Interview: Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore on Collaboration

Prairie Dog Song cover imageWith Susan L. Roth’s signature collage illustrations and Cindy Trumbore and Roth’s detailed narrative, it’s clear that Roth and Trumbore’s styles are a perfect match. Their award-winning books, The Mangrove Tree, Parrots Over Puerto Rico, and Prairie Dog Song are a testament to their effortless collaboration style and their shared passion for conservation. In this interview, Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore discuss their writing process, their stylistic differences, and working together to create the perfect story.

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Book List: 7 Books About Immigration

For many people, the United States is the beacon of hope, a place to live the “American Dream.” From the first Irish immigrants who arrived in the early 19th century to the current refugees trying to escape their war-torn countries, the United States was and continues to be shaped by the different cultures and groups that come to live a better life. With the recent political rhetoric and the increase in anti-immigrant sentiment, it’s now more important than ever to not see an “us versus them” situation, but rather to celebrate the differences that actually make America great. In this book list, we’ve rounded up seven of our titles that are about the immigrant experience, and encourage readers to be accepting of all people from different backgrounds.

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LEE & LOW BOOKS, the 25-year-old children’s book publisher that focuses on diversity, will be making two major changes to its editorial department. Longtime Vice President/Editorial Director Louise May will step back from her administrative responsibilities, while Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic Executive Editor Cheryl Klein will become Editorial Director.

Louise May
Louise May

Louise May, Vice President/Editorial Director, will become Editor-at-Large, effective March 1, 2017. May began her eighteen-year career at LEE & LOW as senior editor and advanced through the ranks to her current role as Vice President/Editorial Director. Her growth and commitment to diversity in children’s books parallels the success of the company. May’s invaluable contribution to LEE & LOW and its mission is evidenced by the numerous award-winning titles to her credit, including the Robert F. Sibert Medal winner Parrots Over Puerto Rico, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, the Pura Belpré Award Honor book The Pot That Juan Built, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award winner Etched in Clay. May also was instrumental in developing and launching the company’s successful educational imprint, Bebop Books. She will continue to work with her many established authors and illustrators to acquire and edit new titles.

“Louise is a crucial member of the LEE & LOW family and has played key roles in growing our company and our lists with powerful books that speak to all children,” says Jason Low, LEE & LOW’S publisher.

Cheryl Klein
Cheryl Klein

Cheryl Klein will join LEE & LOW as Editorial Director, also effective March 1, 2017. Klein will oversee the company’s editorial program and work closely with ownership to expand the company’s diversity mission within the school/library and trade markets. Klein has worked at the Arthur A. Levine Books imprint of Scholastic for the past sixteen years, most recently as Executive Editor. She also served as the US continuity editor for the last two books of the Harry Potter series. Her passion for diversity has been evident in many of the authors she has worked with and books she has published, including the New York Times bestselling Shadowshaper, the American Indian Library Association Youth Literary Awards Honor book If I Ever Get Out of Here, the Schneider Family Book Award-winning Marcelo in the Real World, and the ALSC Notable Children’s Book The Princess and the Pony. She was a founding member of the Children’s Book Council’s Diversity Committee and serves as an assistant coordinator of the Kweli Colors of Children’s Literature annual writers’ literary conference.

“When we began our search, we wanted someone who was on the same page as us regarding the state of diversity in publishing and what needs to be done to continue to improve representation in children’s books—Cheryl gets it. We are looking forward to working with her,” says Jason Low.

ABOUT LEE & LOW BOOKS: Established in 1991, LEE & LOW BOOKS is the largest children’s book publisher in the United States specializing in diversity. Under several imprints, the company provides a comprehensive range of notable diverse books for beginning readers through young adults. Lee & Low Books is a certified 100% Minority Owned Business Enterprise (MBE). Visit the company website to learn more.

Five Great Reads From Around the Web

With all that has been going on in the news, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all things that are out of our control. While we can’t always escape from our newsfeed, we can resolve to do as much as we can to make sure that our basic human rights aren’t taken away. With that being said,  we’ve gathered five of our favorite reads that have filled us with hope for the upcoming months. Continue reading

6 Books for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 16th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and to celebrate, we’ve gathered six books that highlight the works and accomplishments of civil rights activists and African American pioneers.

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Readers’ Reactions to Vivien Thomas’s Legacy

Guest BloggerAt LEE & LOW BOOKS, we know the power of a good story. Our books encourage readers to pursue their dreams, seek out information on people and cultures that are different from our own, and inspire change for the better. In this guest post, Gwendolyn Hooks, author of Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas, shares some heartwarming readers’ reactions to her book. 

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How to Make Your Book Fair Multicultural and Diverse

Guest BloggerWe at Lee & Low Books are often asked how schools and parent-teacher organizations can bring more diverse books to families and students through book fairs. We recently observed a wonderful illustration of a school community actively organizing a culturally responsive, diverse book fair. Today, Maria Falgoust, the librarian at the International School of Brooklyn, a Nursery–8th grade independent school in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY, shares with us how her school organizes a book fair to promote diverse, inclusive books for families and students. Continue reading

Interview: Richard Sobol on Coexistence, Travel, and Capturing the Perfect Moment

Growing Peace: A Story of Farming, Music, and Religious Harmony is about the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian families in a Ugandan village who created a Fair Trade Coffee Cooperative. In this uplifting photo-essay, we learn how families live and work together peacefully despite their religious differences. Author and photographer Richard Sobol takes readers on a journey to Namanyonyi through his beautiful photographs. And to learn more about his experience, we’ve asked him a few questions about his creative process.

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Happy Holidays from Lee & Low

A Lee & Low Christmas

It’s been Only One Year
Since we’ve visited family, far and near.

It’s almost time to go over Sacred Mountain and Under the Lemon Moon
Around the World on The Jones Family Express—soon, soon!
The Bus Ride down The Road to Santiago,
Waiting to see the light streaming through Mama’s Window.

Where do you go? A Journey Home
Down the Seven Miles to Freedom?
Under a Shining Star down Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path

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Ten Favorite Diversity-Related Reads from 2016

Now that 2016 is finally coming to a close, we gathered a few of our favorite reads that engaged, entertained, and fascinated us throughout the year.

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity