The Walker Books Group announces sequel to classic international bestseller Guess How Much I Love You

Candlewick Press and Walker Books announce the global publication on September 29, 2020, of Will You Be My Friend?, a sequel to the beloved picture book Guess How Much I Love You. The book, written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, was acquired and edited by Caroline Royds and Karen Lotz and designed and art-directed by Donna Cassanova.

In the quarter century since its debut, Guess How Much I Love You has become a contemporary classic, with more than forty-seven million copies sold in fifty-seven languages worldwide. Readers everywhere cherish Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare’s sweet and playful exchange, illustrated with gentle, joyful watercolours, that beautifully celebrates the deep and tender bond of unconditional love. The phrase “I love you right up to the moon—and back” has taken on iconic stature, and the book has become the cornerstone of a global licensing program that includes clothing, textiles, jewellery, and home décor.

In Will You Be My Friend?, Little Nutbrown Hare sets out exploring on his own. Off he hops along the path and through the grass until he reaches Cloudy Mountain, where something extraordinary happens: he discovers a new friend. This gentle story of burgeoning independence and first friendship will resonate with readers of all ages. Told with the sweetness and simplicity that are the hallmark of McBratney’s writing and illustrated in Jeram’s signature style, the book is destined to become another home and library bookshelf staple.

On the longevity of the Guess How Much I Love You brand, Walker Books Group president and publisher Karen Lotz says, “We continue to be overwhelmed by, and so grateful for, the worldwide embrace of Sam and Anita’s Nutbrown Hares. We have always hoped that someday they would continue their story, but it’s difficult to imagine what could follow on from Guess How Much I Love You, with its heartfelt simplicity, loving humor, and deeply personal meanings. But here it is—and Sam and Anita have exceeded all expectations! This tale of first friendship is the perfect next step (hop!) for Guess fans around the world, a universal story sure to become as much of a beloved read-aloud as its predecessor. A picture book about friendship, created by two masters of the form, seems especially welcome as we search for new ways to stay connected to loved ones near and far.”

The Walker Books Group plans a coordinated worldwide marketing and publicity campaign for the new book. Global on-sale in the US, UK, and Australia will be September 29, 2020.

Sam McBratney is also the author of You’re All My Favorites, illustrated by Anita Jeram; There, There and Just You and Me, illustrated by Ivan Bates; and many other books for children. He lives in Northern Ireland.

Anita Jeram is also the illustrator of You’re All My Favorites by Sam McBratney, Little Chick and a series about Sam and Mrs. Bear by Amy Hest, and Skip to the Loo, My Darling! by Sally Lloyd-Jones, amongst other books. Anita Jeram lives in Northern Ireland.

Walker Books Australia has been bringing the best of children’s publishing to Australia and New Zealand for over 25 years. The company is dedicated to publishing books of unwavering quality for children and young adults to read and treasure. Walker Books Australia is also passionate about the Australian Children’s book industry and is a haven for the most highly talented authors and illustrators, both emerging and award-winning.

The Walker Books Group is one of the world’s leading independent publishers of books and content for children. This vibrant international group includes Walker Books UK, London; Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts; and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Renowned for its truly original publishing and outstanding quality, the Walker Books Group is home to books for readers of all ages. Award-winning authors and illustrators for the group include National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature emerita Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Patrick Ness, and Jon Klassen, and major brands for the group are Maisy, Guess How Much I Love You, the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, and the best-selling Where’s Wally?/Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford. Further information can be found at,,, and

Last updated on 08/04/20 at 04:06:55
Copyright © 2007 Walker Books Australia. All rights reserved.