Shambhala Publications will launch its new children’s imprint Bala Kids on February 5, 2019, with the release of Everything is Connected, a picture book by Jason Gruhl and illustrated by Ignasi Font.
The new imprint, which PW initially reported in February, will be led by Ivan Bercholz, publisher, and Juree Sondker, editorial director. Bercholz is the son of Shambhala Publications’ founder Sam Bercholz, and is the second-generation owner of the company, along with his sister, Sara Bercholz.
“This has been something that we've been thinking about and building toward for a number of years, but last year the right combination of people and inspiration came together to make it a reality,” Bercholz told PW.
Sondker, who joined Shambhala as editor in 2016, will continue to edit for Shambhala’s Roost Books imprint in addition for Bala Kids.
The inaugural Bala Kids list also includes Where’s Buddha by author-illustrator Marisa Aragón Ware, and releases on February 12. The Sitting Still Like a Frog Activity Book by Eline Snel, based on her meditation book for kids Sitting Still Like a Frog, will follow on April 9. The press will publish a total of six children's titles in 2019, with plans to increase output to up to 12 books in subsequent years.
Shambhala, which was founded in 1969, has published children’s books in the past, but Bala Kids signifies a growing need, according to president Nikko Odiseos. “We are thrilled to be filling what we see as a big gap in authentic, engaging, and meaningful books on meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and Buddhism and hope, to both ignite a new generation of readers and to give powerful tools to their parents,” he told PW.
The new imprint joins existing Shambhala imprints Snow Lion and Roost, as well as the publisher's educational branch, Prajna Studios. Like Shambhala, Bala Kids will be distributed to the trade by Random House.