Photo: Kimberly Butler.

Fellow HarperCollins author Neil Gaiman has signed a new book deal, which is fantastic news for pretty much everybody because it means more books by Neil, including a picture book. It’s hard to believe, but Neil has published thirteen books with Harper already, including Graveminder, which won the Newbery a couple of years ago (accompanied by a famous string of sleep-deprived tweets that helped put Twitter on the map.

Here’s an excerpt of the PW article on the deal:

Both picture books will feature a new character created by Gaiman, a little panda named Chu, that is known for having an outsized sneeze. The first book, Chu’s Day, will be illustrated by Adam Rex; it is set for January 8, 2013.

The other three titles in the deal will include a middle-grade novel called Fortunately, the Milk, which will feature art by Skottie Young and which HC calls “an ode to the pleasure and wonders of storytelling itself.” Gaiman will also write a sequel to the 2009 book Odd and the Frost Giants (also published by HC), which features characters from Norse mythology. The third novel in the deal will be a middle grade book, and is currently untitled.