I'm a huge Ben Clanton fan. I inherited his fantastic Something Extraordinary shortly before it went on sale, and I had an enormously good time editing It Came in the Mail, which comes out this summer. Just last week, I got to share the announcement that brilliant Ben would be illustrating two books in the Laurie Berkner program I'm editing. And I have a piece of Clanton original art hanging just to my left as I type this entry. Ben has a great sense of what kids like, and he's a gentleman to boot.
I was eager to develop a series with Ben, so I asked him if he had any characters he felt could support one. Enter Rot, a mutant potato with bad breath, scraggly hair, and a heart of gold. Admittedly, I never, ever, EVER would have guessed that Ben was going to pitch me a potato, but I'm oh-so-glad he did. Here's the piece that recently appeared in PW's Children's Bookshelf:
Christian Trimmer at Simon & Schuster has acquired two picture books by author-illustrator Ben Clanton: Rot, the Cutest in the World and an untitled Rot sequel. The books introduce Rot, a mutant potato, who enters a beauty pageant where he competes against adorable bunnies, playful kitties, and cute jellyfish. The Rot sequel will continue his adventures and introduce the reader to key family members. The first book is planned for spring 2018, and the sequel will follow in spring 2019; Marietta B. Zacker at Nancy Gallt Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
And here's the full Ben Clanton publication plan:
Something Extraordinary: available now!
It Came in the Mail: Summer 2016
We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner: Spring 2017
Rot, the Cutest in the World: Spring 2018
Monster Boogie by Laurie Berkner: Summer 2018
Untitled Rot Sequel: Spring 2019