Picturebooks form a significant part of a vibrant publishing industry and make a meaningful contribution to culture and education. The UK children’s publishing sector is internationally successful in terms of revenues and innovation. Around 10,000 new children’s titles are published in the UK each year, with many of these finding their way into multiple foreign language editions that offer wide-ranging possibilities around the creative and business decisions a publisher makes when commissioning, designing, marketing or buying rights for new titles.

The market for picturebooks differs across countries in terms of content and style, particularly in the context of the challenging or controversial, and this presents the publisher with complex and nuanced decisions when commissioning new titles and buying rights. In this chapter, a discussion with a publisher on buying international rights on a title on mental health will offer a practice-based perspective on the role of the publisher in the creation and distribution of picturebooks in an international market. This will be followed by a student’s response to depictions of gender in a cautionary tale from the 1930s.