The Bookseller reports that the first will be a "sparkling" festive title scheduled for autumn 2024, The Christmas Wish-tastrophe. Where Did She Go?, a picture book illustrated by Tom Percival, will follow in 2025.
Writing on social media, Lloyd said: "I knew working at WHSmith's kids book section and doing no work but reading all the picture books would one day pay off. Apologies to my former manager. Congrats to my brain x"
The synopsis for The Christmas Wish-tastrophe is as follows: "One winter evening, Lydia arrives at Lady Partridge's mansion with nothing except her sausage dog, Colin. But Lady Partridge isn't at all keen to make Lydia part of the family - and now her mother's gone, Lydia doesn't have anywhere else to live. If Lydia doesn't behave herself until the end of the winter season, Lady Partridge will cast her off entirely. Helped (and often hindered) by a winter sprite, a snowstorm and a hungry Colin, Lydia makes a wish on the most magical night of the year."
Publisher Rachel Wade says: "Meeting Cariad for the first time, we were blown away by her humour and by her passion for children's books. Add to that her mischievous improv understanding of the Austen era and the chaos of a magic wish gone wrong, and you have the fabulous The Christmas Wish-tastrophe. We look forward to building Cariad across genres and age groups, as a go-to voice in the children's book world."
Where Did She Go? meanwhile will see Lloyd tap into her experience as host of Griefcast, the podcast in which guests discuss death. The picture book will be "a warm and witty story about a little girl determined to find her grandmother because everyone keeps saying just how sorry they are she 'lost' her. When her family realise the confusion, it's time for an open conversation to address the questions young children can have about death."
Katie Sassienie from Hachette says: "Cariad is a talented, versatile writer with a deep understanding of what makes a truly brilliant picture book, and we're hugely excited to be launching her in this area paired with powerhouse Tom Percival. Tom is unrivalled in his talent for tackling big issues with gentle humour and personality, and we were thrilled, though not surprised, that Cariad's vision for Where Did She Go? resonated with him."
Cariad Lloyd herself says: "I am so excited to be writing these books and to be working with the brilliant team at Hachette Children's Group. It has been an ambition of mine for many years to write books for children. When I was little, I found a huge cardboard box and created my own reading den, that I would disappear into for hours. I hope to be able to create a magical world with Lydia Marmalade for others to disappear into for a brief while. I am also so moved to get the chance to put all my grief knowledge into a picture book to help aid those all-important conversations about grief and death."