Think tropical … island nations, high and low islands. Feel the sun’s warmth, the stir of a gentle breeze clattering palm fronds high overhead. Escape winter, cold, snow, white, ice. How? In a book. Open one of the many books published by Bess Press, one of the first independent publishers located in Honolulu. Their books cover history and culture, war and peace in the Pacific, the many cultures of Polynesia, Micronesia (meaning small islands, there are over 10,000 islands in Micronesia) and Melanesia (the dark islands).
We are so pleased to have this opportunity to interview the two women behind HarperCollins’ new Native-focused imprint, Heartdrum: Rosemary Brosnan, vice president and editorial director at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Cynthia Leitich Smith, children’s and YA author, writing instructor, and blogger. Let’s learn more …
Rosemary and Cynthia, you have worked together for more than 20 years, correct?
Andi Diehn (photo: Bob Eddy) For teachers, parents and anyone looking for “school-at-home” nonfiction books, Nomad Press is an excellent resource for activity-based nonfiction books. With Nomad’s informational series, students not only “read about” important topics of our times but also investigate, “ask about” and “do about” these topics. First I tried out several of their books. I found excellent information combined with engaging activities and challenging questions.
Piñata Books Are Full of Surprises! Arte Público Press uses the delightful metaphor of piñata to describe its imprint of bi-lingual Spanish-English books for children — full of delights and full of surprises.
Surprise #1 — Arte Público Press is the original publisher of Sandra Cisneros’ seminal The House on Mango Street. To further bring Hispanic literature to mainstream audiences, “Arte Público Press launched the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program in 1992.
I am enchanted … with the fresh, delightful, and imaginative books published by this independent publisher. Their doors opened in 2003 and even during these tumultuous times, their doors have stayed open and their vision has stayed strong. Enchanted Lion Books come from a diversity of sources and voices that have been under-represented, translated books from other countries and cultures, and international illustrations that are unusual and captivating.
Looking for a book for a child who is experiencing a hard time — maybe being bullied, maybe parents are divorcing or someone is seriously ill, or something scary happened at school or in the community. Or maybe a teen feels “different”? Magination Press is a book imprint of the American Psychology Association that — through books — helps families, parents, and children cope with emotional, learning, or behavioral challenges.… more
A literary superhero himself and an indigenous legendary comic creator, a proponent of Native Pop Culture, and creator of a new Native publishing venture, I am excited to introduce to you Dr. Lee Francis IV and his publishing house, Native Realities. What kind of press is this? Think Comics, books, interactive. Native American authors and artists. Think Indigenous Comic Con.… more
Imagine walking into an old-time dry-goods store. Hear the wooden floor squeak. Peer through the glass case at the wondrous display of penny candy. Close your eyes and taste your favorite … root beer barrels, red-wax lips, ropes of red licorice. Instead of sugary sweets, Penny Candy Books offers a selection of books that delight, engage, and challenge. … more
Meet Kathryn Otoshi, artist, author, educator, and the creator of two award-winning indie publishing companies, KO Kids Books and Blue Dot Press. In 2016, SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) recognized Blue Dot Press with their SPARK Award for excellence in independent publishing. Kathryn O’s books are bright, colorful, delightful, creative, and just plain fun.… more
Catalyst Press has a bold and daring mission. As a new independent press, Catalyst Press brings to American readers books from the African continent written by Africans and/or about Africa, contemporary and historical. One of Catalyst’s first books is the startling graphic novel, Shaka Rising: A Legend of the Warrior Prince. It is written and illustrated by Luke W.… more
Engaging. Diverse. Page-turners. Spiritual. Surprise! Gentle. Compassion. Old – over 100 years old! and Classic. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company has been, and still is, an independent, family-owned publisher since 1911. Their new imprint—Eerdmans Books for Young Readers—began in 1995 and has been producing over a dozen new children’s books each year. Each year many of their books are top award-winners.… more
Groundwood Books celebrates diversity. In the words of the late Sheila Barry, former publisher, their commitment is to publish “the most exciting Canadian voices we can find. Whether it’s a picture book from Nunavut in the Arctic or a Carnival story about a new Canadian from the Caribbean ….” Groundwood publishes not only all things Canadian but much more — stories about First Nations people, refugees, children caught in the terror of war, the grief felt by immigrants as well as the gift of their experiences and talents they bring to their new country.… more
What do a university professor from Dallas and a lawyer from Princeton have in common? Both are passionate about poetry, specifically, poetry in the classroom for everyone, everyday, and about anything, even algebra. Sylvia Vardell, professor and author of educational books for teachers, and Janet Wong, lawyer and author of several dozen books for children, combined their knowledge and poetry passion and created Pomelo Books.… more
Controversy and notoriety were not the reasons that Bobby Byrd and Lee Merrill Byrd began their own publishing house, Cinco Puntos Press. They believed in giving voice to ideas, issues, and writers whose voices needed to be heard. In 1999, Cinco Puntos published the book The Story of Colors / La Historia de los colores written by Subcomandante Marcos, the leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico.… more