The children's book publishing program at the Vermont Folklife Center is getting its first makeover since it was established three years ago. The nonprofit center will continue to publish one children's book each fall, based on family stories from its archives of 3,800 taped interviews.

To ratchet up the quality of its offerings, the center has hired Anita Silvey, former head of children's books at Houghton Mifflin, to serve as editor. "Never in my publishing experience had I been offered the opportunity to focus on one book—and one author and illustrator—for a year. I found the concept irresistible," Silvey told PW. She will continue to teach children's literature at both St. Michael's College and the University of Vermont. She is also the author of the forthcoming The 100 Best Books for Children (Houghton Mifflin, spring '04).

The center's children's program has been retitled the Vermont Folklife Center Children's Book Series; formerly it was known as the Family Heritage Series. "We felt that while the books deal with family heritage—these are all stories told again and again in families—the important thing is that the Vermont Folklife Center is doing them," said Jane Beck, executive director of the center and founder of the program.

In other news, the center announced that as of July 1, the University Press of New England will sell its books to the trade. "Both of us cater to New England," Beck said. "It seems like a nice fit." This is the first children's line for UPNE, which currently represents 15 publishers.

The first book to come out as part of the VFC Children's Book Series will be Susan Milord's The Ghost on the Hearth (Oct.), illustrated by Lydia Dabcovich. It is based on a French Canadian ghost story dating back to the 1830s.