Mouse to take ‘Flight’

Girl befriends gargoyle in animated pic

NEW YORK — Walt Disney Pictures has optioned “Stoneflight,” an out-of-print book by prize-winning children’s author Georgess McHargue in a deal that could top off at a substantial six figures.

Studio is developing the project as an animated feature.

Story follows a lonely girl seeking refuge from her squabbling parents by escaping to the roof of her Manhattan brownstone. There she befriends a lonely gargoyle, climbs on his back and flies to Central Park, where other gargoyles have convened with other children from troubled families.

Published by Viking in 1975, the book has drifted out of print. But former Viking Children’s Books publisher George Nicholson, now an agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, is about to shop it to publishers for a second time. Jody Hotchkiss at Sterling Lord brokered the Disney deal.

McHargue has written more than 20 books for kids and adults. She recently launched a Web site, McQuark.com, that reviews e-books for children and lists certain out-of-print juvenilia that McHargue and her friends think should be brought back to press.

“Stoneflight” is on their list.