Friday, 6th February 2020

Taylor Dolan's fiendishly funny story of friendship, GHOUL SCOUTS, WELCOME TO CAMP CROAK! hits the bookshops on February 6th - this wonderfully wicked tale is simply the most fun you'll have within the pages of a book, and highly recommended to all readers aged 6 upwards. Taylor and her Ghoul Scouts are touring the UK later this month, which she's managing to fit in amidst writing and illustrating Book 2 (HULLABALLOO AT CAMP CROAK!), out in October 2020. Ghoul Scouts Unite!

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I'm thrilled to welcome author Anthony Burt to the Guppy shoal with THE ANIMAL LIGHTHOUSE, a middle-grade adventure telling the story of a young boy brought up in a lighthouse run by a group of animals who treat him as their own. When a ship approaches and the rumour of pirates becomes imminent, Jim can't understand why the animals are so determined to hide him. And will he ever discover where he comes from? This is an adventure that will warm the cockles of any reader's heart, with humour, warmth and family drama packed into its pages.

Anthony is well-known in the children's book world as a reviewer and events coordinator, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be publishing his debut novel in 2021. As Anthony himself says: "If I was a cow, I'd be jumping over the moon with excitement right now. I'm very pleased to be working with the brilliant Bella Pearson on my new pirate-y, animal-y, comedy-y children's book series and am looking forward to joining the 'B for Burt' section on all good bookshelves - as well as some rickety, dusty ones - in all equally good bookshops!"


Thursday, 21st November 2019

We are thrilled to announce that Guppy will be publishing the first fantastically funny novel in a new series from the BAFTA-winning Brothers McLeod, Knight Sir Louis and the Dreadful Damsel. Myles and Greg McLeod are the award-winning brothers behind many collaborations with the RSC, films and animations - Myles as writer and Greg as illustrator. Out in June 2020, we can't wait for Knight Sir Louis, a brave oasis of calm in a completely bonkers world, to get out into the world.


Wednesday, 6th November 2019

We are beyond thrilled that Gloves Off by Louisa Reid has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal, the UK's most prestigious award for children's fiction. Librarians from all over the country nominate their favourite books of the year, and we are so proud of the wonderful Louisa! Also out is the Gloves Off audiobook, wonderfully read by Colleen Prendergast and Anne-Marie PIazza - available on Audible.


Wednesday, 9th October 2019

Just over one year into the Guppy Books journey, we had a wonderful launch party at the beautiful Blackwell's Bookshop in the Westgate Centre in Oxford. Authors, illustrators, agents, colleagues and friends came from all over the country to celebrate and I am so grateful to them all, for their support and brilliance and loveliness. One year in, two books out, ten Guppy authors and fourteen books acquired... it's been quite a busy time!

Click here to see some photos of the eve, copyright Ian Wallman.


Thursday, 3rd October 2019

Described as a 'free spirit of a book', we are so proud to be publishing Jaclyn Moriarty's first book for 8-12 year olds on 3rd October - THE EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURES OF BRONTE METTLESTONE is an enthralling and magical adventure, with a beautiful cover and inside illustrations by Karl James Mountford. Perfect as a Christmas gift, it has been published in the US and Australia and is now available from Guppy Books. For any children who love Harry Potter, magic, witches and pirates, it's a must-read!


Gloves Off by Louisa Reid was published on August 29th 2019, and has already received two rave reviews in the national press - 5 stars in the Sun and a wonderful review full of praise from the Guardian. Louisa held a fabulous launch party at Waterstone's in Altrincham to celebrate this extraordinarily powerful novel swimming its way out into the world. Guppy's first book is out!

And to celebrate this and the first anniversary of Guppy's conception, here's a link to an interview with Bella on BBC Radio Oxford with Kat Orman. On approximately 1 hour and 8 minutes in!

Six weeks before Guppy's first book, GLOVES OFF, appears in the shops - and the reviews have already been amazing!

Image containing praise for Gloves Off

Guppy Books acquires new novels by multi-award-winning author, Sharon Creech

London, Monday, 20th May 2019

New independent publisher Guppy Books is delighted to announce the acquisition of two middle-grade titles from much-loved author Sharon Creech. Cecilia de la Campa and Alessandra Birch at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal for UK and Commonwealth rights with Bella Pearson.

The first title, which will publish in hardback in April 2020, is Saving Winslow, the heart-warming story of a young boy called Louie who is distracted from his loneliness as he learns to care for a sick donkey. Everyone is convinced that Winslow won’t survive, but Louie is determined to nurse him back to health, learning an important lesson about life, loss and love along the way.

Moo, the second title which will publish in hardback in August 2020, is a light-hearted story of siblings Reena and Luke, who find themselves looking after a belligerent cow named Zora when their parents decide to move the family to the countryside. Hilarious and heart-warming in equal measure, Moo is the perfect tale of learning responsibility – and believing in yourself.

Both stories have family and friendship at their heart, and told in the gentle, lyrical style that is synonymous with Creech’s writing.

Bella Pearson says: “I have loved Sharon Creech's writing since reading Walk Two Moons and Love That Dog as a children's bookseller many moons ago, and publishing two novels on the Guppy list is simply a dream come true. Both Moo and Saving Winslow are perfect examples of Sharon's ability to create clear-sighted stories that are comical and heart-warming and which appeal to readers young and old with empathy and understanding. Perfect for our times.”

Sharon Creech is the beloved author of many acclaimed books for young people, and is published in over twenty languages. Her style ranges from novels in verse to fantasy, and have received significant awards recognition including the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor for The Wanderer. In 2003 she became the first American author to win the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler.

Before beginning her writing career, Sharon Creech taught English for fifteen years in England and Switzerland. She and her husband now live in Maine. For more information visit

For more information about Sharon Creech please contact Catherine Alport ( / 07843 804 083). Sharon is available for interview.

Interview With The Bookseller

Bella talks to Charlotte Eyre at The Bookseller about setting up Guppy Books and its first autumn titles. Read more…

Bella Pearson Launches New Independent Publisher, Guppy Books

Photo © Ian Wallman

Bella Pearson, former Publishing Director at David Fickling Books, is delighted to announce that she will be launching a new independent children’s publishing house in 2019.

Guppy Books will be based in Oxford and will publish eight to ten fiction titles a year, which will primarily be aimed at middle grade through to young adult readers. Michael O’Mara Books will be selling and distributing Guppy Books in the UK and export market, and Sarah Pakenham of Scallywag Press, ex-rights director at Andersen Press, will be selling translation rights.

Bella Pearson has worked in children’s books for over twenty-five years. After five years selling books at an independent children’s bookshop, she completed an MA in children’s literature and then moved into publishing at Transworld Children’s Books.

In 2001 she began work as an editor with David Fickling, helping set up his eponymous list under the umbrella of Random House, leaving as publishing director in 2018. She acquired and edited multiple bestselling and award-winning titles during this time, including The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss, Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay and Before I Die by Jenny Downham. She won the Branford Boase Award for Siobhan Dowd’s A Swift Pure Cry in 2007, and has been shortlisted a further five times.

‘To be choosing, editing and producing books for children on my very own list is a dream come true,’ says Pearson. ‘My aim is for Guppy Books to be a responsive, inclusive and transparent publishing house, presenting the very best in original, ground-breaking and entertaining fiction for all ages, from both debut and established authors and illustrators.’

Rumana Haider, UK & Export Sales Director at Michael O’Mara Books, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Bella on the new, exciting Guppy Books list. Bella is an extraordinary publisher who has a talent for finding and nurturing those voices which really connect with the reader. Everyone at Michael O’Mara Books is passionate about innovative children’s books, and these thought-provoking and entertaining fiction titles will perfectly complement and add a new dimension to our list. We can’t wait to share Bella’s wonderful Guppy Books list far and wide.”

Guppy Books will launch with its first two titles in the autumn of 2019: Gloves Off, a gripping YA novel about bullying, body image and boxing from author, Louisa Reid, acquired from Hilary Delamere at The Agency; and a magical middle-grade adventure from Australian writer Jaclyn Moriarty, The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone.

Early 2020 sees the publication of two debut middle-grade series, and a thrilling YA novel from critically-acclaimed author, Beverley Birch.

Guppy Books is now accepting submissions from agents, and will announce further plans regarding unsolicited submissions later in the year.

For more information about Guppy Books or to speak to Bella about the list, please contact Catherine Alport

First two Guppy books to be published in autumn:


Publication of GLOVES OFF by Louisa Reid - a powerful and gripping book in verse for young adults, confronting issues of bullying and body-image.


UK publication of THE EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURES OF BRONTE METTLESTONE by Jaclyn Moriarty – an absorbing and magical tale of a girl who must visit all ten of her extraordinary aunts after her parents are killed by pirates – accompanied by fire-breathing dragons, water-sprites and cloudberry tea.


The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone cover
Ghoul Scouts Spread One
Knight Sir Louis and the Dreadful Damsel
MOO cover