bristol and the children’s book illustration masters programme at the Cambridge School of Art.    

The Wood Where Magic Grows will be publishing in paperback, ebook and audio in July 2025, alongside an exclusive indie hardback in June. It will be followed by the second instalment in June 2026.