Text | Link
Children's and YA News
August 2020
In This Issue
Quick Links
Islandport Catalogue 
Dear Friends,

We hope you are all safe and well. We certainly miss seeing you in these strange times, but have been enjoying using Zoom conference calls to stay in touch with you. As both agents and clients have been adjusting to our "new normal," we've all been finding delight in the small things in life and appreciating things that perhaps we used to take for granted. 

We are thankful that the children's book market seems to be holding up well in our various territories -- A WOLF CALLED WANDER by Roseanne Parry just celebrated its 40th week in the New York Times bestseller list and Kayla Miller's new graphic novel, ACT jumped right on to the New York Times graphic novel bestseller list for the month of August.  Our writers and artists have been wonderfully productive, so please take a look at some of the exciting new projects coming your way. 

Our illustrator portfolios are available to peruse at We'd love to match our clients with upcoming projects!

We will not be attending Frankfurt in person this year, but we will be sending you our new title catalogue shortly and would be delighted to set up a video call to present it to you.
Wishing you all the very best,

North American and World Rights

Picture Books

Yasemin Ucar and Yvette Ghione at Kids Can Press have acquired, at auction, two picture books by Melanie Florence. BENJAMIN'S THUNDERSTORM, about a boy who loves stomping in puddles and as he plays he thinks about what he's doing, in both Plains Cree and English, will be illustrated by Natasha Donovan and publish in 2021; and a second untitled project will publish in 2022. Amy Tompkins handled the deal for world rights.

  Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has acquired, in an exclusive submission, World Rights to the picture book KEEPUNUMUK: WEEÂCHUMUN'S THANKSGIVING STORY, a story about the "first" Thanksgiving written by Danielle Hill (Wampanoag), Anthony Perry (Chickasaw), and Alexis Bunten (Yup'ik/Unangan), and illustrated by Garry Meeches Sr. (Anishinaabe). Keepunumuk offers readers the Thanksgiving story from an Indigenous perspective. Guided by the advice of Weeâchumun (corn), the Wampanoag people helped the Pilgrims survive their first winter. Andrea Cascardi represented the authors and illustrator. Publication is planned for fall 2021 to mark the 400th anniversary of the famous harvest meal.

Courtney Burke at Page Street Kids has acquired the picture book SITA'S HURLY BURLY HULLABALOO by Tina Athaide and illustrated by Åsa Gilland, which centers on a young girl whose endless energy helps her have fun but whose inability to sit still gets her in trouble until her grandfather reveals he has his own "hurly-burly hullabaloo" and they work together to help Sita find her balance. Publication is planned for Fall 2021. Andrea Cascardi represented the author for World Rights.

World rights to C. S. Jennings' picture book TOO CLOSE PANDA, to Nancy Paulsen at Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin for publication Spring 2023; a humorous and loving look at how close is too close when a loving pup wants to express himself. Contact Timothy Travaglini

Jennifer Stokes at Kids Can Press has acquired, at auction, world rights to OUR GREEN CITY, by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and illustrated by Colleen Larmour. The nonfiction picture book is a celebration of a utopian "green city," where there's space for nature and for people from many different backgrounds. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Amy Tompkins represented the author and Alex Gehringer at The Bright Agency represented the illustrator.

World rights to BAILEY THE BAT by Grant Lawrence about the high flying adventures of a little brown bat with insomnia, who, while his colony sleeps, discovers a bull moose in trouble and rouses the roost to rescue him from a hungry wolf pack, sold to Andrew Wooldridge at Orca Book Publishers by Samantha Haywood.

Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow has acquired North American rights to two nonfiction picture books by Lindsay Moore. The first will be about YOSHI, the turtle who crossed the Indian Ocean after release from 20 years in captivity. The second is currently untitled. Publication 2023 and 2024. Deal negotiated by Fiona Kenshole.

Sigal Samuel Arthur A. Levine at Levine Querido has acquired RABBI OSNAT AND HER DOVE, a picture book debut by author Sigal Samuel and illustrator Vali Mintzi. The book tells the true, little-known story of a girl in 17th century Kurdistan who grew up to be the first female rabbi. Publication is scheduled for 2021; Samantha Haywood sold world rights to the text for Sigal Samuel.

World rights to Kaz Windness' debut children's picture book SWIM, JIM! to Catherine Laudone at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, at auction, for publication Summer 2022; about a little crocodile learning to overcome his fear of the water. Contact Timothy Travaglini.

PENGUIN JOURNEY, a nonfiction verse picture book about the incredible journey of the Emperor penguin to mate and raise chicks, will be illustrated by Catherine Odell. World rights sold to Meredith Mundy at Abrams for publication Fall 2021. Deal negotiated by Fiona Kenshole.

Middle Grade

Newbery Honor and National Book Award winner Polly Horvath's middle grade novel PINE ISLAND HOME about the four McCready sisters, who are determined to stay together after their parents' death even if it means pretending to have a guardian, to Margaret Ferguson at Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House for World ex-Canada and Lynne Missen at Puffin Canada in an exclusive submission for publication in Fall 2020. Andrea Cascardi negotiated the deal.

MERMAID MINI-TALES, by Debbie Dadey, a spin-off chapter book series about a young mermaid and her underwater friends and adventures, to Karen Nagel at Aladdin,in an eight-book deal, for publication in 2022, by Elizabeth Bennett (world).

Christy Ottaviano at Ottaviano/Macmillan has acquired World English rights to MIRACLE, a middle grade debut about an Asian American girl struggling to find herself through friendship and music in the wake of her father's passing, by Karen Chow. The book is scheduled for 2022. Andrea Cascardi negotiated the deal for two books. 

Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has bought World Rights to DEAR STUDENT, by Elly Swartz, a middle grade novel starring a girl with social anxiety who becomes the secret voice of the advice column in her middle school newspaper and is faced with a dilemma when two friends want different things. Andrea Cascardi handled the deal.

Five titles in the MINECRAFT ACTIVITIES series by Erin Falligant, sold to packager Hollan Publishing for publication by Skyhorse in Spring 2021 by Fiona Kenshole (world).

American Girl has acquired world rights in a self help project, THE SMART GIRL'S GUIDE TO TOUGH TIMES by Erin Falligant for publication 2021. Deal by Fiona Kenshole.

World Rights to THE SCIENCE OF SPORTS, by Jennifer Swanson and illustrated by Laurène Boglio, a middle grade nonfiction book that illustrates how the principles of science, technology, engineering, and math are behind every soccer kick, slap shot, homerun, and slam-dunk, to Lisa Tenaglia at Black Dog & Leventhal/Hachette, for publication in summer 2021. Andrea Cascardi represented the author.

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: TIME MACHINE, by Bart King and CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE SPIES: MOE BERG, for publication in spring 2021 and spring 2022 to Melissa Bounty at Chooseco, by Elizabeth Bennett (world). Melissa Bounty also acquired world rights to BABY UNICORN, an original CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE for publication Spring 2021. Deal by Fiona Kenshole.

Young Adult

LIA AND BECKETT'S ABRACADABRA, by Amy Noelle Parks pitched as a Romeo and Juliet-inspired romantic comedy, set in a magic-themed resort town, with illusions instead of duels and a happy ending instead of death, to Maggie Lehrman at Abrams Children's, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2021, by Elizabeth Bennett (world English).

WILDERNESS CHASE by Pam Withers to Kathryn Lane at Dundurn Press. First a Canadian Rockies avalanche kills their parents. Then Social Services threatens to separate them. That's when the three Gunnarsson kids decide to run away into the mountains and fend for themselves until the eldest turns 18 and becomes their legal guardian. But can they survive all that the backcountry throws at them-hunger, injury, dangerous animals, a shadowy woods dweller, and search teams in pursuit? Above all, can they stop their feisty threesome from unravelling? Amy Tompkins brokered the deal for World English rights. 

Graphic Novels

FRIENDBOTS, by Vicky Fang, a humorous, STEM-inspired, early graphic novel series about friendship and robots, to Andrew Arnold at Harper Alley, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2022 and fall 2022, by Elizabeth Bennett (world).

ANNE, by Kathleen Gros, a middle grade graphic novel inspired by Anne of Green Gables and CAROUSEL SUMMER, about a girl who is facing a long and lonely summer until she meets the daughter of a visiting artist and learns that there's more going on in her town than she originally thought and more to her feelings for her than friendship, to Alexandra Cooper at Quill Tree, in a six-figure deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2022 and summer 2024, by Elizabeth Bennett (world).

SLOTH SLEUTH, by Cyndi Marko, a middle grade series featuring an ace sloth detective and a zany cast of suspicious characters, to Amy Cloud at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2021 and spring 2022, by Elizabeth Bennett (world).

BESTIES, a companion series to the Click graphic novels, by Kayla Miller and Jeffrey Canino, featuring Olive's friends Beth and Chanda, illustrated by Kristina Luu, to Mary Wilcox at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's by Elizabeth Bennett (world).

North American rights for Rich Moyer's debut graphic novel series HAM HELSING: VAMPIRE HUNTER to Emily Easton at Crown Books for Young Readers, at auction, in a three-book deal, for publication Summer 2021; a porcine parody of Dracula for middle grade readers. Contact Timothy Travaglini

World English rights for #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Rex's graphic novel series YOUR PAL FRED to Jenny Bak at Viking Children's Books in her debut acquisition for the imprint, in a preempt, in a three-book deal, for publication Spring 2022; about an indefatigably friendly and optimistic lifelike robot adrift in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Contact Timothy Travaglini

International Rights 

Spanish rights to Mischief & Mayhem, the first in a middle grade graphic novel series by Ken Lamug (HarperCollins US) to RBA, Spain.
Audio Rights 

World English audio rights to Terri Farley's two-million copy bestselling horse series THE PHANTOM STALLION to Steve Smith at Oasis Audio, in a 35-book deal. Publication is scheduled to begin January 2021, with all thirty-five titles released over two years; Timothy Travaglini negotiated the deal.

Puffin Canada will be doing the original audio for PINE ISLAND HOME by Polly Horvath.
Accolades and Awards
Kayla Miller's CLICK and CAMP have been selected for the 2020 Children's Choices Reading List, a joint project of the International Literacy Association and the Children's Book Council. And the newest book in the Click series, ACT is off to a great start, appearing on the New York Times graphic novel bestseller list in August.

Robin Ha ALMOST AMERICAN GIRL by Robin Ha (World rights available ex: English in North America, Balzer + Bray; Korea, Gilbutschool) debuted on the Indie Bestseller List in its first week of publication!

ALMOST AMERICAN GIRL by Robin Ha was selected as a nominee for the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers!

ALMOST AMERICAN GIRL has been nominated for YALSA's Great Graphic Novels list!

  James Rallison's THE ODD 1S OUT: THE FIRST SEQUEL debuted on The New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for five weeks. 

Michael Rex's FACTS VS. OPINIONS VS. ROBOTS is an Amazon "Best children's books of 2020 so far" for Ages 6-8.

Rosanne Parry's A WOLF CALLED WANDER (Andersen Press;Greenwillow/HarperCollins) is currently in its 40th week on the New York Times bestseller list. Her new title A WHALE OF THE WILD, illustrated by Lindsay Moore (Greenwillow/HarperCollins), will publish on Sept 1st and has been chosen as a Fall 2020 Kids' Indie Next List pick. - "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers of the USA".

Sigmund Brouwer's CLAN is a Junior Library Selection.
Sigmund Brouwer's MOON MISSION: THE EPIC 400-YEAR JOURNEY TO APOLLO 11 has been selected as a finalist for the 2020 Ohioana Award in the category of book about Ohio or an Ohioan, and it has been shortlisted for the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable (VCLR) Information Book Award.

BEASTLY PUZZLES: A BRAIN-BOGGLING ANIMAL GUESSING GAME by Rachel Poliquin and illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler has been shortlisted for the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable (VCLR) Information Book Award.

BEASTLY PUZZLES by Rachel Poliquin and illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler and ORANGE FOR THE SUNSETS by Tina Athaide have both been nominated for the Maine Student Book Awards.

I AM A FEMINIST: CLAIMING THE F-WORD IN TURBULENT TIMES by Monique Polak has been shortlisted for the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable (VCLR) Information Book Award.

BROKEN STRINGS by Eric Walter and Kathy Kacer won the Hamilton Public Library Junior Teen Top Novel Award, and was shortlisted for both the IODE Canada Violet Downey Book Award, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

IN THE KEY OF NIRA GHANI was shortlisted for a MYRC Award.

MYA'S STRATEGY TO SAVE THE WORLD was shortlisted for a MYRC Award, and shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award in the novel category.

Katherine Magyarody's THE CHANGELING OF FELEN FOREST was longlisted for the Sunburst Award in the Young Adult fiction category.

STOWAWAY by Pam Withers is shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award in the novel category.

LUCKY by Melanie Florence won the Hamilton Public Library Teen Top Novel Award.

The Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable has presented the shortlist for the 
First Annual Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picturebook of the Year Award, in conjunction with the Canadian Children's Book Centre 

ME, TOMA AND THE CONCRETE GARDEN by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Kids Can Press), and THE PHONE BOOTH IN MR. HIROTA'S GARDEN by Heather Smith and illustrated by Rachel Wada both made the shortlist. 

MUFFLED by Jennifer Gennari (S&S) and PINE ISLAND HOME by Polly Horvath (Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson) have both been chosen as Junior Library Guild selections.

An incredible seven Transatlantic clients have been nominated for 
the 2021 Rocky Mountain Book Awards: 
BEASTLY PUZZLES by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler (Kids Can Press); 
BROKEN STRINGS by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer (Puffin Canada); 
HOME SWEET NEIGHBORHOOD by Michelle Mulders (Orca Book Publishers); 
SERGEANT BILLY by Mireille Messier, illustrated by Kass Reich (Tundra Books); 
THE PHONE BOOTH IN MR. HIROTA'S GARDEN by Heather Smith and illustrated by Rachel Wada (Orca Book Publishers).

Forest of Reading Awards (Ontario Library Association)
Anna Humphrey and Kass Reich won the Silver Birch Express for MEGABAT (Tundra Books)! 

Four books by Transatlantic authors were named Honour Books in their respective categories: 
THE REPTILE CLUB by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Elina Ellis (Kids Can Press) was a Blue Spruce Honour Book; 
Rachel Poliquin's BEAVERS: A SUPERPOWER FIELD GUIDE (HMH Books for Young Readers), illustrated by Nicholas John Frith, was a Yellow Cedar Honour Book; 
IN THE KEY OF NIRA GHANI by Natasha Deen (Running Press) was a Red Maple Honour Book

Rave Reviews
PINE ISLAND HOME by Polly Horvath (Margaret Ferguson Books) received a STARRED REVIEW from Kirkus! Contact Andrea Cascardi:

"Four orphaned girls try to figure out how to get along on their own.

"When a relative is found to take them in after their missionary parents' sudden deaths by tsunami, the McCready sisters move from Borneo to British Columbia only to discover that Great-Aunt Martha has died unexpectedly. ...Fourteen-year-old Fiona must keep everyone together and avoid alerting social services. The school principal is sympathetic and supportive. The cranky neighbor, Al, a drinker who lets fly the occasional oath and whose trailer home is in disarray, reluctantly agrees to pretend to be the girls' guardian. ... Horvath, ever respectful of the inner lives of children, has a way of incorporating moments of sweet hilarity into an account that makes the girls' situation seem plausible. She doesn't stint on vocabulary or on sophisticated observations, yet her narrative arc is direct and extraordinarily satisfying, with its emphasis on competence and survival of the domestic, familial, and emotional sort. 


Kirkus Reviews calls SCOUT, THE MIGHT TUGBOAT by Charles Beyl  (Albert Whitman) a "cozy maritime tale that offers just enough mild thrills...a tiny tug...on the heartstrings." Contact Elizabeth Bennett

A starred review from Kirkus Reviews for COOKIE BOO by Ruth Paul, published by HarperCollins. Contact Fiona Kenshole:
"Ghosts and monsters are known to scare folks at Halloween, but...cookies? This adorable story is conveyed in lilting, rollicking rhymes that zing along with minimal text per page. Its original take on a Halloween theme and its cute "Gingerbread Man" vibe will entertain and delight young readers. The scenes on the final pages will keep kids guessing about what might happen next for Little Monster and the cookies. The delicious (in more ways than one) illustrations are charming, comical, and inventive, the cookies' decorations providing clever inspiration for holiday-themed baking. Strong, crisp lines and colors encourage readers' focus on characters and actions. Very flavorful; young readers will savor every crumb." 

IT'S SHOWTIME WITH PEPPER AND FRANNIE by Catherine Odell (Page Street Kids) was praised by Kirkus Reviews. Contact Fiona Kenshole

"Rabbit best friends Pepper and Frannie excitedly prepare for a concert-but when the curtain rises, can they overcome an unexpected case of stage fright? When Frannie decides to host and perform a (free!) concert in an enchanting forest amphitheater, Pepper is there every step of the way-with her backstage checklist, of course. But when Frannie steps onto the stage, she forgets the chords to her favorite song, and her confidence dissolves. Luckily, readers (and Frannie) can count on Pepper to save the day, proving that our differences are truly what make us special. Odell's playful, rounded illustrations utilize subtle layers of color dominated by cool tones-greens, blues, and violets-that contrast with the thick, rich, red curtain. Speech bubbles, paired with restrained text, emphasize the visual narrative, which expertly captures Frannie's evocative postures and expressions as well as Pepper's quiet focus. A charming, colorful celebration of the unique contributions we each bring to our friendships. Encore!" 

EMILY'S IDEA, by Christine Evans (Sounds True), "helps children understand how an inspiration, which may seem small-scale at the outset, can blossom into a phenomenon that transforms hearts, minds, and social interactions around the world." --Spirituality & Practice. Contact Elizabeth Bennett

Two great reviews for SUNCATCHER by Jose Pimienta (Random House Graphics)! Contact Elizabeth Bennett

Kirkus calls it "haunting, beautiful, and complex," while SLJ says, "Pimienta gives this 'devil at the crossroads' tale a fresh twist with the Mexicali punk setting; music lovers and fans of graphic novels will be intrigued."

Kayla Miller's ACT (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) continues to bring in the praise. Contact Elizabeth Bennett: "Olive's latest journey since Click and Camp is an eye-opening microcosm of the often bumpy democratic process." -SLJ

What could be a better endorsement than this for JO: AN ADAPTATION OF LITTLE WOMEN (SORT OF) (HarperCollins) by Kathleen Gros? Kirkus says, "Louisa May Alcott would approve!" Contact Elizabeth Bennett.

Nice words about Vicky Fang's INVENT-A-PET (Sterling). Contact Elizabeth Bennett:

A delightful introduction to scientific experimentation-with impossibly cute pets.  --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Roseanne Parry's A WHALE OF THE WILD (HarperCollins). Contact Fiona Kenshole:

In A WHALE OF THE WILD (HarperCollins), "Parry creates a spellbinding, heart-stopping adventure for middle-grade readers-this time about a pod of orca whales and their plight in today's Salish Sea. . . . Parry's thorough research, observation, and creative writing combine to share the marvelous matriarchal familial world of orcas . . . Her descriptive narrative rises in intensity to match each new danger and resolves with a bittersweet yet hopeful finish. . . . Excellent." --Booklist, starred review

"After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure. . . . Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. . . . A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale." --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for FELIX AND THE MONSTERS by Josh and Monica Holtslaw, published in September by Nancy Paulsen/Penguin Random House. Contact Fiona Kenshole

"A guard halfheartedly does his job but deep inside has a musical soul. Felix's job is to guard a wall and keep his side safe from the monsters on the other side. But what he really likes to do is rock out on his keytar and pretend he is in a band. None of the other guards understand his passion. Instead of wielding a spear or a shield, Felix grabs his keytar and plays "epic solos." One day, someone joins him. Sounds of a bass guitar float over from the other side of the wall! A small, red, saucer-eared creature named Dot has been " the beautiful sounds of that portable piano machine." The temptation to create sweet beats together is too strong-Felix jumps to Dot's side of the wall, and they jam. Felix finds a shocking revelation: The monsters are not monstrous at all. A gentle reminder of the danger of preconceived notions." --Kirkus Reviews

Robin Ha Praise for Robin Ha's ALMOST AMERICAN GIRL (World Rights Available: North America: Alessandra Balzar of Balzar & Bray HarperCollins for Spring 2020, Korea Gilbutschool). Contact Samantha Haywood:

"Almost American Girl is about finding and creating a new identity and about art as salvation. Through comics, through drawing, Robin discovers something she loves, that gives her life meaning, that can provide goals and a trajectory: The girl in this story became the woman who wrote and illustrated it. A story about growth, suffering, and becoming, this book will resonate with young adult readers. But it will also resonate with every parent who has sacrificed for a child, because above all, this book is a tribute to Robin Ha's mother."
--Washington City Newspaper

"[Almost American Girl is] the raw, beautiful memoir of a young Korean immigrant as she attempts to define who she is in her teenage years. Is she Korean or American? The answer, she finds, is not so simple.... An expertly crafted fusion of genre." --Missourian 

"[Almost American Girl] anatomizes the girl's inability to speak English, the racist jibes she faces at her new school and her fraught relationship with her new step-siblings, while also focusing on the resilience she learns from her adventurous, sometimes foolhardy mother."
--The Globe and Mail, feature, March 2020, "new graphic novels depicting varied trauma" for young readers

Starred Review for FACTS VS. OPINIONS VS. ROBOTS by Michael Rex (Nancy Paulsen). Contact Timothy Travaglini

"Charismatic robots populate this primer for kids growing up in an era when facts are considered debatable and opinions are oft expressed loudly and without empathy. Rex tackles a very serious topic infrequently addressed in kids' books: how to tell the difference between provable facts and far-less-provable opinions. 

To do this, Rex employs a handful of colorful and chatty robot pals who run through enough examples to make the distinctions clear. For instance, it's a fact that the blue robot has two arms while the gold robot has four. However, while they both like to dance, it's less certain there's a definitive answer to the question: "Which of them has the coolest moves?" 

When the green and yellow robots share their preferences for ice cream (yes, robots eat ice cream, just add oil or nuts and bolts), it turns into a fight that might have come off a Twitter thread ("We are getting chocolate!" "No way, buckethead!"). Via a series of reboots, the robots learn how to respect opinions and engage in compromise. It's a welcome use of skill-building to counter an information landscape filled with calls of "Fake news!" and toxic online discourse. 

Rex never says that these 'bots sometimes act like social media bots when they disagree, but he doesn't have to. Perhaps most importantly, Rex's robots demonstrate that in the absence of enough information, it's perfectly fine to wait before acting. Vital information for young media consumers; it couldn't be timelier." (Picture book. 5-8)  
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Praise for CLAN by Sigmund Brouwer (Tundra Books). Contact Amy Tompkins:

"A solid read for fans of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet and general adventure fiction." --School Library Journal

"Despite the world Atlatl lives in being very different from the one we live in today, Brouwer does a fantastic job of making it clear that the human experience is universal ... Young readers are bound to enjoy taking in the historical aspects of what life was life in the prehistoric age, the animals that existed then, as well as the storytelling and traditions that the First Peoples shared and participated in at this time. Highly recommended." --CM Magazine

Praise for THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON STEREOTYPES: HOW SCIENCE IS TACKLING UNCONSCIOUS BIAS by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and illustrated by Drew Shannon (Kids Can Press). Contact Amy Tompkins:

"a must-read primer for change." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Praise for THE KING OF JAM SANDWICHES by Eric Walters (Orca Books). Contact Amy Tompkins

"Tug at the heartstrings and tickle the funny bone...This warm tale is definitely one for the keeper shelves. Highly recommended." --School Library Journal, starred review

"Narration unfolds with wry, self-deprecating humor...An entertaining journey." --Kirkus Reviews

"A superb middle grade novel that focuses on the effects of poverty and mental illness on children and their families. Not only is it a realistic portrayal, but its being written in a nonjudgmental and compassionate way allows children to better understand a very serious topic. Highly Recommended." --CM: Canadian Review of Materials

New Clients
Jamie Bennett's fascination with visual art started when she was very young and was greatly influenced by her father who was a sign painter. As a young adult she went on to study Graphic Design and worked in that field for several years but then switched to illustration around 1985. Since then she has illustrated for many clients including: Margaret Atwood, The Boston Globe, Eating Well, The Globe and Mail, GQ, Health Council of Canada, Knopf Canada, L.A. Times, Yaan Martel (Life of Pi), McDonalds, Mother Jones, The National Gallery of Canada, National Geographic Kids, The National Post, The New Yorker, Nike, Penguin Canada, RCA Records, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Target, The United Way, The Washington Post, Warner Bros, World Wildlife Foundation. Jamie works, overseen by her two cats, out of her home studio in Toronto, Canada and is represented by Elizabeth Bennett.

Deidre Havrelock is a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation. She grew up in Edmonton, Canada, with a ghost in her house, a feminist for a grandma, and wishing she had a buffalo for a pet! Over the years, she has lived in various wonderful places across Canada and the USA. Currently, she resides in Lethbridge, Alberta where she is working on several picture books including a non-fiction picture book about buffalo. Her first picture book Buffalo Wild! is due out in 2021 with Annick Press. Deidre is represented by Amy Tompkins for her children's books.

Rukhsana Khan is an award-winning author and storyteller. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan and immigrated to Canada at the age of three. She grew up in a small town in southern Ontario and was ruthlessly bullied. Drugs were against her religion (so was suicide) so she turned to books and became hopelessly addicted to the written word! Now she has twelve books published, including Big Red Lollipop (Viking), which was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 100 greatest children's books in the last 100 years). Rukhsana Khan lives in Toronto with her husband and family. Rukhsana is represented by Rob Firing and Amy Tompkins.

Julie Koon is a debut author/illustrator. Julie is an author/illustrator who believes that picture books have the power to open minds, grow hearts, and inspire kids to love who they are. She is an elementary school counselor who lives in Atlanta with her husband, three kids, and two guinea pigs. Her powerful picture book m/s, THE STRUGGLE BUS garnered an immense amount of interest at the most recent #PBPitch. It is a definitive story for 2020! Julie is represented by Fiona Kenshole.

Ilyssa Levy is an American animator who's most known for her animated videos she uploads to her "storytime" genre YouTube channel "illymation," which currently has 1.6 million subscribers. She's most known for producing a series about how she met and left her abusive boyfriend, that provides the audience with educational resources in case they are experiencing something similar. Though reception was sudden and overwhelmingly positive, such an influx of a large following came with too many questions left to be answered in the final 10-minute video she initially planned to complete the promised three-part series. Ilyssa is writing a memoir to finish the story in a longer format that aims to provide insight and encouragement for a wider audience to leave their abusive relationship, and what advice she has for those who are in her current position: walking the lifelong and bumpy path to recovery. See for more. Iyssa is represented by Timothy Travaglini.

Patrick O'Brien has been a full-time professional artist and illustrator since the mid-1980s. He has worked for clients such as The Smithsonian, National Geographic, and The Discovery Channel. His art has appeared in magazines and newspapers, on posters and greeting cards, and even on billboards. Patrick entered the marine art field in 2002. He does exhaustive historical and nautical research to ensure that his paintings are as accurate as possible. He has been commissioned by many clients, such as Lockheed Martin and ExxonMobil. Patrick is also a part-time professor at MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art. Patrick is the author and illustrator of fourteen children's books. These are mostly non-fiction books about things like knights, pirates, ships, and dinosaurs, although he has done a couple of sci-fi books about dinosaurs in space. A number of his picture books, including You Are the First Kid on Mars, which is currently aboard the International Space Station, and Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery were edited by his now agent Timothy TravagliniSee for more.

James Preller got his first "real job" in 1985 as a junior copywriter for Scholastic. As part of his duties, he wrote promotional flyers for Seesaw Book Club -- and that's when his lifetime love of children's books took root. He's worked in children's publishing ever since, as an author, editor, book packager, and consultant. He has continued to write a wide range of children's books, most recently including a haiku collection illustrated by Mary GrandPre, All Welcome Here, to a middle grade wilderness thriller, Blood Mountain, and just about everything in between. James is best known for the Jigsaw Jones Mystery series (42 titles, more than 10 million sold), the Scary Tales series, A Pirate's Guide to First Grade, The Courage Test, Six Innings, and Bystander, a highly-regarded novel centered around bullying in a middle school environment. A prequel/sequel, Upstander, is due out in 2021. James has earned more than a dozen starred reviews, three Library Guild Selections, an ALA Notable, two NYPL "Best Books for Reading and Sharing," a YALSA award, a Bank Street College Selection, a CYBIL Award, named to numerous state lists, and more. James will be represented by Elizabeth Bennett.

Kim Dwinell lives in Southern California, surrounded by water and golden sunshine. She is the author/ illustrator of the Surfside Girls graphic novel series which School Library Journal called "...a perfect summer read" and was published by Top Shelf, and spent the first part of her artistic career in animation. When she's not at her desk, Kim might be running a 5K or out in a kayak. Her website is

Kim is represented by Andrea Cascardi.

Elizabeth Rusch is a powerhouse! She has published over twenty award-winning and acclaimed books for children, including picture books, middle grade, nonfiction and a graphic novel with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon & Schuster, Tricycle Press/Random House, Candlewick, Charlesbridge, Andrews McMeel, Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch, West Margin Press and Rising Moon. Her most recent, YOU CALL THIS DEMOCRACY (HMH Books For Young Readers) was called "fascinating" by the New York Times, while MARIO AND THE HOLE IN THE SKY (Charlesbridge Publishing) won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the Green Earth Book Award, and was a New York Public Library Book of the Year. She has multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, The Horn Book, Booklist, School Library Journal, the BCCB, amongst others. Other awards and acclaim include the Cook Prize, AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, Gelett Burgess Award for Biography, Washington Reads Pick, Oregon Book Award, Oregon Spirit Award, American Library Association Notable, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor, YALSA Nonfiction Honor, Best Spanish Picturebook Silver Medal, Eureka! Nonfiction Silver Medal, and has been acclaimed as Best Book of the Year by New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist and NBC News. Her books appear on many state lists. Liz lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and delightful dog. Liz is represented by Fiona Kenshole. For more visit 

Justin Stanchfield is a talented and eclectic writer who is as equally at home with children's stories as with gritty science fiction and fantasy tales. His work has appeared in such diverse venues as Boy's Life, Cicada, Sofa Ink Quarterly, Ideomancer, Black Gate, and Aeon. His sci-fi and fantasy stories blend realistic characters with well-imagined locales and fascinating plots that place his characters in positions of danger and decision. Justin lives on a cattle ranch in Montana with his wife and children and an unnamed number of cattle. His life on the cattle ranch has lent his work a unique perspective on life and the use of technology. It has also given him a sense of character introspection that is often missing in modern science fiction and fantasy. Justin is represented by Timothy Travaglini.
An award-winning graduate of Ryerson University's prestigious School of Journalism, Madeline Stephenson has had a colorful career in storytelling. As managing editor of a national lifestyle magazine, she profiled some of Canada's most prominent personalities and philanthropists. As a chase producer for BNN Bloomberg's morning show, she gave bulls and bears a platform to speculate on the promise and perils of Wall Street. And as director of communications for a major hospital foundation, Madeline gives us national stories about the health issues that matter most to Canadians. Madeline lives in Toronto with her husband and two cats and is expecting her first child any second now. Madeline is represented by Elizabeth Bennett.

Michael Sweater is a cartoonist living in the Ozark mountains with his wife, three cats, and one very cowardly dog. Writing for both children and adults, his main focus is on stories that are both highly energetic and deeply sentimental. He has worked in both comics and animation for Cartoon Network, Vice, Oni, The Nib, Silver Sprocket, and more. See  for more. Michael is represented by Timothy Travaglini

Sylvia Walker, a southern California native, brings a natural affinity to the artistic painting of multicultural images, especially children. She expresses herself in a variety of media, including watercolor, pencil, ink, and acrylic on canvas and wood. After earning a BFA Degree at California Institute of the Arts she began a career in fashion illustration for department stores, fashion houses, and the Simplicity and McCall's pattern companies. Sylvia has years of experience illustrating children's books for Scholastic, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Just Us Books, Essence Golden Books, Molly Trolley Publishing and Dover Publications. Her freelance clients include National Adoption Center, Keystone Health Partners, Hallmark Cards, and the United States Post Office. Sylvia and her husband live in Culver City California. Sylvia is excited to begin focusing on writing and illustration as a client of Elizabeth Bennett.

A longtime member of the SCBWI, Jane Warren, spent the last two decades living overseas and traveling the world. She has an MFA in creative writing, works freelance as an editorial consultant, and volunteers as a developmental editor for emerging writers. Jane has been featured on CBC radio and has published short fiction and poetry in more than a dozen literary magazines in North America and the UK. She is currently putting the final touches on a middle grade novel and will be represented by Elizabeth Bennett.

Leanne Yong grew up in Australia, whose debut novel draws on elements of being part of the Malaysian diaspora community as well as her obsession with finding new and quirky indie games. When she's not writing, she designs and builds all kinds of puzzles and props for her escape room in Sydney. Leanne is represented by Andrea Cascardi

Samantha Youssef has worked as a character animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios, as well as other feature film productions. She directed cinematic sequences and commercials at Ubisoft Digital Arts, and is an award winner at the Toronto International Film Festival for her animated short film La Fuga Grande. Samantha is the founder and Artistic Director of Studio Technique; and creator of The Youssef Drawing Syllabus, an elite figurative drawing program for professional artists. Due to her experience in both the animation and dance industries, Samantha is internationally recognized as a leading authority on functional anatomy, body mechanics, and animation performance in the feature film industry and consults on blockbuster film productions, as well as AAA titles in the gaming industry, across North America and Europe. Film and gaming animation studios employ her to train their artists, and she has done masterclasses for animation studios and colleges around the world. See for more. Samantha is represented by Timothy Travaglini.
The dog days of summer!Pets
As we celebrate the continuing success of A WOLF CALLED WANDER by Roseanne Parry and introduce C.S. Jennings' heart-warming take on how close is too close when a loving pup wants to express himself in TOO CLOSE PANDA, we shine the spotlight on those members of the diverse Canis Lupus family who enrich our lives at home and, now, at the home office.

From Left to Right: Elizabeth's good boy Marvin, guarding the deck; Digby, enjoying a week long river float with Sandra and her family in central Oregon; and Hazel having a paddle with Sandra on the Willamette River.

Transatlantic Agency | 416 488 9214 |