Little, Brown Books for Young Readers to Publish Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s Debut Picture Book, The Darkest Dark, in Fall 2016
New York, NY — World-renowned astronaut and New York Times bestselling author Chris Hadfield makes his children’s book debut in Fall 2016 with The Darkest Dark, a picture book illustrated by Eric and Terry Fan. Farrin Jacobs, Editorial Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, acquired US rights for the book, which will be published as a jacketed hardcover. Tara Walker, Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada Children’s Group, acquired Canadian rights to the book, to be published by Tundra Books in Canada, and Belinda Rasmussen, Publisher of Macmillan Children’s Books UK, acquired world rights to the book, excluding North American English and Canadian French. The U.S. and Canadian deals were arranged by Rick Broadhead & Associates, representing Chris Hadfield, and the UK deal was arranged by Ron Eckel of The Cooke Agency International on behalf of Rick Broadhead & Associates. The Fan Brothers are represented by Kirsten Hall of Catbird Productions.
The Darkest Dark is about a boy who transitions from being afraid of the dark to wanting to explore every corner of the universe. A future astronaut, afraid of the dark? So begins this charming story inspired by Hadfield’s own childhood. Young Chris loves rockets and planets and is fascinated by everything out there to be discovered, but he can’t stop fears from creeping in as he imagines deep space, the absolute darkest dark there is. Only when he watches the groundbreaking Apollo 11 moon landing on TV does he realize that sometimes the unknown can be…exciting! Hadfield collaborated with writer Kate Fillion on the story, which is brought to life by brother team Eric and Terry Fan, whose dreamy, evocative artwork is the perfect match for this inspiring tale.
“After 25 years of speaking in schools and working with children, I am extremely proud to be able to create this book,” said Chris Hadfield. “The Darkest Dark addresses one of our most basic and common fears, brought visually to life with fine, distinctive style by The Fan Brothers. Pursuing the hopes and overcoming the worries of childhood are such key parts of growing up, and help determine how high we eventually may travel. Having seen our world thousands of times from orbit, I am so delighted that the ideas and images of The Darkest Dark will be available to all, most especially our younger kids.”
“We are beyond thrilled to be publishing Chris Hadfield’s first book for children. His viral video performance of ‘Space Oddity’ endeared him to adults, but Chris is also great with the many kids who attend his events,” said Jacobs. “A picture book is such a natural next step for him. And we couldn’t have asked for a better team to illustrate his story. The Fan brothers have brought Chris’s world to life on every beautiful page. Together they’ve created a magical book that will encourage children to use their imaginations and dream the impossible.”
Chris Hadfield is one of the world’s most seasoned and accomplished astronauts, and is the author of the #1 international bestseller An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes, both published by Little, Brown in the US. The top graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School in 1988 and US Navy “Test Pilot of the Year” in 1991, Hadfield was selected by the Canadian Space Agency to be an astronaut in 1992. He was CAPCOM, the voice of mission control to astronauts in orbit, for 25 Shuttle launches and served as Director of NASA Operations in Star City, Russia, Chief of Robotics for the NASA Astronaut Office in Houston, and Chief of International Space Station Operations.
Hadfield most recently served as Commander of the International Space Station, where, while conducting a record-setting number of scientific experiments and overseeing an emergency spacewalk, he gained worldwide acclaim for his breathtaking photographs and educational videos about life in space. His music video, a zero-gravity version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” has received more than 30 million views online. His TED talk, delivered in March 2014, has been viewed almost four million times. Follow Chris Hadfield at @Cmdr_Hadfield.
Terry and Eric Fan received their formal art training at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. Their work is a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, using ink or graphite mixed with digital art. The Night Gardener is their critically acclaimed debut picture book. Terry spends his days (and nights) creating magical paintings, portraits, and prints. Eric has a passion for vintage bikes, clockwork contraptions, and impossible dreams. Visit them online at http://www.thefanbrothers.com/, at Society 6 and on Facebook (Terry Fan Illustration, Eric Fan Illustration).
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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is a division of Hachette Book Group, a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Books, Hachette Nashville, and Hachette Audio. For more information, visit hbgusa.com.