Helen Wicks, executive director for Studio Press, and Frankie Jones, senior editor for Studio Press, acquired world English language rights from Erzsi Deak at Hen & Ink for four Can’t Do titles, written by Nelly Buchet and illustrated by Pau Morgan, and two Baby Goes Out board books by Amy Huntingdon.
The Can’t Do series uses gentle, humorous texts to present a range of relatable situations to help children overcome negativity – turning tears and tantrums into giggles and hugs. Each book features an adult and a toddler coming together to complete a seemingly impossible task with kindness and encouragement. The first two books in the series Can’t Do It and Can’t Sleep will publish in board book in March 2021 with a further two titles, Can’t Find It and Can’t Go, coming in August 2021.
Baby Goes Out is a series of board books focusing on a young child’s early experiences of nature through their five senses. Hitting on a trend of mindfulness and slowing down in nature, the series promotes mental wellbeing and respect for the natural world. Baby Goes Out: Listen, What Can You Hear? and Baby Goes Out: Look, What Can You See? both publish in board book in April 2021.
Commenting on the Can’t Do deal author Nelly Buchet said: ‘I wanted to create a comforting story collection that spoke to kids like me when I was little – sometimes grumpy, always stubborn, and often despairing over such tragedies as which socks to wear. Studio Press has been so wonderful to work with. I’m over-the-moon that they recognised the humour and can-do spirit of this series. I can’t wait to share the ‘Can’t-Do’ books with kids and their caregivers!’
Illustrator Pau Morgan added: ‘I love working with Studio Press on this awesome book series. I really relate to the sense of humour these books have as my son is exactly the same age as the protagonists! I feel a special connection with the series and at the same time the books make me laugh about those special moments we all share so patiently with our kids.’
Commenting on Baby Goes Out author Amy Huntingdon said: ‘I am so excited to be working with Studio Press on my new book series, Baby Goes Out! Framed by the concept of our five senses, these stories are inspired by the idea that we all shine brighter when we go out of our way to make the world a better place.’
Commenting on the deals Frankie Jones, Senior Editor, added: ‘At Studio Press we’re incredibly passionate about providing quality titles for all ages. We are thrilled to publish these two important new series for our very youngest readers! Both Can’t Do and Baby Goes Out feed into the core values that Studio Press stand for. Can’t Do encourages resilience and positivity and Baby Goes Out encourages mindfulness and an eco-friendly attitude. Both series are something really special – we can’t wait to share them with young readers.’
Nelly Buchet is a writer and actor last seen on HBO’s Big Little Lies. She is the author of Cat Dog Dog: The Story of a Blended Family (Random House Kids, 2020), illustrated by Andrea Zuill. A Dalai Lama Fellow, she has taught nonviolent conflict resolution in schools and is the founder of The Snow Lion Storytelling Initiative, which distributes books to refugee children in orphanages. Born and raised in Paris, she spends her free time watching other people’s dogs play.
Paulina Morgan is an illustrator based in the south of Chile. She has loved painting ever since she was a child, a talent inherited from her grandmother. Paulina loves to go on adventures around the world as well as riding her bike and cooking. She studied design before moving to Barcelona, Spain to obtain her master’s degree in Art Direction. She worked in advertising before deciding to pursue her passion for illustration and since then she has never regretted having followed her dream.
Amy Huntington began painting in kindergarten, using the ends of her pigtails for brushes. She drew castles, cats and her siblings with the chicken pox. In summer she wrote poems while tucked in the branches of her favourite tree. She fills lots of sketchbooks and writes lots of words. Some turn into books. Her most recent books include NINE: A Book of Nonet Poems (words by Irene Latham) and Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market (words by Michelle Schaub.) Amy lives with her husband, two wild cats and hens and in an old Vermont farmhouse that needs lots of care.