Massachusetts educator and children’s book author Pendred Noyce (Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Pictures, Scarletta Press, 2011) has launched a new children’s book publishing company called Tumblehome Learning. Tumblehome Learning will specialize in publishing fiction and nonfiction books with science, mathematics, and engineering themes for readers, ages 7-16. Ian Leask, Scarletta Press’s publisher since that company was founded in 2006, has been tapped by Noyce to serve as Tumblehome Learning’s publisher. Leask, who is based in Minneapolis, will officially assume his new responsibilities on January 2, 2012.
“Tumblehome is going to fill what we consider to be a gap in children’s literature,” Leask explained, explaining that 50% of Tumblehome Learning’s releases will be written by American authors, and the other 50% by authors from the rest of the world. Tumblehome will publish six books in 2012, 12 books in 2013, and at least 12 books each year after that.
Tumblehome Learning’s debut list will include the launches of two book series that will be published in both print and e-book formats: the Galactic Academy of Science Series of mystery novels for elementary-grade readers, and the Go Off and Do Something Wonderful series of biographies for readers ages 12 and up. The first two releases in the G.A.S. Files series are The Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip by Pendred Noyce, illustrated by Pedro Bessat; and The Furious Case of the Fraudulent Fossil by Barnas Monteith, illustrated by Pedro Bessat.The first two releases in the Go Off and Do Something Wonderful series are Jack Horner: “Try Not to Go Extinct,” a biography of the dinosaur scientist by Barnas Monteith; and Robert Noyce: “Go Off and Do Something Wonderful,” a biography of the inventor of the microchip by Pendred Noyce (his daughter), with Leslie Berlin. All of the books will retail for $9.95 in print.
In fall 2012 Tumblehome Learning will also release two stand-alone novels in both print and email formats: Venus: Daedalus One, an SF graphic novel by Jeffrey Morris, Ira Livingston IV, and Chaz Truog ($14.95, print), for ages 12 and up, and Kelvin McCloud and the Seaside Storm, a science mystery by Michael Erb ($9.95, print) for middle grade readers.
Besides these books published in print formats, in fall 2012 Tumblehome Learning will release only in e-book format Dinosaur Eggs and Blue Ribbons, a memoir by Barnas Monteith in which he narrates his experience during his youth entering science fairs.
Prices have not yet been set for Tumblehome’s digital releases.
Each book series published by Tumblehome will include an activity kit and online activities designed to further encourage children’s interest in math, science, and engineering. While Tumblehome books will primarily be marketed to schools, libraries, and museums, they will also be made available to the trade and through direct sales. Company executives are currently “in negotiations with distributors and other “potential partners,” Leask explained.
Besides Tumblehome Learning president, Noyce, and its publisher, Leask, company executives include Peter Wong and Barnas Monteith. Wong is handling packaging and activity kits; Monteith is in charge of production.
Leask, who will maintain Tumblehome’s editorial offices in Minneapolis “for now,” intends to continue consulting with Scarletta Press. He will also continue hosting the literary program, Write On! Radio, for KFAI, a public radio station in Minneapolis.
Scarletta representatives were unavailable for comment by press time. In a press release sent to PW, however, the company said that it intends to place a “stronger emphasis” on its children’s book imprint, Scarletta JR. Scarletta published Noyce’s middle-grade novel, Lost in Lexicon, this August. Three more middle-grade novels by Noyce will be published by Scarletta JR over the next three years. Scarletta titles are distributed by PGW.