Macmillan Children’s Books has acquired the rights to two non-fiction comic novels by the Vietnamese conservationist, activist and author Trang Nguyen and from Jeet ignitioncombining traditional Vietnamese art with manga styles. Saving Sorya: Chang and the sun bear will be released in September 2021 and is based on the true story of how Nguyen became a conservationist after witnessing a moon bear being tortured. Despite all the adversities, Chang manages to release the bear into the wild. The second book, Saving H’non: Chang and the elephants, will be released in 2022. Again based on real-life events, this follows an older Chang rescuing an elephant who was forced to work in the logging and tourism industries for 50 years.
Russell McLean, the publisher of Kingfisher, bought the world rights except Vietnam and in all languages except Vietnamese from Kim Dong Publishing Macmillan has already sold rights in the US to PRH Dial at auction, while also selling the rights to South Korea, China, and Norway became turkey. Nguyen will donate all of her royalties from the graphic nature books to the conservation organization Free the bears and her own charity WildAct Vietnam.
Nguyen said: “Everyone likes bears: Paddington, Teddy, Winnie the Pooh … We love our cuddly plush bears, but we are silently driving the real bears to extinction in Vietnam with the big dream of becoming a wildlife conservationist and Sorya – a female sun bear – back This story is inspired by real efforts to save bears in Asia, appropriately told for young children. I hope it inspires others to act! “
McLean commented, “I am thrilled to have purchased these books from Trang Nguyen and Jeet Zdung. She packs animal stories with real facts and a really inspiring and determined main character. With stunning art and STEM facts galore, Chang’s daring story is for any young reader, animal lover, and intrepid explorer ready for adventure. “