Pardalita is a new YA graphic novel by Joana Estrela. The book follows 16-year-old Raquel, living in small-town Portugal, as she navigates the fallout from her parents' divorce and falls in love with Pardalita, a gifted artist who's moving to Lisbon to study in the fall.
When Raquel begins telling her story, Pardalita has already entered her life. She didn't enter suddenly, but rather slowly and subtly, first in the school hallways and later in the theater rehearsals. Raquel only knows her by sight, but is constantly waiting to see her again and begins to notice little details — the tag on Pardalita's sweater touching the skin of her neck. Raquel wonders: "How far away can you be from someone without them noticing you don't want any distance at all"?
Joana Estrela is an illustrator and author from Penafiel, Portugal. She studied Communication Design in Porto's Fine Art Faculty, and still lives and works next door to the school. In 2014, Plana published her first book: Propaganda and in 2016, Planeta Tangerina published Mana, the winner of 1st Serpa Internacional Award for Picture Books. The book received the award for Best Illustration of a Picturebook (Portuguese Author) in Amadora BD, the same year.
Picked up by Meghan Maria McCullough, while at Levine Querido – before she moved to Inkyard Press – Nick Thomas will now edit Pardalita and Lyn Miller-Lachmann will translate from the Portuguese. The publication of Pardalita is set for the spring of 2023. Joana Estrela's agent Carin Bacho Carniani brokered the deal for world English and North American Spanish rights on behalf of Planeta Tangerina, and the translator represented herself.
Arthur A. Levine founded Levine Querido in April 2019, after a 23-year tenure as the President and Publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic which he founded in 1996, coming over from Knopf Books for Young Readers where he had been Editor in Chief. He is best known as the American editor of J K Rowling's Harry Potter books and he also introduced North American audiences to the work of writers such as Markus Zusak, Nahoko Uehashi, Daniella Carmi, Luis Sepúlveda, and Jaclyn Moriarty. Levine Querido has a mission statement to search for diverse, powerful, unique voices and visions from the multitude of cultures closer to home. In addition to overseeing the company, Arthur edits between eight and ten books annually.