Highlights for Children has sold its trade book publishing arm, comprised of Boyds Mills Press and its affiliated imprints, Calkins Creek and WordSong, to Kane Press. The new company, called Boyds Mills & Kane, will be headquartered in the Kane Press offices in New York City, and is owned by Thinkingdom Ltd, a subsidiary of the Beijing-based Thinkingdom Media Group. The new ownership is effective immediately.
“I am overjoyed to welcome the Boyds Mills imprints into the Kane Press family,” Kane Press publisher Juliana Lauletta said in a statement. “As Boyds Mills & Kane, we are committed to working closely with our talented authors, illustrators, and agents, and to continuing our mission of creating amazing books for kids, young adults, and kids-at-heart.”
The decision, representatives from Highlights said, "reflects an increased focus on its growing branded business." In a statement, Mary-Alice Moore, senior v-p and publisher of the Highlights Retail Group, added: "BMP has been an important, vibrant part of the Highlights legacy of serving kids and families. But the expansion of our Highlights branded businesses—in publishing, licensing, digital, and international—means we are no longer able to devote the appropriate strategic attention and resources that the BMP books so richly deserve."
The new company’s business operations will be overseen by president Leying Jiang, and Lauletta will serve as publisher. Ordering information for all titles will remain the same until further notice. As a part of the move, Calkins Creek senior editor Carolyn Yoder, Boyds Mills Press and WordSong senior editor Rebecca Davis, and Boyds Mills Press group art director Barbara Grzeslo, marketing manager Kerry McManus, and assistant editor Suzy Krogulski will all move to the newly formed company. Moore, along with longtime Highlights staffers Liz Van Doren and Michael Eisenberg, will be staying on at Highlights and focusing on other areas of the company.
With assets across five imprints—Boyds Mills Press, Calkins Creek, Kane Press, StarBerry Books, and WordSong—the Boyds Mills & Kane library will contain, the companies said, 1,000 titles in print, including books that have received Sibert Medal as well as Newbery, Printz, Coretta Scott King, and Geisel Honors.
Correction: This article's title initially stated that Highlights was exiting the book publishing business; it is, in fact, only selling its Boyds Mills Press trade publishing arm. The Highlights Press and Highlights Learning imprints will not be affected by this sale, nor will its education group.