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.