HarperCollins Children's Books made two announcements this week. Maria Modugno, former associate publisher and editorial director of Little, Brown children's division, was named v-p and editorial director, reporting to editor-in-chief Kate Jackson. In her 15 years at Little, Brown, Modugno developed and edited Marc Brown's Arthur series and the Toot and Puddle books by Holly Hobbie, and worked with such authors and illustrators as Jane Dyer, David McPhail, Gail Gibbons and Nora Raleigh Baskin. She will join Harper on February 3.

Harper also announced the creation of a new imprint, Katherine Tegen Books. Tegen began her career in children's books at Harper & Row; she has also worked at Houghton Mifflin and Hyperion Books for Children, and returned to HarperCollins as editorial director at large in 2000. Among the authors and illustrators she has worked with are Hilary Knight, Robert Sabuda, Rosemary Wells and Julie Andrews. Her imprint will debut this fall.


Looking to increase interest for its books among reading groups, HarperCollins has announced a plan to involve authors with groups that read their books. Every month, the publisher will select one or more authors and make them available for phone discussons with the groups. Reading groups who choose the author and the particular title Harper has flagged can register at HarperCollins.com for a chance to win. Harper will then select a few groups at random. Ann Patchett and Wally Lamb are the first two authors to be available.