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Monday, August 22, 2011

No More Diapers! (We hope.)

Big things are on the horizon for this little girl.

We've entered a new phase at my house these days. It is a phase of hope and hard work and energy. It's a phase that has people swiftly stopping in the middle of activities in order to get a two-year-old where she needs to go. It is potty-training time.

Potty training means I get to spend extra time reading to my tot. We read about trucks and puppies and cows (or moos, as she calls them). And of course we read, Duck Goes Potty. I often wish that my daughter's enthusiasm for this particular book translated into real results. But if I'm patient, I'm sure it will.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Designer in the Spotlight

Hello world! As you know we have amazing talent in our team. In this post I wanted to do an informal, behind-the-scenes interview with our designer Emily. I'm sure you all have read her posts in our blog before. She is a super talented and extremely full of energy. She is been working with us for three years, doing all kinds of everything. Her designs range pre-k to middle grade; you name it, she is done it.

Emily has a passion for patterns, colors, and most of all, she is a book fanatic. =)

Here are some things I thought you would be interested in knowing about her. Know the people behind the books I always say. Here is your chance!

Emily, tell us what is your favorite book everybody needs to read and why?
"Do I have to pick just one?! Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, I love the complexity of the story, and the issues that are brought forth in the novel. Eugenides is a master at creating a sense of time and place."

What is your favorite book you have ever designed?
"Katie Woo, just because I was so involved in the development of her character. From the color of her glasses, to picking out the specific clothes that she should wear. It was a dream project! "

What is your favorite color?
"Pantone 2562"

What is your favorite food?
"Homemade Guacamole"

What is your favorite cartoon?
" I don’t really watch cartoons, but I do enjoy animated movies, especially anything by Hayao Miyazaki. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a favorite."

What is you love about your job?
"I was a huge book nerd growing up (still am!) so designing books as a job is pretty sweet. I can only hope that the books I help create will spark another child’s lifelong love of reading."

I asked Emily for picture of her. What did I get in my email instead? A super-duper cute picture of her cat Eva wearing a sweater! Too cute.

I'll leave you in Eva's good company. Have a wonderful weekend, blogosphere!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big Sisters and Brothers

Right now we are working on a set of books written by the talented Fran Manushkin, who also wrote the wonderful Katie Woo. These are nice stories about why being a big sister or brother is so important. They walk the reader through some of the changes the older child can expect when the new baby arrives. Keep your eye out for these cute little books in the spring of 2012!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Spoiler Alert!

Confession time: I rarely read an entire book without skipping to the end and perusing the final chapter. I always go back and read the rest of the book in its entirety. I tend to enjoy the journey more if I know where it will lead.

Now this habit is completely appalling to many of the fellow readers in my life. They insist that knowing the end ruins the experience. But it turns out that science is on my side. According to a new study by researchers at the University of San Diego, knowing the end of a story doesn't ruin a story. It actually enhances it! I knew I was right all along.

Anyone out there want to confess to loving spoilers? Anyone still insisting that knowing the end ruins the experience? We want to know!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Return to Titanic

2012 still seems like a long way off — or at least I choose to pretend it is, since I’d like to prolong summer for as long as possible. But with the way time flies around our office, not to mention the crazy calendar of the publishing world, I know 2012 will be here before I know it. At least 2012 will bring with it new books, in particular a new series that I’m extra excited about called Return to Titanic.

2012 marks the 100-year anniversary of
Titanic’s maiden voyage and arguably the most famous shipwreck of all time. When Titanic sank into the Atlantic in April 1912, the lives of more than 1,500 passengers were lost. To this day, the sinking of the RMS Titanic remains one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

But what if you could change history? What if you could save just one life? That’s the question posed to Tucker and Maya, two present-day teens, in the
Return to Titanic series.

Check out a sneak peak of one of the four covers that make up the
Return to Titanic series!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just One Month

In one month from today, my oldest daughter will be starting kindergarten. This starts a whole new chapter in my parenting life. This also means summer is near an end, which makes me beyond happy since I love fall (sorry to my coworker Julie who is obsessed with summer and will be super annoyed that I wrote the previous sentence.).

As with many life events, I like to use books as preparation. There are many great books about starting school, and I am excited to share them with my daughter. One of my favorites is Too Shy for Show-and-Tell. It tells the sweet story about a shy giraffe who is nervous about show-and-tell (it happens to be a book I worked on:).

What are your favorite school-related books?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New stuff: Too Shy for Show-and-Tell

Two weeks ago I told you about Henry Helps (and Henry's inspiration). This week, I'd love to share another book I wrote this season: Too Shy for Show-and-Tell.

Okay. Raise your hand if you were or are painfully shy. Yep, that's me. Once I warm up to people I'm okay, but I have a hard time feeling comfortable with new people—even people I really like. And that's been true since I was a little kid. So when I was asked to come up with a great preK topic for our Little Boost series, feeling shy was one of the first things I thought of.

Now, there's nothing wrong with being shy, or with being an introvert. Hopefully everyone knows that. Shyness is natural. But in our society, it's definitely not rewarded. And oftentimes it can keep us, as Morrissey sang, from "doing all the things in life that you want to." So one important lesson that kids need to learn is how to put aside shyness in order to make friends, share feelings, and—as Sam the giraffe learns in this book—participate in show-and-tell and let his classmates get to know him.

The big joy of this book was seeing the words brought to life. Jennifer Bell, the illustrator, did such an amazing job—and in fact, she's already hard at work on my next book.

I hope you enjoy little Sam-the-giraffe as much as I do.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Stuff: Myth-O-Mania

Think you know the real story behind the Greek myths? Think again! For the past year or so, I've been editing Kate McMullan's funny, quirky Myth-O-Mania series. The books take traditional Greek myths, (Persephone's kidnapping, the love story of Cupid and Psyche, Hercules's Labors, and more), and tell them from a new, unique perspective. Hades, King of the Underworld, uses these stories to set the record straight on all the lies told by his little brother, Zeus.

It's hard to believe that something so long in the making is finally done, but it is! Now that the books are finally arriving at our office, I can share a sneak peek of all eight books (complete with brand-new covers!), which will be available this fall. Enjoy!