Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Clarion Books

Clarion Books began publishing children's fiction and picture books in 1965. Today, as a hardcover imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, they publish about 50 titles each year, including some nonfiction (though we didn't find any nonfiction picture books). Clarion has received an impressive number of awards throughout the years. You can view the catalogues for the past few years here. (They share a catalogue with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.)

Clarion Books accepts unsolicited submissions via snail mail and will only respond if they are interested. Submission guidelines are available on their website under "Frequently Asked Questions." You will find slightly more specific instructions on the "Ordering Information" page of their catalogue. (By the way, Linda Sue Park's first middle grade novel, Seesaw Girl, was plucked from the slush pile at Clarion!)

Sometimes when we read books by the same publisher, we find they are sort of hit and miss–we might love a couple and then find others that make us feel pretty darn good about our own work. ("If that can get published, then surely my story will get published!") But we really liked all the books by Clarion. They were funny, original, and they all touched on topics that are relevant to kids' lives. Unfortunately, it was difficult to discover who edited the books, but that didn't stop us from enjoying them! (Mummy Cat was the big hit of the meeting–be sure to read that one!)

Getting to know Clarion Books (source)

VP & Publisher – Dinah Stevenson

VP, Associate Publisher, Senior Executive Editor – Anne Hoppe
On Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Interview with Australia Council for the Arts (video)
Favorite book of 2014

Senior Editor – Jennifer B. Greene
2009 Wish List (Sorry, it's all I could find!)

Senior Editor – Lynne Polvino
Bio (scroll way down)

Creative Director – Christine Kettner
2012 Interview

Book we had on hand (*indicates books we read):

Because Your Grandparents Love You (2015); Written by Andrew Clement; Illustrated by R.W. Alley

Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred) (2015); Written and Illustrated by Josh Schneider

*First Grade Dropout (2015); Written by Audrey Vernick

*I Yam a Donkey (2015); Written and illustrated by Cece Bell

*Mummy Cat (2015); Written by Marcus Ewert; Illustrated by Lisa Brown; Edited by Anne Hoppe

*Mustache Baby Meets His Match (2015); Written by Bridget Heos; Illustrated by Joy Ang

*Whose Shoe? (2015); Eve Bunting; Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier

Tallulah’s Tap Shoes (2015); Written by Marilyn Singer; Illustrated by Alexander Boiger

*Edgar’s Second Word (2014); Written by Audrey Vernick; Illustrated by Priscilla Burris

*A Letter for Leo (2014); Written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier

My Blue Bunny, Bubbit (2014); Written and illustrated by Maggie Smith

*Nana in the City (2014); Written and Illustrated by Lauren Castillo

*Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover (2014); Written and illustrated by Josh Schneider

*The Troublemaker (2014); Written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Leopardpox! (2014); Written by Orna Landau; Illustrated by Omer Hoffman

*Mustache Baby (2013); Written by Bridget Heos; Illustrated by Joy Ang

*Xander’s Panda Party (2013); Written by Linda Sue Park; Illustrated by Matt Phelan

*Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo (2013); Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette; Illustrated by Joy Ang

*Have You Seen My New Blue Socks (2013); Written by Eve Bunting; Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier

*Dozens of Cousins (2013); Written by Shutta Crum; Illustrated by David Catrow

Crankee Doodle (2013); Written by Tom Angleberger; Illustrated by Cece Bell

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, July 9. We'll be reading books from another Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint–Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers–to see if we can discern the difference.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Charlesbridge Publishing

Charlesbridge is a small, family-run publisher of about 50 titles per year (according to the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market 2016, 80% of those are from unagented authors). Nonfiction makes up about 60% of their list. (source)

From their website:
"Charlesbridge publishes high-quality books for children, with a goal of creating lifelong readers and lifelong learners. Our books encourage reading and discovery in the classroom, library, and home. We believe that books for children should offer accurate information, promote a positive worldview, and embrace a child's innate sense of wonder and fun. To this end, we continually strive to seek new voices, new visions, and new directions in children's literature."

Charlesbridge accepts unsolicited submissions. You'll find submission guidelines here. Be sure to check out their blog, too!

We especially loved many of their nonfiction titles and noticed a real commitment to diversity. According to SCBWI's The Book, they are seeking "innovative nonfiction."

Getting to know Charlesbridge Publishing

Charlesbridge Goes for the Silver (Publisher's Weekly)

Editorial Director – Yolanda Scott
Interview from 2006
Interview from 2013
On hooks
Video on what she does at Charlesbridge (at 2:40)

Senior Editor – Alyssa Mito Pusey
On diversity

Editor – Karen Boss

Associate Editor – Julie Bliven
On writing outside your culture

Art Director – Susan Sherman

Books we had on hand (*indicates books we read):

*Will’s Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk (2016); Written by Jane Sutcliffe; Illustrated by John Shelley; Edited by Alyssa Mito Pusey; Interview with the author

Living Fossils: Clues to the Past (2016); Written by Caroline Arnold; Illustrated by Andrew Plant

The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford (2015); Written by Suzanne Slade; Illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt; Edited by Alyssa Mito Pusey

*Trapped!: A Whale's Rescue (2015); Written by Robert Burleigh; Illustrated by Wendell Minor; 1107 words

*I'm New Here (2015); Written and illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien; Edited by Julie Bliven

*John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall (2015); Written by Julie Danneberg; Illustrated by Jamie Hogan

*Groundhog's Dilemma (2015); Written by Kristen Remenar; Illustrated by Matt Faulkner

Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play (2015); Written by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook; Illustrated by Andy Robert Davies

Poppy's Best Paper (2015); Written by Susan Eaddy; Illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet; Edited by Alyssa Mito Pusey; 1083 words

*Me and My Dragon: Christmas Spirit (2015); Written and illustrated by David Biedrzycki

*A Crow of His Own (2015); Written by Megan Dowd Lambert; Illustrated by David Hyde Costello; 608 words

Spit & Sticks: a Chimney Full of Swifts (2015); Written by Marily Grohoske Evans; Illustrated by Nicole Gsell

Wangari Maathai: The Woman who Planted Millions of Trees (2015); Written by Franck Prévot; Illustrated by AurĂ©lia Fronty

The Impossible Voyage of Kon-Tiki (2015); Written and illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray

Feathers: Not Just for Flying (2014); Written by Melissa Stewart; Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen; 1115 words

Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons (2014); Written by Alice B. McGinty; Illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt; 951 words

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas (2014); Written by Natasha Yim; Illustrated by Grace Zong; 1040 words; Goldy Luck's Arduous Path from Vision to Reality

Under the Freedom Tree (2014); Written by Susan VanHecke; Illustrated by London Ladd; 668 words; Interview with the illustrator; And here's the author's perspective

*Imani's Moon (2014, Mackinac Island Press); Written by JaNay Brown-Wood; Illustrated by Hazell Mitchell

Friends for Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass (2014); Written by Suzanne Slade; Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell; 1116 words

Leo Loves Baby Time (2014); Written by Anna McQuinn; Illustrated by Ruth Hearson; 99 words

Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle (2014); Written by Cheryl Bardoe; Illustrated by Alan Marks; 1346 words

Breaking News: Bear Alert (2014); Written and illustrated by David Biedrzycki; 550 words

Alphabet Trucks (2013); Written by Samantha R. Vamos; Illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke; 295 words

The Cat With Seven Names (2013); Written by Tony Johnston; Illustrated by Christine Davenier; 1104 words

*The Cart That Carried Martin (2013); Written by Eve Bunting; Illustrated by Don Tate; 742 words

Here Come the Humpbacks! (2013); Written by April Pulley Sayre; Illustrated by Jamie Hogan; 2349 words

Spring Blossoms (2013); Written by Carole Gerber; Illustrated by Leslie Evans; 478 words

War Dogs (2013); Written and illustrated by Kathryn Selbert; 1594 words

Bambino and Mr. Twain (2012); Written by P.I. Maltbie; Illustrated by Daniel Miyares; 1685 words

At our next meeting, on Saturday June 11, we will read books published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.