Macmillan Children’s Books is proud to announce the acquisition of two picture books written by Swapna Haddow and illustrated Dapo Adeola.

The picture books were acquired by Associate Publisher Penny Morris at Macmillan Children’s Books. The deal was struck with Felicity Trew at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency and Sallyanne Sweeney at MMB Creative for World Rights in all languages.

The first book, My Dad Is A Grizzly Bear, will be published in May 2020. Swapna and Dapo will be touring the UK on publication with schools events and media planned. The hilarious story follows a young boy who believes his dad is actually a grizzly bear as he shares the same behaviours. Their second book,  My Mum Is A Lioness, will be published in Spring 2021.

Penny Morris, Associate Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Books, says, “I am thrilled to be publishing this brilliant book from Swapna and Dapo – it's been a pleasure to work with them both. Swapna’s warm and witty text pairs perfectly with Dapo’s lively and characterful illustrations – together they have produced a fabulous book, full of child-appeal, that will also amuse those adults who share it."

Dapo says, “Working on this book has been such an adventure from beginning to end and Swapna is an awesome and witty writer and I’m very honoured to get to bring her characters to life. I can’t wait for folks to meet them when the book hits shelves.”

Swapna adds “This story is very special to me and was inspired by my husband but it is for all the dads and for all mums who step up as dads and all the grandparents and uncles and aunts and friends and neighbours and mentors and carers and big brothers and big sisters who do the same. I couldn’t have asked for this story to be in safer hands than Dapo’s and Team Macmillan’s.”

Swapna Haddow contributed a short story to Macmillan’s Return to Wonderland anthology which was published in 2019.

In May 2019, Macmillan worked with Dapo and BookTrust Represents to host an evening to help support black British illustrators to find ways into publishing.

For further information please contact Amber Ivatt at Macmillan Children’s Books, / 07841 764119

Swapna Haddow trained as a doctor, but after discovering she didn't like blood, decided on a career change and wrote her first book Dave Pigeon: How to Deal With Bad Cats and Keep (most of) Your Feathers, which was then shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award 2017. Swapna now lives in New Zealand with her husband, their son and dog. You can follow Swapna on Twitter @SwapnaHaddow

Dapo Adeola is a young illustrator and character designer who is new to the picture book world. His first book, Look Up was written by Nathan Bryon and published by Puffin in May 2019 to great acclaim. Born in Britain and of Nigerian heritage, Dapo's work revolves around creating characters and imagery that challenge gender norms and equality politics in a fun and upbeat manner. An avid believer in the importance of equal representation in the creative arts, Dapo runs illustration and character design based workshops with children in and out of schools to help highlight the possibilities of a career in illustration to inner city children of various ethnicities. Dapo lives in London. You can follow Dapo on twitter and Instagram @DapsDraws

Pan Macmillan ( is the UK general book publishing arm of the Macmillan Group, which operates in over 70 countries.  Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Bluebird, Boxtree, Sidgwick & Jackson, Bello, Tor, Macmillan Children's Books, Campbell Books and Two Hoots. Pan Macmillan was named Publisher of the Year at The Bookseller Industry Awards in May 2015 and May 2017.