S&S Children’s launches Stickley and O’Neill partnership for picture books


Simon & Schuster Children’s Books is launching a new picture book partnership between author Frances Stickley and senior illustrator Eamonn O’Neill, signing two books of the pair.

The partnership starts in April 2022 with Not a cat in sight. Presented as “a ‘It’s behind you!” tale with a text “in catchy rhymes”, the picture book presents Mouse who “sets out, perfectly oblivious (in the tradition of all the best capers of the cat and the mouse) that he is followed at every step path”.

A second title from Stickley and O’Neill will follow, and S&S also acquired O’Neill’s first picture book as an author and illustrator, published in 2023.

Helen Mackenzie Smith, picture book publisher, purchased the worldwide rights, acquiring the Stickley texts from Penny Holroyde from Holroyde Cartey and the O’Neill illustrations from Jodie Hodges from United Agents.

Mackenzie Smith said, “We love the pairing up a bit here at S&S and with Frances’ hilarious and delightfully kid-friendly text and Eamonn’s cheerful, characterful illustrations, we’ve got a match made in book heaven from images! Look for more of this dynamic duo. “

Stickley said: “Not a cat in sight was wonderfully animated by Eamonn’s bright and vibrant characterization and I’m absolutely delighted that our cat caper found a home here with Simon & Schuster. I consider myself so lucky to be working with Eamonn and the whole team and can’t wait to see our next project together. “

O’Neill added, “Frances’ wonderful text immediately caught my attention. I could see that the humor and tone matched my artwork perfectly. I’m more than happy to work with the Simon & team. Schuster. The whole process has been a dream come true and I am excited to create more books with them in the future. “

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