Phoenix International Publications is launching Sequoia Kids Media, a new imprint targeting the school and library market. SKM will reside within the Sequoia Children’s Publishing imprint at PIP and will feature content culled from all of PIP’s imprints as well as newly acquired content. The core demographic for PIP is kids ages three to six; SKM’s list will focus on that sweet spot as well, but may ultimately stretch as high as second grade.
PIP—formerly the children’s division of Publications International before its purchase by Chinese publisher Phoenix Media in 2014—has been around for 30 years. Since the acquisition, it has introduced a number of imprints as it has expanded beyond its historical strength in sound books, licensed titles, and other mass market formats. “It’s becoming more important to reach out into different markets,” said Christine Fey, editor-in-chief of Sequoia Children’s Publishing, who heads up SKM. “The school and library market is one we’ve never really participated in before. We saw potential there.”
SKM’s first list, in spring 2021, will consist of 46 titles across 11 series, including library editions of content mined from all of the company’s other imprints. The Active Minds series, an early learning line, comes from Sequoia Children’s Publishing, which specializes in books for children and their parents and caregivers to experience together. The Mask That Loved to Count is a title in the Hopeful picture book series from Cardinal Media, an imprint devoted to English translations of content developed by PIP’s parent company for the Chinese market. Four titles will come from Sunbird, the imprint launched in spring 2020 for non-licensed board books, storybooks, graphic novels, and other formats from a diverse group of authors and illustrators.
The spring list will also feature titles from PI Kids’ Look and Find series, a 30-year-old franchise that serves as a bridge for reluctant readers. One of those titles is Look and Find Marvel Spider-Man. PI Kids holds a variety of licenses and a handful of those will make their way onto SKM’s list as school and library rights are secured; spring 2021 will include six licensed offerings.
The fall 2021 list is still in development, but plans call for up to 80 books across 15 series, including some new acquisitions. One notable title will be an early-learning graphic novel under the Active Minds brand. All titles from the imprint will include ebooks and read-alongs, where the company has relevant rights.
“The school and library market is where children spend a great deal of their time,” Fey said. “Schools and libraries get books into everybody’s hands, and we want to be part of that experience.”