Monday, December 31, 2007

Local Bookselling Report

In this week's Publishers Weekly, an article by Karen Holt discusses a state-by-state analysis of the bookselling landscape. The United States were listed by the number of Booksellers per Capita. These booksellers include ABA members, CBA members, as well as general stores and larger bookstores that need not be named (you know who they are).

The top ten states on the list include: Wyoming, Vermont, Montana, New Hampshire, Iowa, Alaska, Colorado, Maine, North Dakota and Kansas.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Resolutions for Raising a Reader

Elizabeth Kennedy of Children's Books reminds us how important it is for us as parents to set a good example in order to help our children to become lifelong learners and lovers of literature.

Her resolutions can be found in full detail in her latest posting, but here is a quick outline of what she recommends for ways to get ready for a New Year of reading with our young ones:
  1. Read aloud to your children every day.
  2. Get a library card.
  3. Take your children to the library once a week.
  4. Discuss children's books with your children.
  5. Take your children to story times, author visits, and other public programs.
  6. Buy books that you know will interest your child.
  7. Create a comfortable reading space for your child.
  8. Visit the websites of favorite authors and illustrators.
  9. Once a week, cook together using a children's cookbook.
  10. Buy your children a good dictionary and use it regularly.
These are all fabulous ideas and ones that I plan to incorporate in our weekly routine. Spending time reading together is a great way to bond. My son once told me that he liked it when I read to him because I kiss the top of his head.

Today's his birthday. I have two new books to read with him and I can't wait for our trip to the library later this week so he can bring home his own discoveries from the library.

Thanks to Elizabeth for this wonderful reminder.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Language Lessons for Little Ones

I love San Francisco. I can't wait until my son is old enough to really enjoy visiting new places and experiencing the city. There's so much to see and do there but for families who live in, or near the city, there is a wonderful opportunity to have your children learn a foreign language at a very early age. Language at Play offers courses in Mandarin, Chinese, Spanish or French.

For those of us who live outside of this beautiful Northern California city, there's always the Lingolook Flashcards.

Oh, and in case you haven't already been to the site, I highly recommend that you visit the San Francisco Musem of Modern Art online to get a glimpse of what the museum has to offer. Their gift shop (and print catalog) are filled with amazingly beautiful products (and books) designed by fantabulous artists. I can't wait to get my hands on the next catalog when it comes in the mail.

Art by Judy Horacek

We're pleased to announce that we'll be publishing Judy Horacek's picture book, Growl, for our Fall 2008 list. I'm also excited to share her smart and funny (and feminist) cartoons, which can be found on her website.

More on Growl: Growl is a gorgeous little monster who loves to growl more than anything. She gets into a bit of a disagreement with her neighbors, who don't appreciate her growling (day and night). Growl is then banned from doing what she loves most of all.
How will Growl get her growl back?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hot Men of Children's Literature

Over a year ago, our German author / illustrator Sebastian Meschenmoser appeared on A Fuse #8 Production blog as one of the Hot Men of Children's Literature that Betsy so generously shares with the kidlit world.

Our spring 2008 books are finally visible on line, which means our authors and illustrators appear now as well. Don't miss the
video featuring Felice Arena reading from his new book: Sally and Dave, A Slug Story. Felice Arena is a very talented - not to mention handsome - author and illustrator from Australia. I'd say he'd make a great addition to the HMOCL collection! (Are nominations still open?)

Did I mention that he was once an actor on the Australian soap opera, Neighbours, of which Russell Crowe was once a cast member?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

International Language Week

Our Libros del Mundo series now contains a total of twelve titles. Two more will be released in March 2008 but here is a listing of all fourteen:

from Germany

by Caroline Gregoire

From the Netherlands

by Sieb Posthuma

From Australia

La cama grande de Sofia
by Tina Burke

From Germany

Contando con Apolo
by Caroline Gregoire

From Taiwan

En camino a comprar huevos
by Chih-Yuan Chen

From Italy

Feliz Cumpleaños Tengo 1
Written by Matteo Faglia
Illustrations by Luana Rinaldo

From Taiwan

Guji Guji
by Chih-Yuan Chen

From Germany

Lo que Eduardo sabe hacer
by Wilfried Gebhard

From Switzerland

Marta y la bicicleta
Written by Germano Zullo
Illustrated by Albertine

From the Netherlands

by Sanne te Loo

From Japan

¿Quién se esconde?
by Satoru Onishi

From Australia

¿Quieres Jugar?
by Deborah Niland

From South Korea

El salon de Minji
by Eun-hee Choung

From England

by Gus Clarke

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Museums & More

I don't normally brag about interviews I've done (except perhaps to my own Mom). This time, however, for an article in the Winter 2008 issue of Museums & More, I'm included among some other experts in the industry, such as Susan Raab, Judy Brunsek, Jennifer Ellison, Julie Ritchie and Megan Beidl.

Chapter & Verse, written by Abby Heugel, compiles advice and words of experience about selling books in speciality gift shops. I'm eager to introduce Jukebox to buyers in the speciality since it is a book that won't quite fit into many other markets so easily.

My own personal jukebox (aka ipod) keeps me motivated and passes the time while I'm in on a road trip, stuck in traffic or simply on my way to the grocery store so I'm anticipating that music lovers will take pleasure in this forthcoming title from France by David Merveille.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Books that give kids a taste of another culture

My Father's Shop, from France and written by Satomi Ichikawa, was included in a recent article in the L.A. Times travel section a few days ago but of course we feel that there are several more that could work from our list:

From South Korea

New Clothes for New Year's Day
by Hyun-Ju Bae

From the Netherlands

Little Fish
by Sanne te Loo

From Japan

Girl Fom the Snow Country
by Masako Hidaka

From Taiwan

On My Way to Buy Eggs
by Chih-Yuan Chen

From India

Kali and the Rat Snake
Written by Zai Whitaker
Illustrated by Srividya Natarajan

From Ghana

Sosu's Call
by Meshack Asare

From Australia

Ziba Came on a Boat
Written by Liz Lofthouse
Illustrated by Roberg Ingpen

From Belgium

The Nights of the World
Written by Corrine Albaut
Illustrated by Arno

From England

This is the Oasis

This is the Tree
Written by Miriam Moss
Illustrated by Adrienne Kennaway
Happy Travels!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Go Elf Yourself

No, I'm not telling you off. I'm seriously telling you to go Elf Yourself at this weird and wacky website that takes your photo and makes you into one of Santa's helpers. So creepy I just had to share.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Geography Quiz

How well do you know your world?

Very challenging...and yet quite addictive and fun.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tina in Toronto

I'm meeting Tina Burke today for the first time. She's just moved to Toronto and since I'm here on business, it's the perfect opportunity to sit down with her and learn more about her future projects and what types of promotions she and I can work on together. She's created several beautiful titles with us over the past few years and we're anxious to learn about how we can have her appear in the schools, bookstores and libraries in Canada and the U.S. to promote her work.

by Tina Burke
From Australia

Fly, Little Bird

It's Christmas

Sophie's Big Bed
(Toddler Tales)

Tina grew up in Warriewood on Sydney's northern beaches, with her parents, Ron and Janet, and two older brothers, Paul and Sean. Her mother was always interested in art, and got Tina interested too by asking for her opinion when she was working on a painting, and then eventually buying her a box of pastels and a sketch pad. Tina always seemed to enjoy drawing and painting animals most of all.

Eventually, Tina moved to Sydney's eastern beaches - first Bondi Beach, then Coogee Beach (which looks a lot like La Jolla, California) before moving to Toronto, Canada last month.

Fly, Little Bird was Tina Burke's first book for children, but not her first work for children. For six years, she worked for Walt Disney animation.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Double Double Sports Sunday

Talk turned to sports on more than one occasion this evening, amongst more than one circle of peers. First we discussed hockey when I was introduced to a publishing representative from Minneapolis. Quickly the conversation turned to the NFL (it is Sunday) and before I know it, we're discussing sports in different parts of the world and how the rules, equipment and even names vary.

It isn't something I think much about, but once it was pointed out to me, the sports that are represented in some of our picture books serve as yet another reminder of the similarities and differences between cultures and communities around the globe.

From England

Hit the Ball Duck
by Jez Alborough

From Australia

The Team series
Written by David Bedford
Illustrated by Keith Brumpton

From Australia

Could a Tyrannosaurus Play Table Tennis?
by Andrew Plant

And speaking of differences, do you know what you would get if you ordered a coffee double double North of the border? I drink my coffee black but if you're heading to Canada, you may want to study up on the lingo before you head to the nearest coffee shop.

Friday, December 7, 2007

On the Road Again

I leave this weekend for a quick trip to Canada. Feel free to send me warm wishes as I visit with our neighbors to the North - the cold, snowy North.

My day begins early Sunday morning when I head to Atlanta. Yes, I realize that this is not the direction I'm supposed to be heading but you know how airlines can be. I hang out in the airport for a few hours there before flying into Buffalo, New York. From there, I will take my rental car and drive across the border. I have a feeling that it will be much more difficult to get in and out of Canada than it is to drive South to Tijuana from here (and vice versa). My hotel is in Niagara-on-the-Lake which I hear is quite a pleasant little town.

On the Road
by Susan Steggall

Monday, I will meet our
Canadian Distributors for a Sales Presenatation of our Spring 2008 titles, followed by a lunch with author and illustrator, Tina Burke, who recently moved to Toronto from Australia. I'm not sure where I will end up that afternoon, but I meet the crew from H.B. Fenn for a dinner meeting later that evening.

Tuesday morning I have an early lunch with an editor from a Canadian magazine before heading back to Buffalo to try and make it home by 11pm that night. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the flights are not delayed but at this time of year, one can never be sure.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cybils 2007: Picture Book Nominations

The final list of the nominated titles for the 2007 Cybils awards was announced a few weeks back. Kane/Miller has three titles in the picture book category this year and I'm quite proud of the fact that these books are listed along side a wonderful group of authors and illustrators.

From Taiwan

My Cat Copies Me
by Yoon-duck Kwon

From Australia

Samsara Dog
Written by Helen Manos
Illustrated by Julie Vivas

From Japan

The Story of Cherry the Pig

by Utako Yamada

There were over 100 titles nominated in this category and - as I think I may have mentioned before - this is not going to be an easy task for the committee to select just one. I'm looking forward to the results.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Three Cs

I'm not all that old, nor all that worldly, I admit, but I can honestly say that in my travel experience, I've found Northern California to be the place to be when it comes to culture, class and community. That's right, the Three Cs can all be found in such cities such as Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

Hut Landon, director of the NCIBA, writes a lovely commentary in this week's Publishers Weekly Soapbox (In It Together, December 3, 2007: page 76). He boasts about the wonderful independent bookstore community in Northern California which includes Bookshop Santa Cruz, Green Apple Books, Book Passage, City Lights, Cover to Cover, Stacey's, A Great Good Place for Books, Cody's, Hicklebee's, and Kepler's (to name a few).

Landon points out that in this part of the state, "there are more than 150 independent bookstores within a 100-mile radius." Wow, do I wish I lived in the center of that circle. Another interesting fact, also pointed out in this week's Publishers Weekly by Oscar Villalon (The Book Reigns in Northern California, December 3, 2007: page 27) is that Northern Californians "spend more money per capita on books out here than anywhere in the U.S."

I have not visited all of the bookstores that I mentioned above, but from those that I have seen the interiors of first-hand I can say this: no two are exactly alike. Isn't that what being independent is all about?

These business owners and outside-the-box booksellers know what it takes to survive, and thrive, to keep the new generation of online, superstore-shoppers coming back again and again.

And, in case you're wondering what wonderful books all of these stores will be carrying this holiday season, their 2007 Holiday Catalog is available on line.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Make an Appointment

Minji's Salon

From South Korea, Eun-hee Choung takes imaginative play to a whole new level in this picture book about a young girl and her make-believable salon. Minji's mother heads to her hairdresser for a color and cut while at home, Minji creates a whole new look for her canine volunteer.

The Spanish edition of Minji's Salon, El sal
ón de Minji, joins the Libros del Mundo series in March 2008, ensuring that all young children (most particularly, little girls) will have a new character to remind them of yet another way to make playtime and dress-up time into an interactive at-home adventure.

Minji's Salon
by Eun-hee Choung
Hardcover with Dust jacket
March 1, 2008

El s
alón de Minji
March 1, 2008

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I Listen to the Music


Ten tokens to the first person who can name the group who sings that tune (from the title above). Don't ask me what the ten tokens can be used for. Perhaps I'll have to provide access to the David Merveille's Jukebox with those gold coins. If only it were that would be something.

From France comes the latest Kane/Miller nearly-wordless picture book from author/illustrator, David Merveille - a collection for music lovers of all shapes and size (and genres). This great hand-selling title includes a lively saloon-size crowd of listeners. From Opera to Hip Hop, from Jazz to Punk, every musician, fan and shower-singer (or in my case, the car) will find something to love in this pint-sized Jukebox which will leave you smiling, and humming your favorite melody.


by David Merveille
Hardcover with Dust jacket
March 1, 2008