Friday, November 30, 2007

Thank Goodness for That!


Australia's Mike Dumbleton and Craig Smith collaborate in this hilarious, hair-raising cat-and-mouse-and-dog-and-bird adventure.

Meet Cat, the one animal in the neighborhood (you know which neighborhood) who manages to get into all sorts of mischief with just a few jumps, climbs and curls.

With large font, simple text and bright illustrations, this is one action-packed picture book that will have readers - and cat people - laughing out loud.

Written by Mike Dumbleton
Illustrated by Craig Smith
Hardcover with Dust jacket
March 1, 2008

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stunning & Sensational Slugs

Sally and Dave, A Slug Story

Our publisher read this aloud to us when she first brought it back from Bologna this past April. I fell in love with it right away - who wouldn't? Sally and Dave are slugs with nothing in common, except for their slimy and slippery slug bottoms.

Felice Arena created this alliterative tongue-twister of a tale with spectacularly superb results. This paperback original will have readers and listeners smiling and wanting more (and with Rick James' Super Freak running through their head).

We suggest you practice reading this one out loud before attempting to share this with your silly and slug-happy students.

Sally and Dave, a Slug Story
by Felice Arena
Paperback original
March 1, 2008

Sunday at the Park

Hannah Duck

Japan's Anji Yamamura taught herself the art of wood engraving. She uses this beautiful technique to create the illustrations for Hannah Duck, a picture book about friendship, honesty, and facing one's fears.

A picture book will never look the same again once you open the cover of this gorgeous book about a duck named Hannah, and how her
friends, Gigi the parakeet and KameKame the turtle help her to explore the outside world.

With expressions on each animal's face and a sunset like you've never seen before, Hannah Duck will leave readers breathless, and ready to take their own risks.

Hannah Duck
by Anji Yamamura
Hardcover with Dust jacket
March 1, 2008

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And Baby Makes Four

Little Brothers Are...
Little Sisters Are...
What's Going On?

New siblings will have something to talk about next spring when these three beautiful books are welcomed into the world, along with the new baby.

Beth Norling honors little brothers and sisters everywhere with these two new additions to our Toddler Tales series from Australia. Little Sisters Are...tiny, cuddly, smelly and sad. Little Brothers Are...wriggly, bubbly, naughty and scared. But we love them all the same.

Our narrator from Elena O'Callaghan's What's Going On? might not get his question answered right away, but he does know that the only one not acting strange around his house is his new baby sister.

These hilariously realistic picture books about life with more-than-one, will leave both parents and siblings laughing out loud at the odd things (and smells) that new babies bring into the home.

Little Brothers Are...
by Beth Norling
Paperback, 8 x 8
March 1, 2008

Little Sisters Are...
by Beth Norling
Paperback, 8x8
March 1, 2008

What's Going On?
Written by Elena O'Callaghan
Illustrated by
Àfrica Fanlo
Hardcover with Dust jacket
March 1, 2008

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Literacy Leadership

A great librarian in the state of California lost his job recently due to what some may view as insubordination. Others consider his loyalty to literacy and his stand against censorship a sign of his commitment to young readers as he continues to encourage them to explore the world through literature.

Censorship (of all kinds) has been an issue for decades, Banned Books Week takes place every September - which just goes to show that this battle is far from over.

We at Kane/Miller have experienced many complaints over the years for our books that (god, forbid) teach young children to be OK with their bodies (Breasts, Everyone Poops) or illustrating the process of birth (Contemplating Your Bellybutton). While we respect each person's opinion we also hold a great deal of respect for all of those who fight for intellectual freedom.
From Japan

by Genichiro Yagyu

Contemplating Your Bellybutton
Written by Jun Nanao
Illustrated by Tomoko Hasegawa

Everyone Poops
by Taro Gomi

Thank you librarians and booksellers for all you do to keep (all) the books on the shelves, and for providing readers with the freedom to decide for themselves.

From Greece

Unique Monique
Written by Maria Rousaki
Illustrated by Polina Papanikolaou

From Germany

Something is Not Quite Right!
by Ralf Butschkow

There are plenty more stories of shocked and horrified readers who took the time to send us their personal complaints (and philosophies) about such books as Unique Monique and Something is Not Quite Right!, to name just a few. In fact, just a few weeks ago we had a lively discussion about creating a new campaign with stickers for our retailer customers to include on their signage: Educational Porn Sold Here!

One has to have a sense of humor about these sort of things.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Learn a Foreign Language Month

To celebrate this December event, I'm including a listing of all our Spanish language titles available in our Libros del Mundo series - including two upcoming March 2008 releases.

From Germany

by Caroline Grégoire

From the Netherlands

by Sieb Posthuma

From Australia
La cama grande de Sofía
by Tina Burke

From Germany

Contando con Apolo
by Caroline

From Taiwan

En camino a comprar huevos
by Chih-Yuan Chen

From Italy

Feliz Cumpleaños Tengo 1
Written by Matteo Faglia

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 salón de Minji
by Eun-hee Choung

From England

by Gus Clarke

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pay Close Attention!

For those of you with young children, you'll understand my awe at how amazing my son's memory is and the details he notices when we're driving in the car and of course, among the illustrations in the books we read.

Of course, my argument for this is that I'm too focused On the Road to notice the dog in the back of the van or too busy concentrating on reading the words in the story to see the small frogs hiding in the pictures (Paul Needs Specs).

Look closely, and you will discover many things in picture books that you might otherwise miss. Spend a day looking at the pictures alone and ignore the text. You may find a new appreciation for the stories that can be told without words.

From England
On the Road
by Susan Steggall

From Australia
Paul Needs Specs
Written by Bernard Cohen
Illustrated by Geoff Kelly

From Japan
Animal Faces
Written by Kyoko Toda
Photographs by Akira Satoh

From Germany
Something is Not Quite Right!
by Ralf Butschkow

From Japan
Who's Hiding?
by Satoru Onishi

From Mexico
Half of an Elephant
by Gusti

From South Korea
Yellow Umbrella
Illustrated by Jae Soo Liu
Music composed by Dong Il Sheen

From Australia
Fly, Little Bird
by Tina Burke

Now, see if you can't find all twenty-two frogs hidden in the illustrations of Paul Needs Specs, or if you can tell me what your favorite animal is made of from Half of an Elephant (mine is the giraffe made from a tape measure). Happy Hunting!

Giving Thanks

This week is a quiet week. Many schools are closed and businesses as well as parents take advantage of the opportunity to spend quality time with their children.

The busiest time of year - for just about everyone - is upon us. My father's birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year - and just about every other year it seems. He's taking off on a trip by himself to visit his brothers on the East Coast. My mom will be enjoying the holiday with her sisters, I will be spending time with "family" in La Jolla while my sister will be joining her in-laws this Thursday for a large gathering and a lovely meal.

Family is something that connects us all, whether we are linked by blood, namesake, or just the bond of being present in each other's lives, whether physically or otherwise.

I plan on taking this week to slow down and really spend some quality time with my son. Even though he's with me 60% of the time (not that I'm keeping track), I can't help but feel as though the hustle and bustle of daily life keeps us somewhat disconnected at times.

There are several Kane/Miller books that highlight families of all shapes and sizes. Here are just a few to share with your loved ones:

From Australia

Are We There Yet?

by Alison Lester

From France


Written by Anne-Laure Fournier le Ray

Illustrated by Roser Capdevila

From Taiwan

Guji Guji

by Chih-Yuan Chen

From the Netherlands


by Sieb Posthuma

From Germany


by Jutta Bauer

From Israel

The Key to My Heart

Written by Nira Harel

Illustrated by Yossi Abulafia

From the Philippines

The Mats

Written by Francisco Arcellana

Illustrated by Hermès Alègrè

From Australia

When Mum Was Little

by Mini Goss

From Belgium

You Be Me, I'll Be You

by Pili Mandelbaum

In the above book list, there are eight unique countries represented! Kane/Miller currently represents over 20 different countries from our current title list. Please help us to open young minds to the world by sharing this post with the book lovers in your life.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mental Health Day

I've had quite an unusual day. Actually, it was quite pleasant. The streets were somewhat empty as many schools and businesses are closed this week. I dropped my son off at pre-school and headed into work to interview our first candidate for the newly created role of Marketing Assistant.

I then took care of some correspondence and details for our upcoming spring season and then we closed the office for a few hours while we took a much-needed Kane/Miller fieldtrip to see the film, Dan in Real Life, which features a sc
ene that includes our best-selling title, from Japan, Everyone Poops.

The film was sweet, laugh-out-loud funny and made for a pleasant break in the middle of a Monday. Steve Carell plays a single father of three girls, the oldest of whom is 17. The middle child (why is it always the middle child) is "in love" and manages to teach dear old dad a thing or two about following your heart by the end of the movie.

Dan's character writes a parenting column in the local newspaper and has been raising the girls on his own since their mother passed away. His life focuses on the girls and it's not until his mother tells him to "get lost" that he finally begins to open up and enjoy the feeling of companionship when he meets a lovely lady who he feels quite comfortable with.

The story takes some twists and turns, all full of humor and family chaos. I recommend this film to anyone who's trying to find their own place in the world, especially single parents who tend to put their own needs last.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Spring Has Sprung

Just yesterday, the proofs of our spring 2008 catalogs arrived from our printer. The catalog is beautiful - of course - and I'm so excited to be able to launch our new spring titles in the next few months.

There are a few favorites from the list, but as always, it's quite hard to pick just one that I'm especially fond of. This season, if I had to pick just one, it would be our first title from China, No! That's Wrong! by Zhaohua Ji and Cui Xu.

From China
No! That's Wrong!
by Zhaohua Ji and Cui Xu

This, never-been-published-before, picture book discusses a silly situation that most kids (and many adults) will find quite humorous. I can't quite give much more information other than that, but the illustrations are darling, the animals are full of expression and the rabbit is particularly charming.

Representing South Korea, France, Australia, Japan, Spain and England, our books this coming season are so diverse with titles ranging in topics such as imagination, alliteration, new siblings, shyness, music, and cause and effect.

You'll have to be patient as I introduce each new cover and title one at a time until our catalog finally reaches our readers.

A Little Meme

I discovered a mention of our Japanese title, Breasts, this morning on the Paradise Found blog and browsed the site since it's new to me. I also found this little meme posted there yesterday and thought it'd be fun to continue it here.

From Japan
by Genichiro Yagyu

All memes, no matter what the subject, remind me of Trudy White's Could You? Would You? I'm always up for promoting anything to get young people talking and getting to know each other - or themselves - better. I consider myself young (at heart) so I'll begin...

From Australia
Could You? Would You?
by Trudy White

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?

My best friend from college.
2. What were you doing at 8:00am?
Still trying to wake up.
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Responding to over a dozen emails.
4. What happened to you in 2006?
My husband filed for divorced (can't recall much else from that year...)
5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Thank you.
6. How many beverages did you have today?
Still working on my first.
7. What color is your hairbrush?
I don’t use a hairbrush, but my comb is blue.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?


9. Where were you last night?

At the office until 10pm
10. What color is your front door?
Dark brown
11. Where do you keep your change?
In a jar on the kitchen table that reads: Family Fun Night
12. What’s the weather like today?
Overcast, foggy.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?

14. What excites you?
Spending a day with family
15. Do you want to cut your hair?
No, it's short enough as it is.
16. Are you over the age of 25?
Yes, thank god.
17. Do you talk a lot?
Yes, too much.
18. Do you watch the O.C.?
No. And I'm appalled that other people do.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes, but only through a friend of a friend.

20. Do you make up your own words?

Of course.
21. Are you a jealous person?
Yes, sometimes.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’
Andrea, Alison, Amber... (Hi, ladies!)
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
My son's father
25. What does the last text message you received say
"Yeah, right. Maybe if I win the lotto."
26. Do you chew on your straw?
27. Do you have curly hair?

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?

Palm Springs
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Can't think of anyone
30. What was the last thing you ate?
a muffin
31. Will you get married in the future?
My first marriage just ended, and no, I don't think I will have a second go.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?

A Night at the Museum (this is actually the only movie I've seen in the past 2 weeks)
33. Is there anyone you like right now?
Sure, lots of people!

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?

A few days ago
35. Are you currently depressed?
No, should I be?

36. Did you cry today?

Not yet!

37. Why did you answer and post this?

I've been having bad luck this week and thought perhaps answering random questions about myself would cheer me up. It has.