Welcome to our Fall 2017 Children’s Announcements issue! Bridging old and new themes in bookselling, we spoke with some of the nation’s oldest children’s specialty bookstores about keeping current in the ever-evolving indie landscape. In another feature, we take a look at new subscription boxes, flash sales, and other nontraditional avenues for reaching customers. We also profile the prolific Jason Reynolds, who has three books due out this fall. Finally, we asked a number of publishing professionals to look back on memorable meetings with their literary idols. All this plus our comprehensive A-to-Z listings of titles being released by children’s and YA publishers between Aug. 1, 2017, and Jan. 31, 2018. Happy reading!
Lessons from the Country’s Oldest Children’s Bookstores
We checked in with some longstanding children’s specialty stores that have successfully weathered major changes in the business—and remain vital in their communities.
New E-Commerce Opportunities for Kids' Books
Children’s publishers look to subscription boxes, flash sales sites, and other channels for incremental sales and exposure.
Jason Reynolds is the Hardest-Working Man in Washington
With three new books coming out this fall, the prolific author continues to exceed his limits.
Kids' Book Experts Meet Their Idols
Publishers from a number of houses recall their early encounters with the literary luminaries they loved in their youth.
About Our Cover Artist
It’s been a busy three years for Mike Curato since being named a PW Flying Start for his debut picture book, Little Elliot, Big City, about the adventures of a polka-dotted elephant in New York City. Curato currently has four published books out in the world, with another two to be released next month. That’s six in three years, and there are two more in the pipeline for 2018. Also on the drawing board is an LGBTQ-themed YA graphic novel. “I work on it when I can,” he says, “but it keeps getting pushed.”
Creating picture books has proved fulfilling for Curato on a number of levels. “I enjoy how picture books are made for children but accessible for everyone,” he says. “I love the universality of the medium. And I love making art. It just seems my favorite way of making art is via storytelling.”
One frequent pastime is browsing picture books in bookstores and in libraries and getting more familiar with various artists. At the library, he says, “I like to check out a pile of books by one author, and live in their worlds for a while—see how they evolved, get to know their work better.” Recent favorites include Leo Lionni (“I was really inspired by how he tackled visual problems”) and Jon Agee. “Publishing is just so huge,” he says. “There are people with decades of experience I’m just not familiar with. There’s so much to explore, a lot to learn.”
Curato moved from Seattle to Brooklyn in 2013, after working as a graphic designer, and stayed for three years. “I made a lot of picture book friends there,” he says. “It was so awesome, meeting people who understood my passion. That was really meaningful for me, to find my tribe.” Now a resident of Northampton, Mass., where he and his husband moved a year ago, Curato says he has an “extended tribe” there as well. And while he sometimes misses the big city, he admits that “when I lived in Brooklyn I felt like I had to try to do everything—book events, signings, exhibits.” He adds, “I’m at a time in my career when I need to put my head down and work.”
And how does he feel about his career in picture books?
“I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”—D.R.