Tiger Tales, a publisher of picture and novelty books, is making a leap into middle-grade nonfiction with a new imprint, 360 Degrees. True to its name, the imprint is dedicated to creating interactive, illustrated books that explore the world from multiple angles. The Connecticut publisher, whose parent company is Little Tiger Press in the U.K., is launching 360 Degrees this month with four books.

London-based Tom Truong, who has held several design positions at Little Tiger’s various imprints since joining the company in 2003, is the creator and publisher of 360 Degrees. Truong noted that “curiosity” sparked the development of the new imprint. “We saw growth in the market and an opportunity to produce some high quality nonfiction, at a competitive price,” he said. “Our team had some fantastic ideas, and we just thought, ‘Why not?’ It was very organic, and we’ve carried this curiosity over into inspiring each book. We want to bridge the gap between traditional reference and high-end gift books with titles that are accessible and informative, but above all, fun.”

Troung conceived of the imprint’s debut release, StoryWorlds: Nature after his colleagues challenged him to come up with a book concept that was “something completely different and unexpected.” The result is this wordless book, created by Thomas Hegbrook, which features stories told through art depicting a range of habitats, flora, and fauna. Readers are encouraged to step into the role of narrator to interpret the scenes, which reappear at the back of the book with fact-filled annotations.

“I love it when I am challenged,” said Troung of the inspiration behind this large-format volume. “One day, I headed home with the concept and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I think that’s because it’s the kind of book I feel strongly that my son should have around him. Being wordless, it should resonate with him for a longer time than if we’d been more overt with the facts. The book’s uses will change over time, with fewer ‘whats?’ and more “whys?’ ”

Rounding out the 360 Degrees inaugural list are three titles that also reflect the imprint’s global reach and focus on interactive formats. Hello World: A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by L’Atelier Cartographik, is a book with flaps that reveals how to greet people across the globe in more than 150 languages. Libby Walden’s In Focus examines the inner workings of 101 “wonders” of the world, ranging from landmarks to animals to transportation, and features full-page flaps and the work of 10 illustrators. And Wilderness: An Interactive Atlas of Animals by Hannah Pang, illustrated by Jenny Wren, explores Earth’s diverse biomes through lift-the-flaps, movable wheels, and miniature books-within-the-book.

Troung noted that 360 Degrees will publish 12–14 books annually, “depending on opportunity and ideas,” and that the titles will be released simultaneously in the U.S. by Tiger Tales and in the U.K. by Little Tiger. Next spring’s offerings include The Earth Book by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Hegbrook, a 64-page overview of the planet that spans plants, animals, people, and cities; and Things That Grow and Animal Journeys, which launch a series of small-format hardcovers. Also in development are sequels to StoryWorlds: Nature, In Focus, and Wilderness.

Looking ahead, the publisher anticipated that 360 Degrees will explore new editorial and design possibilities with books that continue to fulfill the imprint’s mission. “It’s great to be making books we truly believe in – books that children can enjoy, learn from, share, and discuss, and that get them excited about the world around them,” he said. “We have many ideas for new and exciting projects, and we are open to exploring all topics for a variety of ages and audiences. We want to inspire curiosity in everyone. And I love the fact that our inspiration for new books can come from anywhere!”

StoryWorlds: Nature by Thomas Hegbrook. Tiger Tales/360 Degrees, $24.99 Sept. ISBN 978-1-944530-01-3

Hello World: A Celebration of Language and Curiosity by Jonathan Litton, illus. by L’Atelier Cartographik. Tiger Tales/360 Degrees, $19.99 Sept. ISBN 978-1-944530-00-6

In Focus by Libby Walden. Tiger Tales/360 Degrees, $22.99 Sept. ISBN 978-1-944530-02-3

Wilderness: An Interactive Atlas of Animals by Hannah Pang, illus. by Jenny Wren. Tiger Tales/360 Degrees, $22.99 Sept. ISBN 978-1-944530-03-7