UQP to publish the first picture book from award-winning author and screenwriter Clare Atkins
UQP is delighted to have acquired world rights for the first picture book, Egg, by Clare Atkins, the award-winning author of young adult novels Nona & Me and Between Us.
A misshapen egg washes ashore on a scrubby, acrid island that’s inhabited by a diverse range of talking eggs, most of whom have ‘set’ long ago and are no longer able to hatch into anything. What will they do with this unknown arrival?
Egg is a multi-layered picture book with thought-provoking metaphors around environment, generational disparity, global warming, refugees, the power of kindness, and what it means to have a home.
Clare says: ‘I wrote Egg hoping the story would be playful, fun and a little silly – something kids would have a giggle about and enjoy. But dig slightly beneath the surface and themes of belonging, identity, fear of the unknown, resilience and bravery come into play. I want to plant these ideas in the minds of kids, raising questions rather than providing answers. I see it as a chance for the next generation to come up with their own imaginative solutions to some of the issues we face today.’
UQP Commissioning Editor, Clair Hume, describes the work as, ‘shining and unconventional, Clare Atkins’ Egg is a picture book full of humour and hope for our future. I’m unsure how she has managed to deliver this uplifting fable for our times in the form of an island inhabited by talking eggs – but she has and it’s marvellous.’
Clare Atkins is a Sydney-based author, scriptwriter, script editor and producer. She’s written for many successful Australian television dramas and has also worked in community development and education. Clare’s first novel, Nona & Me, was written while she lives in the remote Aboriginal community of Yirrkala in the Northern Territory. Nona & Me was a CBCA Honour Book and NT Literary Award-winner. Her second novel for young adults, Between Us, won a CBCA and IBBY and was shortlisted for the Readings Young Adult Prize, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.