Faber & Faber has signed up children’s author Claire Barker for a hilarious and heart-warming new series of books for 7-9 year olds, the first of which is entitled “Picklewitch and Jack”. The books will be illustrated by Finnish illustrator, comic artist and graphic designer Teemu Juhani, known for his ‘Faily Tales’ comic strip illustrations.

The first book features the mischievous, cake-loving Picklewitch who lives in a tree and decides to go to school and get a new best friend. Jack, winner of ‘The Most Sensible Boy in School’ for three years running at St Immaculate’s School for the Gifted, happens to be the target of Picklewitch’s attention. Everyone at school thinks Picklewitch is great, except Jack who gets the blame for the consequences of all her disastrous magic and even ends up being arrested. After Picklewitch exposes the cheating techniques of the rival Brutus Academy for Achievers at the Interschool Quiz, Jack realises her heart is in the right place, and that actually it’s no bad thing to have a witch as your best friend.

Faber & Faber are publishing “Picklewitch and Jack” on the 6th of September.

As well as working on this magical new series, Claire is also writing new stories in the “Knitbone Pepper” series, as publisher of these books, Usborne, has committed to two new books, which will feature more of Ross Collins’ beautiful illustrations. We can expect to see the next book in Spring 2019.

Claire’s editor at Usborne says she ‘fell in love with Knitbone Pepper from the very first chapter of the first book. The stories are funny, whimsical and charming, but they have such heart! Claire has the ability to have me laughing out loud one minute and then weeping the next.’

Follow Claire Barker on Twitter @clairebarker and visit her website https://clairebarkerauthor.com/