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David Sedaris’ First Children’s Book, ‘Pretty Ugly,’ to Be Published Next February

NEW YORK — David Sedaris is publishing his first children’s book, a collaboration with Ian Falconer conceived decades ago and finished shortly before the “Olivia” creator died in March.

Toon Books, an imprint of Astra Publishing House, announced Thursday that “Pretty Ugly” will be published Feb. 27 of next year. A look at the “age-old question” of what makes people attractive or unattractive, “Pretty Ugly” began 20 years ago as a contribution to the anthology “Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids.”

More recently, Toon publisher Françoise Mouly, who helped edit “Little Lit,” thought “Pretty Ugly” would work as a stand-alone book.

“With the systematic attacks so-called conservatives are leveling on all those they see as deviant or even just different, it felt urgent to publish a tale with such a clear moral center,” Mouly said in a statement. “David and Ian agreed and earlier this year, we finalized the editing and design, prepping it for spring 2024 publication. A few weeks before he died, I sent Ian the dummy and — in true Ian style — he remarked, “this looks great. I can’t wait to see it bound … and gagged.'”

Sedaris’ previous books include such humorous works as “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.” Falconer is best known for his “Olivia” children’s series, including “Olivia” and “Olivia Saves the Circus.”

 

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