Welcome to our Spring 2018 Children’s Announcements issue! In our first feature, we take a look at the growing market for Chinese children’s books, both in China and in the U.S. We also ask a number of publishing professionals to recall memorable words of advice they learned early in their careers from industry veterans. Finally, we profile the humor-loving Mac Barnett, who has five books due out this year. All this plus our comprehensive A-to-Z listings of titles being released by children’s and YA publishers between Feb. 1 and July 31, 2018.
About Our Cover Artist
In the eight years since his picture book debut, Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast, author-illustrator Philip C. Stead has garnered considerable acclaim, both for his solo titles and for his collaborations. His 2010 book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead, won the Caldecott Medal.
Last summer, the Steads undertook a new kind of collaboration: they became parents. “She’s about the sweetest kid you’ll ever meet,” Stead says of his daughter. “But, lately, she doesn’t sleep between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m.”
In spite of the sleep deprivation, the couple seems to have developed a mutually supportive routine. “Right now Erin’s on deadline, so it’s a lot of me holding the baby while she works.” When that project is complete, “she’ll be the babysitter and I’ll work for a while.”
Stead has already begun sharing his work with their daughter, particularly A Sick Day for Amos McGee. He often recited the book to the newborn while taking her on walks near their home in northern Michigan. “It’s the only book of mine that I know by heart. Now, I think the sound of it automatically calms her down when she’s fussing,” he says. Other read-aloud favorites include Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day, and Hooray for Fish! and Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins.
The Steads met as teens in a high school art class. “Even from the first days, we were talking about picture books,” Stead says. They currently share a studio in a renovated barn, with a library in a loft space above. Though they tried having their own workspaces, they soon realized that they don’t like being apart while they work. “It’s much easier to have an idea or a question and lob it over to the other person.”
Stead also enjoys “tinkering” with musical instruments in the studio. “When I’m creatively blocked, I like to make a little noise,” he says. He plays the guitar, banjo, ukulele, and accordion. (“And I can play piano really slowly.”)
Music also features in the Steads’ next collaboration. Philip recently handed over a picture book text for Erin to illustrate: Music for Mister Moon, due from Neal Porter’s new imprint at Holiday House in spring 2019. “The story is about a girl who plays the cello, but she isn’t interested in playing in front of other people—even if they want her to,” he says. “It’s a strange little story, but one that I think is a good reflection of who both Erin and I were as children.” —E.K.
The Growth of Chinese Children’s Books
U.S. publishers cross borders to import more children’s books from China, as Chinese publishers create contemporary stories.
Children's Publishing Lessons, Learned
We asked children’s publishers to tell us things they learned about publishing earlier in their careers from industry veterans— advice that they still think about to this day
Mac Barnett: The Prankster Is In
Barnett has produced dozens of books on a myriad of topics over the past decade—and he's dead serious about making books fun.
Spring 2018 Children's Announcements: Publishers A-F
Spring 2018 Children's Announcements: Publishers G-M
Spring 2018 Children's Announcements: Publishers N-R
Spring 2018 Children's Announcements: Publishers S-Z