Little Island Books announces the acquisition of a picturebook written by Eoin Colfer on the topic of a young girl growing up with dwarfism. Publisher Matthew Parkinson-Bennett acquired Ireland, UK and Commonwealth English-language rights from agent Sophie Hicks.
Little Island have commissioned Celia Ivey, a British illustrator with dwarfism, to illustrate the title. Little Big Sister will publish in spring 2023.
Little Big Sister tells the story of Starr, a girl with dwarfism who lives with her mum and younger sister, Babs. As the girls get older and Babs overtakes Starr’s height, Starr understands there is something different about her. When she starts primary school she is at first upset by being shorter than the other children. But with help from her mum and teacher, the precocious Starr finds the courage to shine.
Little Island’s Parkinson-Bennet says of Little Big Sister:
“Eoin’s sweet and moving story will allow children with dwarfism to see a child like them represented a book published by a mainstream press, and help young people to empathise with those who are a bit different. It was important to Eoin and ourselves to find an illustrator who had personal experience of the sort of challenges faced by Starr, and we were delighted when Celia, a terrifically talented artist, embraced this project with enthusiasm. We can’t wait to bring this book to Irish and British children in spring 2023.”
Eoin Colfer adds:
“I count myself very lucky to be a part of a creative team with Celia and Little Island. We have worked very hard together to create a story that is real but also a little magical. I can’t wait for Starr to burst out of her pages in 2023. ”
Celia Ivey adds:
“I am thrilled to contribute to this wonderful story; there are echoes of my own experiences growing up with dwarfism, living in an average height family. I really enjoyed the family dynamic along with the honest and sensitive approach between the mother and daughter, which felt particularly resonant.”