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In the News
Gantos, Raschka, Whaley: Where They Were When the Award Call Came
Earlier this week, three lucky authors got phone calls from the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz committees, letting each of them know they had won the top prize. And whether they were at home when the call came (in the case of Jack Gantos), in search of a missing cell phone (Chris Raschka), or on the highway heading to Dallas (John Corey Whaley), the messages awaiting them on the other end of the line were life-changing. What was going through their minds when the phone rang? And what did they do next? Bookshelf spoke with all three authors this week—read on to find out what they had to say. (Click here for our complete list of the 2012 Youth Media Awards.) more
Morning Shows Say No to Newbery/Caldecott
If you turned on your TV this past Tuesday morning to watch the newly minted Newbery and Caldecott Medalists speaking about their books, you were out of luck. All of the major morning shows declined to run the until-recently traditional segment. Macey Morales, manager of media relations at the American Library Association, which administers the awards, told PW, "The ALA has reached out to several morning news programs to secure an in-studio placement for the Newbery and Caldecott Medalists. Unfortunately, those programs chose to decline the opportunity." more
Lee & Low Acquires Children's Book Press
Children’s Book Press, founded in 1975 by Harriet Rohmer for the specific purpose of creating a line of bilingual and multicultural books, ceased operations at the end of September and has sold its backlist inventory of 90 titles to Lee & Low Books in New York. Dana Goldberg, former executive editor for Children’s Book Press, attributes the demise of the press to "a perfect storm of systemic things. We were a niche publisher for the institutional market, and 80 percent of our business came from schools and libraries. With the nationwide budget cuts, the last two years were really tough." more
Digital Book World Panelists Gauge the Children's E-book Market
Perhaps the most eye-opening facet of a study on the children's e-book market discussed at a Digital Book World panel on Tuesday was how great the potential for e-book reading in children really is. A number of figures showed promise for the future of the market, including that in children seven to 12, 27% own their own computer, 25% own a cell phone, and 7% own a reading device. Equally promising is the figure from the study that teens have tripled their reading rate of e-books in the last year. more
Tuttle Stirs Up Its Children's List
After its success with Bee Yinn Low's Easy Chinese Recipes on the adult side last fall, Tuttle Publishing is following a new recipe when it comes to producing children's books. The North Clarendon, Vt.-based publisher has long produced beautiful books that bring together East and West, but many have been so focused on appealing to the East that sales in the U.S. have suffered. Tuttle has made a conscious effort to combine authentic content by an author of Asian descent with a text geared to American readers with limited access to Asian groceries. Now, says publicist Rowan Muelling-Auer, "We've taken that framework and applied it to children's books." more
Random House and Sesame Workshop Step into Digital Reading
Random House Children’s Books and Sesame Workshop are expanding their four-decade-plus licensing relationship, adding e-books and apps to their extensive Sesame Street print publishing program. The first of 19 initial ebook titles were released on Wednesday. “E-books are a major initiative for us,” says Chris Angelilli, v-p and editor-in-chief, Golden Books. “We want to publish licensed and original titles alike in every conceivable format for young readers.” more
Children's Books Get 21 Oscar Nominations
Who woulda thunk that big, bad Hollywood needs humble children's book publishing to bring some razzle-dazzle to the 2012 Oscars? But included in Tuesday morning's announcement of the 84th annual Academy Award nominations were a whopping 21 nods for films based on kids' books, demonstrating that children's books rule in Hollywood – for this year at least. Hugo, based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, leads the pack with the most – 11– nominations, including Best Picture. War Horse, based on Michael Murpurgo's 1982 novel, is not far behind, with six nominations (also including Best Picture). more
Retailing News
Wi7: Bookselling Renaissance Extends to Children's
The American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute, held last week in New Orleans, came just weeks after a holiday season that showcased the vitality and viability of independent bookstores. Many of the 500 bookseller attendees were coming off their best year ever, with sales up in the high double digits. For BookPeople in Austin, Tex., it was the second year in a row. The store had its best year ever in 2010, and was up in all areas in 2011, according to children's book buyer Meghan Goel. And don't miss our photo-gallery of authors attending the conference. more
Booksellers Explain How to Make Friends and Influence People
More than 150 booksellers crowded into a hotel meeting room during Wi7 to learn from three stars in the children's bookselling world how they too can become "hometown stars with children's books." The panel, moderated by the ABA's Joy Dallanegra-Sanger, featured Colette Morgan, owner of Wild Rumpus, in Minneapolis; Diane Capriola, owner of Little Shop of Stories in the small city of Decatur, Ga.; and Cynthia Compton, owner of 4 Kids Books & Toys, in an upscale Indianapolis suburb. While the three stores are located in diverse locales, each bookseller emphasized the necessity of creating a magical space inside the store, selecting stock carefully, and partnering with other local businesses and organizations. more
Licensing News
Publishers Bring Online Virtual Worlds to the Printed Page
Licensed children’s books are typically tied to current films and popular television shows. But as tweens and teens spend increasing amounts of time in the digital world, children’s publishers are looking toward online and mobile properties as a way to entice readers to the print medium. In particular, they are developing licensed books inspired by virtual worlds such as Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, and Poptropica, hoping that these brands, with their large and loyal fan bases, spur tweens and teens to try some real-world reading. more
Kregel, Inc. is looking for a Project Manager. Maybe it's you! For more about this and other jobs, visit PW JobZone.

In Brief

In Brief: January 26
This week, Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman tour for Why We Broke Up; Chronicle hosts an art auction at ALA Midwinter; Grace Lin launches Dumpling Days; co-authors Silas House and Neela Vaswani head south for Wi7 and ALA; and a library event for Monica Carnesi's Little Dog Lost. more
Rights Report
Jill Santopolo at Philomel has bought NBC News foreign correspondent Atia Abawiz’s first novel. Aimed at teen readers, Star Crossed is a riff on Romeo and Juliet, starring a pair of teenagers from different rural villages in Afghanistan—and from different (and warring) ethnic groups—who fall in love. Here, not only do the teens have to fight tradition and culture, but also the Taliban, if they want to be together. Publication is set for fall 2013; Santopolo negotiated world rights directly with Abawi.
Nancy Conescu at Dial signed a two-book deal with Claire Keane, a Disney concept artist whose work was most recently featured in the movie Tangled. The first of the two picture books, due in spring 2014, is about a girl’s quest for the perfect present for her mother. Keane is the daughter of legendary Disney artist Glen Keane and the granddaughter of the late Bil Keane, creator of The Family Circus. The deal for world rights was brokered by Steven Malk of Writers House.
Jean Feiwel of Feiwel and Friends has acquired an early-middle-grade series, called Shivers, by James Preller, author of the Jigsaw Jones series, and the recent novel Bystander. The first in the planned four-book series, which Feiwel calls "Rod Serling's Twilight Zone for kids," will pub in spring 2013. The six-figure deal for world rights was negotiated by Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio.
Elizabeth Bewley at Little, Brown has signed This Is What Happy Looks Like, a new YA novel by Jennifer E. Smith, for the Poppy imprint. In the story, an e-mail proves the catalyst for an unlikely transatlantic romance between two teens. LBYR has published three of Smith’s previous books, including this month’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Jennifer Joel of ICM negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Also at Little, Brown, Liza Baker bought a new novel from Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of Ninth Ward. The coming-of-age story, called Fireflies and Moon Pie, is about a girl who, with help from a bit of Southern folk magic, tries to salvage her summer along the banks of the Mississippi in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. It is tentatively scheduled for fall 2013; the deal for world rights was brokered by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
IN THE MEDIA
From the Colbert Report:
Maurice Sendak, in all his irascible glory, appeared in a two-part interview on the Colbert Report earlier this week. Among the highlights: Colbert: "What's it take for a celebrity to make a successful children's book?" Sendak: "You've started already by being an idiot." Click here
From paidContent:
In a new study, kids find e-books "fun and cool," but teens are still relatively slow adopters, in part because they do not see e-books as a social technology and because it's hard to share digital titles. Click here
From the Guardian:
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin plans to compile a canon of 100 Russian books that all students would be required to read, in an attempt to preserve the "dominance of Russian culture." Click here
Also from the Guardian:
Hundreds of British children's authors, including Philip Pullman and Anne Fine, are protesting the government's plans to amend the copyright law, which would affect the fee schools pay to copy works written and published for educational use. Click here
From Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
What everyone in publishing is currently reading: a profile of Larry Kirshbaum, who according to the article is "likely positioning Amazon Publishing for a world that is still a few years away, in which a majority of books are distributed electronically." Click here
From the Huffington Post:
Earlier this week, Daniel Handler took over the @HuffPostBooks Twitter feed to offer relationship advice. His can't-miss tweets are collected here. Click here
From the New York Times:
Thanks to "holiday gift-giving, word of mouth and advance buzz," book sales for the Hunger Games trilogy bode well for the forthcoming movie. Click here
From NPR:
How Dr. Seuss Got His Start 'On Mulberry Street': the story and inspiration behind the 75-year-old classic picture book. Click here
SHELFTALKER

What Fresh Hell Is This?
Josie Leavitt
Elizabeth and I were having lunch yesterday and we were talking about the latest Amazon assault of having Houghton Mifflin Harcourt be the publisher and distributor for their New Harvest line of adult books. I think Elizabeth summed it up best when she said, "What fresh Hell is this?" MORE

The Awards by Publisher
Elizabeth Bluemle
The awards are out! A grand total of 104 awards and honors for children's books have been bestowed. With full lists of winners readily available elsewhere, I did the breakdown of awards by publisher. MORE

So, You’re Telling Me Not to Buy a Book?
Josie Leavitt
Sometimes part of providing good customer service means not selling someone a book. I know it sounds wrong to suggest that folks can have a great experience while being told not to buy a book, but it's true. MORE

FEATURED REVIEWS

The Hero of Little Street
Gregory Rogers. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-729-6

In Rogers’s wordless comic The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard (2004), a soccer-loving boy time-travels to Elizabethan London and outmaneuvers a grumpy Shakespeare. Now, the same child gets on the wrong side of three bullies and takes shelter in an art museum. Readers of the previous book know the game is afoot when the boy wanders past framed portraits of the Bear and the Bard. When the brown lapdog from Van Eyck’s Arnolfini portrait hops down to join the boy, a “Dutch Masters” theme emerges. The boy and dog clamber into another painting—Vermeer’s “A Young Woman Seated at a Virginal”—and after the lady plays them a tune, they all step outside into 17th-century Delft. more

Froi of the Exiles
Melina Marchetta. Candlewick, $18.99 (608p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4759-9

In a spellbinding companion to Finnikin of the Rock, set three years after the events of that book, Marchetta shifts attention from Lumatere to its neighboring enemy kingdom of Charyn, no stranger to violence and curses itself—in this case, one that has left its citizens barren for 18 years. Froi, a former street thief who has started a new life in Lumatere, is sent to Charyn in disguise to assassinate its king, but his worldview is shaken by revelations about his own unknown past. Tensions between the two kingdoms ratchet up, and Froi’s loyalties are tested as he becomes entrenched in the chaotic political situation in Charyn and is drawn to its unpredictable princess, Quintana... more

TALES FROM THE SLUSH PILE

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January 26, 2012

People
Random House Children Books has announced staff changes in several departments. In editorial, Jim Thomas has stepped down from his managerial position as editorial director of middle grade and YA. As editor-at-large he will focus exclusively on his editorial projects and authors, which include N.D. Wilson, Jeanne duPrau, Janni Simner, Rachel Hartman, Rosann Parry, and Mark Frost. Thomas has been with Random since 1993 and was promoted to editorial director in 2005.
Replacing Thomas in the managerial role is Jennifer Arena who has been promoted to editorial director of chapter books (Stepping Stone, Middle Grade, Young Adult). The projects Arena has worked on include the Calendar Mysteries series, the Ballpark Mysteries, the Little Wing series, Absolutely Lucys and the Disney Fairy chapter books.
In other Random House news, Dana Carey has promoted to assistant editor, from editorial assistant. She started at Wendy Lamb Books in 2009 as an intern. Nora MacDonald has been promoted to marketing coordinator; she was previously marketing assistant. In Golden Books, Kristen Depken has been promoted to associate editor, from assistant editor. Caitlin Flynn has joined the sales department as sales assistant, reporting to Joan DeMayo. Previously she was marketing assistant at Macmillan Palgrave.
App Watch
This Week in Children's Apps
This week in children's apps features Ellison the Elephant, a story about an elephant finding his own voice. Also appearing this week is the iPad version of Rudyard Kipling's classic The Jungle Book, which features the whole story and interactive scenes, as well as real-time physics and effects. Finally, there's Be Global, a learning tool for parents and teachers that shows children what it really means to be global, as they visit cultures the world over. more
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