Rights Roundup: Seeds of Peace

In News by Porter Anderson

Deals today are for work from Iceland, Sweden, Canada, the United States, and England, with fiction, nonfiction, and children’s work.

An image from ‘The Rare, Tiny Flower,’ by Kitty O’Meara with illustrations by Quim Torres, from Tra Publishing. A mysterious bird drops a seed that will grow into a beautiful, confounding controversy: ‘It wasn’t a sapling, it wasn’t a weed, but a rare, tiny flower that found light and grew.’

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

The Flowering of Potential Harmony
Here on the runway to the 60th Bologna Children’s Book Fair (March 6 to 9), it seems fitting that we open today’s Rights Roundup with a poem for children—and thinking adults—about tolerance and support for each other’s right to hold inevitably different opinions in a complex world.

The Rare, Tiny Flower in Kitty O’Meara’s parable with illustrations by Quim Torres is seeded by a multicolored bird, and it blossoms with such brilliant diversity that international leaders can only see one color each. They argue and debate what they see until a child demonstrates how the flower is everything each person says it is–but more than any one of them realizes.

Eugene Yelchin in November referenced this piece in his selection for The New York Times of several books that try to approach for children the subject of warfare for children.

Kitty O’Meara

Yelchin wrote that the 40-page book, recommended for ages 4 to 8, “relies on metaphor to introduce children to the often trivial reasons for war,” helping young readers understand “the limitations” of leaders’ points of view.

It’s being presented to us here today (February 10) by Florence Pariente of the Ttipi Agency. The Rare, Tiny Flower was originally published in English by Tra Publishing.

Quim Torres

Latest rights deals are for Spanish, Catalan, and Basque, those rights sold to Edelvives. Earlier sales are:

  • Arabic: Zeltner
  • German: Goldblatt Verlag
  • Hebrew : Zeltner
  • Korean: Safari

As O’Meara’s verse has it:

“Everyone watched
as the rainbow unspun.
What had their fighting
and selfishness done?

“The people were sad
and started to cry.
Had their ingratitude
caused it to die?”

An image from ‘The Rare, Tiny Flower,’ by Kitty O’Meara with illustrations by Quim Torres, from Tra Publishing

And as we turn now to some more rights deals, here’s a reminder that we have a special edition of Publishing Perspectives on children’s books coming up pre-Bologna, on February 24. (Get in touch with Meike Eckern if you have something you’d like to advertise, at meike@publishingperspectives.com.)

When in Bologna, consider scheduling a Bologna Book Plus session at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8. Publishing Perspectives will moderate the Literary Translation Forum, Part 2: Scouting for Books in Translation hour in the Bologna Book Plus Theatre. Greece is Bologna Book Plus’ first guest of honor.

We’ll have more for you about it in the coming days. Bologna Book Plus is being handled by Jacks Thomas, Orna O’Brien, and Emma House.

And here’s more from Bologna, published in recent days:

As in each roundup, we use some of the sales copy supplied to us by agents and rights directors, editing that copy to give you an idea about a book’s nature and tone, but limiting the promotional elements. If you’d like to submit a deal to Publishing Perspectives, see the instructions at the end of this article.

Greenwild: The World Beyond the Door
By Pari Thomson
Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

  • Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books, London
  • Rights contact: Asia Mabboni, Macmillan Children’s Books
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Greek: Patakis Publications
  • Italian: Edizioni EL
  • German: S. Fischer
  • Dutch: Luitingh-Sijthoff

Author Pari Thomson, left, and illustrator Elisa Paganelli

This book releases June 1.

“Daisy Thistledown has recently escaped from boarding school, and has a mystery to solve. The trail will lead her through a hidden doorway to the Greenwild, a rich and verdant land bursting with magic.

“There, Daisy finds herself confronting a dangerous presence that threatens green magic on both sides of the door.

“Daisy must band together with a young prodigy, a boy who can talk to animals, and a cat with an attitude, to channel the power that will save the Greenwild and her own world, too.”

The Good Women of Safe Harbour
By Bobbi French

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada, Toronto
  • Rights contact: Meg Wheeler, Westwood Creative Artists
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Germany: Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe/Kösel/Diederichs Verlag
  • Hebrew: Kinneret
  • North America: HarperCollins Canada

Bobbi French

“Longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, this is a celebration of friendship and forgiveness.

The Good Women of Safe Harbour is a novel about a terminally ill woman who finally gives herself a chance to love and be loved, a woman living on her own terms at last and reclaiming the friendship of a lifetime.”

Comps the publisher is mentioning in its descriptive copy are The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye and Me Before You.

Out of Silence, Sound. Out of Nothing, Something.
By Susan Griffin

  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press, Berkeley
  • Rights contact: Marleen Seegers, 2 Seas Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • South Korea: SangSangSquare (a nine-way auction)

Susan Griffin

“Author Susan Griffin breaks down the creative process, step-by-step, guiding the reader through a practical course in how to begin and end a work of literature, whether fiction or nonfiction, poetry, or prose.

“Griffin distills daily wisdom from more than five decades of teaching creative writing and editing manuscripts, as well as from her own writing. This collection of brief chapters designed to help beginning writers get started also guides experienced writers through blocks and difficulties of all kinds.

“Organized according to a practical timeline, Out of Silence, Sound. Out of Nothing, Something. elucidates the process of writing from beginning to end, presenting an approach similar to the practice of meditation as it encourages and enlarges the mind’s intrinsic capacity for creativity.”


By Arndís Thórarinsdóttir

  • Publisher: Mál og menning, Reykjavik
  • Rights contact: Elin Rydner, Rights and Brands (R & B Licensing AB)
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Dutch: Uitgeverij Volt
  • Hungarian: Cerkabella Könyvek KFT

“In this novel, we follow 12-year-old Álfur as he comes to realize life’s complexities.

Arndís Thórarinsdóttir

“He’s a good friend, a great son, and the best big brother in the world until his mom and dad one day get the idea that Álfur’s little brother Eiki is autistic. Now they won’t stop talking about it, not even to consider that maybe the doctors are wrong and Eiki is fine, or will grow out of it.

“An enthusiastic gymnast, Álfur’s hobby provides a place of solace as his family life turns upside down.

“But it also motivates him to reconnect with a mysterious relative. Somersault is about emotions and the strong bond between two brothers.”

The Way We Played
(Som vi lekte)

By Ninni Schulman

  • Publisher: Bazar Forlag, Stockholm
  • Rights contact: Ahlander Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Germany: Hoffmann und Campe
  • Croatia: Znanje
  • Denmark: Alpha Forlag A/S
  • Finland: Tammi
  • Iceland: Ugla Útgáfa
  • Norway: Bonnier
  • Sweden: Bazar

Ninni Schulman

“On a hot summer day, the former police officer Ingrid Wolt is released from prison and is forced to start a new life in the small rural town of Våmhus.

“Struggling to find a job, she decides to become a private investigator and is hired by the mother of a missing 12-year-old boy. Mattias is believed to have drowned, but his body was never found, and his mother is sure the police are wrong.

“While scratching the polished surface of the close-knit community, Ingrid unearths multiple sinister secrets.”

Lateral Thinking: Extraordinary Solutions to Ordinary Problems

By Paul Sloane

  • Publisher: Kogan Page, London
  • Rights contact: Amy Joyner, Kogan Page
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – World Portuguese: O Novo Mercado
  • World Indonesian: PT Elex Media Komputindo
  • World Korean: Book21 Publishing Group
  • China (mainland) / Chinese (simplified): Beijing Xueshuo Culture Media
  • Taiwan: Chinese (complex): Eurasian Publishing Group
  • World Spanish: Profit Editorial

Paul Sloane

“Not every problem has an obvious solution. Utilize the power of ‘lateral thinking’ to think imaginatively and creatively to tackle everyday problems in a new, fresh way.

“‘Lateral thinking’ is about rethinking your approach to problem-solving and using an indirect method to come up with innovative results.

“Paul Sloane explains how you can benefit from using a ‘lateral thinking’ approach … to help you deploy reasoning techniques, become more persuasive and convincing, and come up with fresh solutions to creative challenges.”

Submitting Rights Deals to Publishing Perspectives

Do you have rights deals to report? Agents and publishing-house rights directors can use our rights deal submission form to send us the information we need. If you have questions, please send them to Porter@PublishingPerspectives.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

More of Publishing Perspectives‘ rights roundups are here, and more from us on international rights trading is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.