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Piccadilly Press snaps up Joseph Elliott’s ‘outrageously funny’ new middle grade series   

Piccadilly Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, is delighted to announce the acquisition of Nora and the Map of Mayhem and its sequel – an anarchic and outrageously funny new children’s series for age 8+ from award-winning author and actor Joseph Elliott. 

Ruth Bennett, editorial director at Piccadilly Press, acquired world all-language rights to two books from Claire Wilson at RCW. 

Nora and the Map of Mayhem is Elliot’s debut move to middle grade. The rip-roaring tale will be accompanied by joyful illustrations from Nici Gregory. 

The first book follows Atticus and Autumn who are left with their eccentric great-grandmother Nora for the weekend, hoping to spend the time scoffing biscuits and playing video games. But when Nora’s around, nothing ever goes quite to plan. After a stranger from Nora’s past leaves a menacing note pinned to her front door, Atticus and Autumn are swept away on a hair-raising adventure dodging snot-flinging sea-monsters, battling thunderous electrosquibs, and trying to escape from a very flappy goose!

Joseph Elliott said: “Nora’s voice just popped into my head one day, demanding to be heard. She’s such a force to be reckoned with — wild, strong-willed and totally unpredictable — that I had no choice but to write her story, and I had an absolute blast doing it! The books have found the perfect home with Piccadilly Press, who are as excited about Nora’s anarchic adventures as I am. And working with Nici is an absolute dream come true – her quirky style and effortless comedy are a perfect match for all the madcap characters and outlandish monsters that Nora, Atticus, and Autumn encounter. I can’t wait for Nora to be unleashed upon the world!” 

Nici Gregory said: “Nora and the Map of Mayhem is an illustrator’s dream. A fantastic swashbuckling adventure bursting with a cast of quirky characters, a plethora of terrifying monsters and enough peril to keep you on the edge of your seat. I’m tickled pink to be ‘in on it’.” 

Ruth Bennett, editorial director at Piccadilly Press, said: “Nora and the Map of Mayhem is a riot! With this story, Joseph Elliott embodies a childlike spirit and an irrepressible sense of playfulness that is perfectly complemented by Nici Gregory’s artwork. The combination of the two will captivate young readers – and the young at heart!” 

Claire Wilson at RCW, said “Joseph has an extraordinary comic gift – this is truly one of the funniest books I have ever read, and Piccadilly are doing a phenomenal job of bringing such a unique and brilliant story to life in all its glory. I can’t wait for Nora to meet readers next year!”

Joseph Elliott is the author of the award-winning Shadow Skye trilogy, composed of The Good HawkThe Broken Raven and The Burning Swift. For the last fifteen years he has worked as an actor, predominantly in comedy and children’s television. As an actor, he is best known for playing pirate ‘Cook’ in the BAFTA-winning CBeebies series Swashbuckle, for which he also writes many of the scripts. In 2020, he co-created, wrote and starred in Big Fat Like, a comedy sketch show commissioned by the BBC. He is also part of the script-writing team for The Amelia Gething ComplexClass Dismissed, and Horrible Histories. He can be found on and @joseph_elliott.

Nici Gregory is an illustrator who specialises in children’s books. After studying graphic design in Hamburg, Germany, she worked as an in-house illustrator in a marketing firm and then decided to embark on a full-time creative illustration career. Nora and the Map of Mayhem is her first book for older readers. She can be found on @nicigregory. 

Nora and the Map of Mayhem will publish on 6th June 2024, followed by the second instalment in 2025.