Dressler/Oetinger acquires the German rights to the prize-winning fairytale The Grumblebelly Cat at auction

The first foreign rights deal for The Grumblebelly Cat by Magdalena Hai has been struck! The book is one of our children’s books’ highlights, a multiple prize-winner and a fantasy tale like the Brothers Grimm would have written in the 21st century.

Dressler Verlag, a publisher within the renowned German publishing group Oetinger acquired the German language rights for the book at auction. Their authors include names like A. A. Milne and Cornelia Funke, and the publisher focuses on literary fiction and political or socially critical topics. Dressler’s editor Anna Herberhold was very excited about the acquisition:

From the first moment I met Magdalena Hai’s wonderful girl hero, I knew that this manuscript was something incredibly rare and wonderful. Ms Hai has written a very timely, but timeless, relevant and empowering story about universally important themes without ever talking down to her readers. She’s at eye level with the children, even the very smallest of them, who will all be delighted by the story of the brave, compassionate and fierce girl defeating greed and saving the ever-hungry cat with the grumbling belly. The power of this book’s message will reach every child just as much as us adults reading it with or to them,” she said.

The Grumblebelly Cat won the Finnish Export Prize in 2018 and is nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize – the winner will be announced October 30th this year. Additionally the book was nominated for the Arvid Lydecken Prize 2017 and Runeberg Junior Prize 2018.

The book has been well received also by readers and critics:

“Wise and fearless.” – Aamulehti newspaper

“A great fairytale about a big issue.” – Kujerruksia blog

“Fascinating and intense.” – Arvid Lydecken Prize jury 2018

The Grumblebelly Cat is above all an unadulterated fairytale which features typical elements of the genre, such as victory of the underdog and terrible opponents. However, Hai’s book revisits the tradition of the fairytale in a highly original fashion and adds new ingredients.” – Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2018 jury on nomination

The beautifully detailed black-and-white illustrations are drawn by Teemu Juhani, an up-and-coming illustrator residing in London.

Magdalena Hai’s current works include the manga-inspired YA adventure The Royaume Chronicles, the first instalment of which, The Third Sister (Kolmas sisar, Otava), was just published in Finland to praising reviews. In addition she is working on the Little Shop of Nightmares (Painajaispuoti, WSOY) early readers’ series with Teemu Juhani.

Rights sold:
FINLAND, Karisto (Orig. publisher)
GERMANY, Dressler/Oetinger

About author

Magdalena Hai

Magdalena Hai is an award-winning author, lover of cross-genre fiction and all things strange. Her fiction often combines elements of sci-fi, fantasy and horror.

Her Little Shop of Nightmares series has been sold to 30 territories around the world. Among Hai's many accolades are winning the Finlandia Prize for children's and YA literature and the Finnish Literary Export Prize, and being nominated  the Nordic Council Children & Young People's Literature Prize.

Besides being an author, Hai teaches writing and is an active member and editor in the publishing co-operative Osuuskumma.


2023, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Little Shop of Nightmares 4: The Crystal Skull

Magdalena Hai

2023, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

The Horned God

Magdalena Hai

2021, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

The Spell of Iset

Magdalena Hai

2021, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Little Shop of Nightmares 3: Sticky the Horrible Snowman

Magdalena Hai

2020, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

Miss Swift’s Weird and Wonderful House

Magdalena Hai

2019, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Little Shop of Nightmares 2: The Mystery of the Missing Teeth

Magdalena Hai

2018, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

The Third Sister

Magdalena Hai

2018, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Little Shop of Nightmares 1: The Terrible Tickling Powder

Magdalena Hai

2017, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

Grumblebelly Cat

Magdalena Hai

2012, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

The Beggar Princess

Magdalena Hai