A new, as-yet-unnamed imprint of the Macmillan Children's Publishing Group has been formed, with three high-ranking employees in Workman Publishing's children's division departing the smaller publisher en masse to take its helm.
The imprint, which Macmillan said is "centered around imaginative and innovative books that inspire kids to explore, learn, and have fun while helping them develop the skills to do so," will be led by publisher Daniel Nayeri, editorial director Nathalie Le Du, and creative director Colleen AF Venable. Nayeri will report to MCPG president and publisher Jon Yaged, and Le Du and Venable will report to Nayeri.
“Our new imprint will be a collaboration of makers in the communal pursuit of creating art objects for great and terrible children,” said Nayeri. “It's no wonder that Macmillan, with its commitment to creative nonconformity, was the perfect place for us to build a new kind of imprint.”
While at Workman, the trio focused on a similar sort of product, primarily interactive nonfiction books for young readers, and headed the team behind the Paint by Sticker, Brain Quest, Indestructibles, and Big Fat Notebooks franchises. (Workman general manager Jill Salayi previously told PW that Venable was hired to “make art objects for great and terrible children.”)
“Our vision as an imprint is interactive books, playful books, substantive, useful, and informative books in formats kids have never seen before," Le Du said, to which Venable added: “We want to make books kids see and immediately need to hold, with every element carefully thought out, from the cover to the spine to the details on those often-neglected copyright pages.”
Nayeri, who joined Workman in 2013 as director of the children's department, was promoted to publisher in 2017; Le Du was named the department's executive editor at the same time. Venable, a PW Star Watch 2017 finalist, was the longtime designer for Macmillan's First Second graphic novel imprint before moving to Workman in 2014, where she served as art director.
Responding to the move, Susan Bolotin, publisher and editorial director at Workman, said that her company “has been publishing iconic children's books and leading brands for more than 40 years. Creativity is in our DNA. We have no doubt that our growth will continue in the hands of the staff we have and new hires to come.”