Dallas, Tex.-based Mathew Price, a children’s book publisher of pop-up and lift-the-flap books, is making a commitment to multiculturalism that goes beyond the color of a character’s skin (or fur), by publishing its books in multiple languages. According to marketing consultant Janey Tannenbaum, almost every book on the fall MP list is available in both English and Spanish-language editions, using exactly the same heavy paper, covers and mechanics it has used in the past. Next year, in addition to Spanish, the company will add editions in Korean and Chinese.
Among the first books in Spanish are books for the very young like the El Carrito Rojo (The Little Red Car) series by Mathew Price, illustrated by Steve Augarde; and counting books like Colin Hawkins’s Restando monstruos (Takeaway Monsters) and Sumando animales (Adding Animals). So far the biggest impediment to this new line has been the increased cost of printing overseas. Several titles had such complex paper engineering that Mathew Price will wait to reissue them in Spanish or other languages. For the most part, the company has been able to take advantage of some economies of scale, even though most pop-ups are done by hand, to make their books affordable, from $6.95 to $14.95.
“It turns out people are very interested in these, like bilingual families and people who want their children to learn another language,” Tannenbaum says. Mathew Price has also been getting orders from independent booksellers, as well as literacy programs that provide books for inner-city kids and new mothers.