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Publishers Weekly Children's Features

New Leaf at Live Oak
-- 8/24/98
Live Oak Media, known for its audio and video adaptations of children's books, has a new owner. Arnold Cardillo, former v-p of sales and marketing for Listening Library, and his wife, Debra Skiver Cardillo, who has 15 years of experience in children's book marketing, have purchased the company.
Husband-and-wife team Roy and Thelma Oakley founded the company in Pine Plains, N.Y., in 1980. Under their guidance, the Live Oak catalogue grew to more than 200 audio and video versions of award-winning picture books and middle-grade readers, many available in both English and Spanish. When Roy Oakley died in 1995, Thelma succeeded him as president, directing the business for two more years. She recently decided to sell Live Oak Media and pursue other interests. The Cardillos are continuing Live Oak operations from the Pine Plains location.

Live Oak titles have traditionally been distributed to the school and library markets. However, according to Debra Cardillo, the company plans to expand into trade outlets and is already gaining a presence in such bookstore chains as Borders. A recent picture-book-and-cassette title is The Gardener by Sarah Stewart; among the new offerings for fall are adaptations of Bub, or the Very Best Thing by Natalie Babbitt and Shrek! by William Steig.
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