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Posted by Nosy Crow, April 27, 2020

Meet Ruffles: Hugless Douglas author and illustrator, David Melling, and lovable character, Ruffles, find home for three new picture books at Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow is delighted to announce the acquisition of Ruffles and the Red, Red Coat, the first of three picture books about the lovable dog Ruffles, to be published in 2021 and 2022 by Hugless Douglas author and illustrator, David Melling.

Ruffles and the Red, Red Coat will publish in hardback in February 2021, followed by Ruffles and the Teeny Tiny Kittens in August 2021. The third title will be published in February 2022. Louise Bolongaro, Head of Picture Books at Nosy Crow, acquired world rights in all languages from children’s literary agent, Eunice McMullen.

With bright colours and a contemporary artwork style reminiscent of Miffy, Ruffles and the Red, Red Coat is the first in a series all about first experiences, aimed at helping pre-schoolers navigate all the tricky troubles of toddler life.

Ruffles Does NOT like wearing his coat. No, no, no, no, no, no! Not even one tiny little bit. But when it rains, he soon learns that some things are definitely worth wearing your coat for – like splashing in puddles!

Manda Scott, Senior Designer at Nosy Crow, says: “I first met David when we worked together on Hugless Douglas. It was a privilege, of course, but what I loved most was going through his collection of sketchbooks. As a warm-up exercise, he would draw hilarious sequences of tiny sketches that told a story. I would pore over them endlessly and encourage him to explore further. A few years later, after I joined Nosy Crow, David and I met for a pint in a grimy London Bridge pub, and David shared a few newer sketches with me . . . together with his desire to do something completely different . . . Fast forward to a different pint in a different bar, and we shared those sketches with Kate Wilson and Louise Bolongaro for the first time. They were both immediately drawn to pictures featuring the cute little dog that was to become Ruffles . . .

It has been a real pleasure working with David on his wonderful new character and helping to develop an exciting new style that still remains very recogniseably David’s at heart.”

David Melling comments: “It’s always exciting to begin working on a new project with a new team. So when an opportunity arose to collaborate with Nosy Crow, hearing all the very good things I had, I jumped at the chance. Working with Nosy Crow has been a real joy from the outset. The project I’ve developed with the team has been an incredibly organic process; their approach and ideas are so creative and innovative, encouraging me to explore my thinking in new and exciting ways, working to get the best out of me. I hope they have! It’s been a real partnership and so refreshing. I couldn’t be happier to be part of the Crow’s Nest!”

Louise Bolongaro, Head of Picture Books at Nosy Crow, comments: “As a parent and a publisher, I have admired the David Melling magic for many, many years. His sense of visual fun and extraordinary ability to capture mood and expression through body language makes him a household favourite and a real picture book legend. It’s been a such privilege to work with him, exploring new art techniques and new ways of storytelling, and we couldn’t be prouder of Ruffles and the beautiful Miffy-esque world that David has created.”

Eunice McMullen, children’s literary agent, comments: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with David for more than twenty-five years during which time he’s produced some amazing best-selling picture books. His new work with Nosy Crow feels exciting and fresh, and I was so pleased to see how closely they worked with David to take him in a completely new direction. Ruffles is a delightful and funny character and I can’t wait to see where his adventures lead him in what’s sure to be another very successful series.”

David Melling was born in Oxford and still lives near the city with his wife and two children. As a child, he loved drawing and his dad, who was a sculptor, would often help with the difficult bits. He studied Art in London and Photography in Blackpool. In the mid eighties he returned to London and started work as a freelance illustrator but soon found himself working in animation studios: drawing backgrounds, assisting animators and rendering cells for TV commercials and a handful of TV films including Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. It wasn’t until the early nineties that David turned his attention to children’s books. “When I started drawing pictures for books I knew this was for me. I love drawing characters, bringing them to life and letting them tell a story. I have done other jobs over the years but making up stories with pen and paper is by far the best.” David’s books have been published in nearly 40 languages and sold over 3 million copies. Hello, Hugless Douglas was a number one bestseller across all book charts and David’s stories have been turned into apps and theatre shows, and regularly appear on CBBC.