Puffin has scooped Michelle Elman’s How to Say No, an “empowering and essential guide to setting boundaries” for readers aged 9+. Phoebe Jascourt, commissioning editor, acquired world rights from Chloe Seager.

Publishing in paperback on 17th August 2023, How to Say No is timed to reach parents of children who are about to start secondary school. The comic-style illustrations by Tomate aim to add humour to Elman’s text, and to help illustrate the different scenarios of boundary-setting.

The synopsis reads: “Author, life-coach and activist Michelle Elman is here to show you how to say no and take control. […] From setting boundaries with friendships, phones, family, your body and much more, and with funny and informative illustrations, this important, playful and empowering book is a one-stop guide to creating the rules to your own life, and knowing when it’s OK to say NO!”

Elman is “a five-board accredited life-coach”, author, broadcaster and public speaker. How to Say No marks her debut as a children’s author, and she is also the author of adult titles including The Selfish Romantic (Welbeck) and The Joy of Being Selfish (Welbeck).

Elman said: “I am so excited to be working with Phoebe and the whole Puffin team to bring to life a book that will empower children to use their voice and set boundaries. I learned about boundaries very late in life, and I just wish that I had known about them sooner.

“This book is the embodiment of that dream. The thought that children will be able to grow up with boundaries as their default excites me so much and it has been incredibly fulfilling personally to be able to write this book and help children.”

Jascourt added: “We are so proud to be publishing Michelle’s important and definitive guide to setting clear boundaries with phones, friends, families and more. Michelle’s writing is so warm, reassuring and fun – she’s like a big sister, empowering children to set their own rules.”

Congratulations Michelle!