Acquisition Announcement: Eric Huang’s East Asian mythology-inspired series

Posted in Acquisition Announcement, News on Wed, 10 April at 1.52 pm

Little Tiger has acquired Guardians of the New Moon – an adventurous young fiction series inspired by East Asian mythology from Eric Huang, illustrated by Quang and Liên.

Senior Commissioning Editor Mattie Whitehead acquired world rights for four books directly from the author. Whitehead will be working editorially with Charlotte Leung, Editorial Assistant. Kimberley Chen, Designer, acquired illustration rights from Doreen Thorogood at Good Illustration Agency.

Little Tiger will publish books one and two in January 2025, books three and four will follow.

The Jade Emperor is bored. Having just created the world, he wants something to pass the eternity of time! So, he comes up with a brilliant idea – a Great Race! All creatures on Earth will be invited to compete, from the tiny Rat to the great Water Dragon. And the first twelve to complete the race will have a year in the zodiac cycle named after them forevermore.

Temple cat Miaow finds himself (reluctantly) joining the race, where he meets Ming, a spirited and fiery nine-tailed fox determined to become his best friend. The reserved Miaow gradually warms to Ming but when Miaow begins to make other friends, Ming’s bubbling insecurity and impulsivity spill over, causing a series of accidents that disrupts the race and endangers the racers. Will the pair (and their friendship) make it to the finish line?

The first book tells the story of the Great Race – the twelve winners of which make up the Chinese zodiac – and introduces readers to the characters. The first two books will publish to coincide with Lunar New Year, and the series will see Ming and Miaow taking on their new roles as Guardians of the New Moon. Their job: to visit the titular animal at the start of each lunar new year and help ensure the success of that year. And so, the adventure continues…

Mattie Whitehead and Charlotte Leung said:

Packed with humour, magic and fun-filled adventure, we are so excited to be publishing the Guardians of the New Moon series. With Eric’s gorgeous writing and characters that bounce off the page, and beautifully illustrated by Quang and Liên, the series is a perfect celebration of East Asian mythology for younger readers. We can’t wait to join Ming and Miaow and see how the winners of the race cope with their newfound fame!

Eric Huang said:

When my sister and I were growing up in California, our dad told us bedtime stories based on East Asian legends his mother told him when he was a boy in China. He often made us the protagonists of these magical sagas, the ones saving the day after inadvertently wreaking havoc that shook heaven and earth. The Guardians of the New Moon series is inspired by these stories. They’re original adventures that mix the twelve animals of the Lunar Zodiac with magical creatures and unpredictable gods amidst the accidental chaos created by a young cat and nine-tailed fox.”

Quang and Liên said:

The story of the Great Race of Zodiac animals is popular in Asian culture – we grew up with it. It’s interesting to redraw them in a fun way. All of them – Miaow, Ming, Su, Tu Di Gong and the Jade Emperor – come alive in Eric Huang’s writing, we love reading their story. Their actions and expressions appear immediately to us when we read so we just move them onto the paper. And finally, through their story we learn that trying to achieve a goal is important, but the most important thing is finding true friends on the way.    

Eric Huang has always been fascinated by legends and lore. As a boy, he was determined to find real-life dragons, so he studied palaeontology at university. Reality didn’t live up to his Jurassic Park dreams, though, and he found himself working as secretary at Disney Publishing, launching a career in children’s books. Since then, Eric has held editor and publisher positions on three continents, including at Penguin Australia and Penguin UK. Eric lives in London with his boyfriend Brian and cat McNulty. He’s a podcaster, writer, and lecturer at City University of London’s Masters in Publishing programme.

Author social media handles: Twitter/X: @dinoboy89 | Instagram: @EricHuangBooks


From their Saigon studio, Quang and Liên work seamlessly as a duo, creating their stunning artwork using a mix of watercolour, acrylic and digital. Inspired by the folk culture of Vietnam and Asia, this incredibly talented award-winning Vietnamese author-illustrator partnership produce the most beautifully vibrant and poignant stories. Select clients include: Google, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Scholastic, Macmillan, Lerner, Workman, Little Tiger Press, Templar/Bonnier, Charlesbridge, What on Earth Books.

Illustrator social media handles: Instagram: @kaaillustration | Website: