Hodder Children’s Books will next year publish the first picture book by Watership Down author Richard Adams, with illustrations by Alex T Smith.
The book, The Adventures of Egg Box Dragon, is about a mischievous homemade dragon who loves solving mysteries. Hodder Children’s picture book publisher Emma Layfield acquired world rights to the text from Laura West at David Higham Associates. The deal with Smith was struck with his agent Alison Eldred of Arena Illustration.
The news that Adams was hoping to publish a picture book broke earlier this year when Adams told the Independent that The Adventures of Egg Box Dragon was inspired a craft project one of his daughters took part in at school in the 1960s.
His agent, Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates, had earlier sent the text of the book to Juliet Mabey, editorial director at Oneworld, which published an illustrated edition of Watership Down in 2014. However, Mabey said the story had now found the right home with Hachette.