Studio Press has acquired World all language rights to Verna Wilkins’ Dave and the Tooth Fairy, 25 years after it was first published.
The magical tale, featuring a black cast of characters including tooth fairy Afiya, will be redrawn and updated for its 25th anniversary year.
First published in 1993, Dave and the Tooth Fairy broke new ground in featuring central non-white characters and has sold close to 700,000 copies to date.
Wilkins is the founder and former publisher of Tamarind Books, which has championed diversity in children’s publishing since 1987.
Verna Wilkins said: ‘I am very pleased to see the re-issue of this very successful picture book which has delighted children for years. Among many interactive and enjoyable school visits, one stands out. A 5 year old boy on a World Book Day visit said to me, “I want to have that ‘tooth fairy’ book. My teacher read it to us and she laughed so much! I’ve never seen her laugh before!”
Natalie Jerome, Publisher and Acquisitions Director, Bonnier Books UK said:
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have commissioned Dave and the Tooth Fairy – I’ve been a long admirer of Verna Wilkins and her work and she inspires me greatly in what she has achieved first with Tamarind and her continual championing of books featuring children who are under-represented. Normalising diversity within our industry is something we are all passionate about and are working hard towards seeing real change.”
Dave and the Tooth Fairy will publish in 2019.