We like books.
We're interested in ways to help more people (especially kids) like books.
You can read more about our company at www.capstonepub.com.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Max is Back!

One of our favorite characters from Picture Window Books Read-it! Readers is back. He's a little older and a little wiser, and he now stars with his friend Zoe in a new set of early chapter books. Keep your eyes open this summer for Max and Zoe!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Travel and Weather Woes

After the unseasonably warm weather we enjoyed here in Minnesota last week (50 degrees in February was cause for major celebration!), I was lulled into a sense of complacency. What a fool I was to think that winter might be starting to wind down. You’d think after two years in Minnesota I’d know better. Sadly, Mother Nature decided to remind me why she and I aren’t friends. This reminder came in the form of a major winter storm that dumped another foot of snow on us. Luckily for me, I was able to experience the storm in two time zones! I flew home to Michigan this past weekend and promptly got stuck there when the storm caused my return flight Monday morning to be canceled. I’m a good traveler under normal circumstances, but I’ll cop to stressing somewhat easily. So when I arrived at the airport Tuesday morning for my rescheduled flight to discover a security-breach alarm going off and an unmoving security line, I’ll admit I hit the panic button a bit. (The series of panicked texts to my managing editor are proof of this.) Forty minutes — and zero people through security — later, I was in full-on stress mode. Thankfully, airline delays finally paid off for me, and my departure time was pushed back ten minutes. I managed to clear security with five minutes to spare. One epic sprint to my gate later, and I’d made it. I collapsed into the first empty seat on the plane and promptly breathed a sigh of relief.

Luckily I’m back now and into the end-of-season crunch. Here’s hoping the rest of you are enjoying warmer weather (and sending some our way)!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Makes a mom proud!

Everyone needs a bedtime story!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Books and language and family

When my granddad's house suffered a huge fire in 2008, one of the first things my family and I worried about—after we were sure Granddad was fine—was all of the books. Granddad's house had thousands of books. Old ones. Books that smelled old and felt old. All of us spent hours paging through them—I remember reading Little Women for the first time there. I also remember having the Sesame Street book The Monster At the End of This Book read to me there. There is a photo on Facebook of one bookshelf completely blackened and destroyed after the fire. But some books made it.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Granddad's assisted living apartment and helped my dad and aunt box up the books that survived the fire. There are a ton of great ones—volumes of Shakespeare, lots of English poetry. Granddad was moving to the nursing home, so the books are being stored at my parents' house until the grandchildren can divide them up.

Granddad died on Monday night, peacefully, with my dad by his side. Not every child has what I always took for granted—houses full of books and people always willing to read out loud. Granddad will be missed. But his love of language and books and most of all, family, lives on.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Katie Woo hopes you have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

To find out what happens to Katie on this special day, check out No Valentine's for Katie from our Picture Window imprint. It is the perfect story to read with your valentine!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dental Geeks are not Freaks

It's dental health month, and I’ll admit it—I’m a huge geek when it comes to dental health. I have to blame my dad for this, as he used to make me and my sisters line up every morning and every night to brush our teeth and do the fluoride rinse. I still feel too guilty to ever skip brushing. However, these good habits have stuck with me for life, and now I’m passing them on to my kids.

As soon as I saw their first little tooth poke through, the brushing began. We use the timer, we sing brushing songs, and we read books about teeth. Our favorite books about teeth are Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl and Katie Woo: The Tricky Tooth by Fran Manushkin. (I’m obviously a little biased, but they really are cute books.)

Yes, I'm a proud dental geek, and I will celebrate extra this month!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fitness and creativity

It’s no secret that exercise and physical fitness are known to boost creativity. So it should come as no surprise that the new trend in our creatively-minded office, or at least in my little corner of it, is exercise balls! I’d been thinking about replacing my office chair with an exercise ball for weeks before I finally took the plunge and bought one. People were skeptical at first (“Aren’t you going to fall off of it?”), but I highly recommend it — and everyone will be happy to know I haven’t fallen off . . . yet. And there really are benefits:

· Improves your balance

· Forces better posture and proper spine alignment

· Improves core muscles

· Boosts energy levels

A 2008 study even proved that sitting on an exercise ball burns about four more calories an hour than doing the same activity in a chair. That may not seem like a lot, but it adds up to almost 30 extra calories in a typical workday. (And I’ll take all the help I can get!) Plus, they’re a great way for us editors to “bounce” ideas off each other (credit to senior editor, Julie Gassman for that delightful pun)!

6-packs here we come!

But I think I’m about to be one-upped in terms of creative workspace. As I was blogging this morning, one of the other editors emailed me to see what I thought about her trying something called a “standing desk,” which takes the idea to a whole new level:


So what do you think? Does anyone else use an exercise ball or something similar? Do you have any more creativity/fitness tips? Or do you all think we’re crazy now? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Secret Projects

Yes, dear blogosphere, we have many Secret Projects in the works for you.

To start this week with a bang, I wanted to share a little something that has been keeping me entertained for the last week. I've been working on one of the many Super Secret Projects we have in the creative pipeline.

This project will soon be revealed to all of you! I'm so excited to be part of this amazing effort, bringing these books to life.

Here is a sneak peak of pieces of the design I'm working on currently for this project.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy . . . May You Become Prosperous!

Happy Chinese New Year!

My oldest child, Noah, has long loved the Chinese New Year. He is interested in the culture and loves the Americanized version of the food. So every year, we are sure to plan a Chinese menu for the start of the New Year. He makes sure the family wears red, a custom he learned about in Max Celebrates Chinese New Year. And we try to watch a movie set in China. (This year's selection is Kung Fu Panda.) I think since it is the year of the rabbit, we will probably have to add a new tradition tonight—reading this book. It is fitting, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy February!

We are back! It's been busy around here, (when is it not, really?) 2011 is off to an exciting start for us, and we will have much to share with you in the coming year.

Did you know that February is I Love to Read Month? Well, we certainly love our books around here, and many of us, myself included, are total book junkies. By the looks of my TBR pile, I have a lot of reading to do, but with the weather still cold and the snow piled high outside my window, I can't imagine a better activity. How are you celebrating I Love to Read Month? Do you have any reading goals for the new year? We would love to hear about them!