The year 2012 boasts a bumper crop of milestones for children’s publishers, and a number of houses have arrived at BEA ready to celebrate. Here’s a look at some of the anniversaries—of companies, imprints, series, or books—that publishers are commemorating at the show.
HarperCollins Children’s Books is marking Charlotte’s Web’s 60th year in print at booth 3339, 3340 with a raffle for a gift basket of items inspired by E.B. White’s classic, including a writing notebook; a copy of the 60th anniversary edition of the novel, which features a tribute by Kate DiCamillo; and a fern. Visitors to the booth can drop off business cards or provide contact info to enter the raffle; the winner will be announced tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. In honor of the book, which has 25 million copies in print, the publisher has a facsimile web set up in the booth and is encouraging those stopping by to write a favorite word on a note card and hang it on the web.
At booth 3358, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group is continuing its yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which has 10 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. Today and tomorrow at 9 a.m., anniversary tote bags are being given out to mark the occasion. The publisher will follow up its January publication of A Wrinkle in Time: 50th Anniversary Edition (in a Farrar, Straus and Giroux hardcover and Square Fish paperback) with three October releases: The Wrinkle in Time Quintet (slipcased collector’s edition), a paperback bind-up of A Wrinkle in Time Trilogy, and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson. An adult title, Leonard Marcus’s Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices, is due from FSG in November.
Scholastic has a quartet of celebrations under way at booth 3439. To mark the 50th birthday of Norman Bridwell’s Clifford, the publisher kicks off a school year–long commemoration of the beloved big red dog’s five decades in print in September, when it releases Norman Bridwell’s Clifford Collection—50th Anniversary, a compilation of the six original stories. The canine hero has clearly endeared himself to youngsters: there are more than 126 million Clifford books in print. Fans who want to wish this iconic character many happy returns will have a chance to be photographed with a costumed Clifford at Scholastic’s booth today, noon–1 p.m. and 4–5 p.m., and tomorrow, 9–10 a.m.
The publisher is also spreading word of Klutz’s 35th anniversary and is unveiling a new box-packaging format for the imprint’s releases. Klutz titles will continue to offer materials and instructions for completing activities, but the new packaging will be more durable and stackable, and will feature a more cohesive branding for easy identification.
Scholastic is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, which, with more than 300 million copies in print, has scared oodles of kids over two decades. Stine’s latest additions to the line are Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask, the first hardcover release in the series, due in July, and Goosebumps: Most Wanted #1: Planet of the Lawn Gnomes, an October title. Goosebumps fans with a sweet tooth will want to visit the booth tomorrow at 3 p.m., when Stine will be on hand to celebrate with anniversary cake.
And—tra-la-laaa!—Captain Underpants turns 15 in the fall. On August 28, Scholastic will publish Dav Pilkey’s ninth adventure starring this superhero, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers, with a one-million-copy first printing. Photo op alert: fans of the series (and with 50 million copies in print in the U.S. alone, there are many) can cozy up to the eight-foot inflatable Captain Underpants at the booth today, 10–11 a.m. and 2–3 p.m.; and tomorrow, 11 a.m.–noon and 1–2 p.m.
The folks from Peachtree Publishers are spreading word of the Atlanta-based company’s 35th anniversary at booth 2865. Peachtree is an independently owned publisher specializing in children’s books, and it also maintains a line of adult backlist titles. The company originally emphasized works by Southern writers exclusively, particularly in the areas of adult fiction and humor. Since then, the house’s author base has expanded considerably, and the company now publishes 25–30 titles annually. A staple of the children’s backlist is 1994’s The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael P. White. At its booth, the publisher is giving away buttons promoting these collaborators’ September sequel, Return of the Library Dragon. Visitors to the booth can also enter a raffle to win 35 first editions of Peachtree releases, one from each year of the publisher’s existence; the winner will be notified after BEA.
At the Sourcebooks booth (4112), there’s a double celebration in progress: the publisher is commemorating its 25-year mark, and its children’s imprint, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, is marking its fifth anniversary. That imprint is now helmed by editorial manager Steve Geck, who arrived at the house from Greenwillow last fall. Among the 25th anniversary promotions and giveaways at the booth (a full list will be announced on Sourcebooks’ Twitter account this morning) is a raffle for 25 of the company’s bestselling titles; one winner will be announced each day of the show.
To celebrate Candlewick Press’s 20th anniversary, the publisher is raffling off a set of 20 Candlewick picture books, both classics and newer titles. Booksellers visiting booth 2758 can enter the raffle, and the winner will be contacted after the show. T-shirts touting the anniversary will be given out today and tomorrow.
Those entering the Javits Center lobby will notice a Brain Quest–themed minivan on display, one of three that Workman Publishing will send on the road from August to November to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Brain Quest, which boasts an in-print tally of 36 million copies. The vans will visit a total of 150 cities, where spelling bee–like Brain Quest Challenges will be held at stores, libraries, and schools. A kick-off Brain Quest Challenge takes place on Thursday, 12:30–1:30 p.m., at the Downtown Authors Stage (DZ2000). Those visiting Workman’s booth (4158, 4258) can learn about the publisher’s Brain Quest college tuition sweepstakes. Workman is also hosting a children’s book author signing at the booth: tomorrow, 11 a.m.–noon, Chris Alexander will sign posters and do an origami demonstration to promote Star Wars Origami.
At booth 3467, Barefoot Books is celebrating its 20-year milestone as an independent children’s publisher. Staffers are giving out lime-green shopping bags for book-laden fairgoers, as well as copies of the company’s 2012–2013 catalogue. Spotlighted at the booth is the recently released Barefoot Books World Atlas and its complementary Barefoot World Atlas iPad app, which visitors can demo. Also featured here are the latest titles in the publishers Independent Readers for Independent Children, a collection of adventure stories from across the world.
And Bloomsbury is commemorating the 10th anniversary of Bloomsbury Kids, which since 2002 has published picture books and middle-grade and YA fiction and nonfiction. The imprint further broadened its range with the 2005 acquisition of Walker Books for Young Readers. Highlights of Bloomsbury Kids’ backlist include actress Shannon Hale’s Newbery Honor Book, Princess Academy; NAACP Image Award Winner Our Children Can Soar by Michelle Cook; Julianne Moore’s Freckleface Strawberry series; Simone Elkeles’s Perfect Chemistry series; and Carrie Jones’s bestselling Need and Captivate. Visitors to booth 3458 can enter a raffle for an iPad loaded with selections from books on Bloomsbury’s adult and children’s lists.
Happy anniversary to one and all!