Today Scholastic announced The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins’ next book to be released – her first since Mockingjay was published in August 2010.
Year of the Jungle is an autobiographical picture book to be released in fall 2013. It is intended for ages four and up and “based on the year Suzanne Collins’ father served in Viet Nam when she was in first grade,” the Scholastic Blog writes. It will be illustrated by James Proimos.
Collins spoke about the story, saying, “For several years I had this little wicker basket next to my writing chair with the postcards my dad had sent me from Viet Nam and photos of that year. But I could never quite find a way into the story. It has elements that can be scary for the audience and it would be easy for the art to reinforce those. It could be really beautiful art but still be off-putting to a kid, which would defeat the point of doing the book. Then one day I was having lunch with Jim [Proimos] and telling him about the idea and he said, ‘That sounds fantastic.’ I looked at him and I had this flash of the story through his eyes, with his art. It was like being handed a key to a locked door. So, I just blurted out, ‘Do you want to do it?’ Fortunately he said yes. That afternoon, on the train ride home, the book started unfolding in my head. There’s a natural humor and sense of fun to his drawing style that makes the story approachable. As the emotional life of the main character evolves into darker places, the pictures beautifully keep pace with it, but they never lose that Proimos quality. His art made telling the story possible.”
The cover can be seen below:
Admittedly, following the success of The Hunger Games we’re a bit bummed that her next book isn’t for young adults. We’ll spend today hoping that her next story is aimed at an older audience.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is currently filming in Hawaii and will be released November 22, 2013.