We’ve got some exciting news to share: LEE & LOW BOOKS has acquired multicultural children’s book publisher Children’s Book Press.
From the press release: January 26, 2012—Continuing to expand despite a difficult economy, LEE & LOW BOOKS, an independent publisher of high quality books for children that focuses on diversity, announced today that it has acquired the assets of Children’s Book Press. Founded in 1975, Children’s Book Press, based in San Francisco, was the first specialty publisher of multicultural children’s books in the United States. With this addition LEE & LOW BOOKS becomes one of the largest independent multicultural children’s publishers in the country with over 650-titles in print. “This is a tremendous honor for us to keep the prestigious collection of Children’s Book Press alive, and have the opportunity to build on its 36-year history,” said Jason Low, Publisher of LEE & LOW BOOKS.
It’s HERE! We are super excited to share the cover of Vodník by Bryce Moore, out this March from our Tu Books imprint. About the book:
Short version: Slovakian fairy tales! Roma characters! CASTLES!!
Long version: Vodník is a YA contemporary fantasy about Tomas, a Roma teen who moves with his family from the US back to Slovakia and discovers that the folk tale creatures he befriended as a young boy are more dangerous than he knew, especially a vodník who has begun drowning local townspeople (deaths for which Roma like Tomas are blamed). When he learns that his own cousin’s life is in danger, Tomas makes a deal with Death to save her – but can anyone cheat death forever?
Our very own author/adventurer/world record-breaker Jan Reynolds will be hosting a live, free webinar this Friday from Bali, the site of her award-winning book, Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life: A Story of Sustainable Farming.
We’re getting excited to head down to New Orleans this week for the American Library Association Annual Conference. New Orleans has always been one of my favorite cities, and I’m looking forward to
eating piles of beignets meeting many awesome librarians while we’re down there. If you’ll be there too, please stop by booth #1132 to say hello! Here’s what we’ll have going on:
SATURDAY, 2-3PM: Under the Mesquite ARC signing and giveaway with debut author Guadalupe Garcia McCall. This is a PHENOMENAL book – it made me cry right at my desk – so you’ll definitely want to snag a copy.
We know we’ve done something right when readers share their excitement for our books with the entire Internet. Amy Cheney, librarian at Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, is one of those excited readers: she made a video with other staff at the ACJJC, all explaining why they love Yummy and why it’s great for the kids they work with every day.
LEE & LOW BOOKS is an independent, family owned company that brings diversity to the pages of its children’s books , middle grade novels and young adult novels. Our goal is to meet the need for stories that children of color can identify with and that all children can enjoy.. One of the extensions of Lee & Low Books is our imprint BEBOP BOOKS. These books help bring stories to children who are just beginning their reading experience. They are child-centered stories that provide beginner reader content for guided reading and intervention settings. Bebop authors and illustrators are of diverse backgrounds, resulting in books with appealing text and pictures that children will enjoy and learn from.
‘Tis the time of year when advance copies of our new fall books begin trickling into the office, and I wish I could bring every one of you here in person to leaf through them and chat over delicious baked goods and lemonade. However, since apparating is not yet possible outside of Harry Potter, a virtual preview will have to do.
But first, some virtual desserts to go with:
And now let us get on with our program.
SEASIDE DREAM, by Janet Costa Bates and illustrated by Lambert Davis, September, Ages 6-10
This lovely picture book about a girl and her grandmother won a New Voices Award Honor from Lee & Low when it was first submitted, so it’s exciting to see it as a real book. It’s about a young girl, Cora, who struggles to find the perfect gift for her grandmother, just in time for a birthday beach party.
Cora’s grandmother is from Cape Verde, a country off the coast of Africa that I knew little about before this book. It’s a lovely and unique culture. But what I like most about Seaside Dream is that it reflects an experience common to all immigrants, no matter where they come from originally: a loneliness for the people and places they left behind. At the end of the story, Cora finds a perfect way to ease this loneliness for her grandmother.
We’re packing up and shipping out this weekend to the American Library Association annual convention in Washington, D.C. If you’ll be there too, we’d love to see you!
We’ll be at booth #2711 all day every day, so stop on by. If our charm and good looks alone are not enough to entice you (ahem), we’ll also be giving away ARCs of our FIRST EVER GRAPHIC NOVEL, Yummy! Yes, OK, I am really excited about this one.
We’ll also be giving away posters featuring the oh-so-lovely artwork of Seaside Dream plus other posters and bookmarks. Plus we’ve got a jam-packed signing schedule of super authors and illustrators:
Saturday, June 26
9-10 am: Ching Yeung Russell (Tofu Quilt)
We’re all about diversity here at Lee & Low, and we know that diversity means more than just race. It’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, and we’re wondering what our readers would think about picture books portraying the growing number of families led by same-sex parents—would you buy or review picture books featuring same-sex parents, whether for your library, classroom, kids, or personal collection?
There are plenty of books out now teaching us to respect the environment. But do they do it themselves? The question of whether books are “green” tends to make readers more than a little uncomfortable, because much as we all love the feel of leafing through a book, hey, that’s a lot of trees. So, just how environmentally friendly are books? Here’s what you need to know (thanks to our Production Manager, Danny, for the full rundown):
1. Books are meant to be kept. On the pro side, books have a rather longer shelf life than, well, most things. They don’t need to be thrown out when we’re done with them, won’t break or expire. And if you don’t want them, there’s always a need for them somewhere else – a school or local library – so books don’t end up in landfills like most other things. That’s good.
2. The paper used in the manufacturing process comes from trees meant for paper. Book paper mostly comes from tree farms, not irreplaceable 500-year-old trees. Tree farms feature fast-growing, replenishable trees that are less expensive to log and maintain, and easier to implement in an industrialized setting.