Although Chelsea Green has published a number of titles suitable for children over the past 22 years, its first dedicated children's list, Chelsea Green Kids, is making its debut this fall. A combination of the right books and the addition of Peg O'Donnell, who has a strong background in children's publishing, as marketing director persuaded Chelsea president Margo Baldwin that the time had come to increase the publisher's presence in the children's market.

Chelsea Green Kids is launching with 13 books; among its first titles is Bayberry and Beau, a book that had been self-published by Nita Choukas and which Baldwin signed after galleys of the book (actually paperback editions) were warmly received by booksellers at BEA. The hardcover edition of Bayberry has just been released by Chelsea.

A significant part of the children's list comprises books that the company is distributing. Gaia Girls is a science adventure series written by Lee Welles for ages nine and up. Each of the books, starting with Enter the Earth, illustrated by Ann Hameister, features a girl in a different region of the world who must learn to use one of the four elements—earth, air, fire and water—to help Gaia (the Earth) survive.

Chelsea Green also inked a distribution deal with Gunter Pauli for his Zeri Fables, a series of bilingual Spanish/English science books that originated in Colombia. The first 11 books, aimed at children age five to eight, are out this month.

Said Baldwin, "We have to figure out what comes next. In terms of the spring, we'll have a Gaia book on Water and seven more Zeri Fables." She would also like to publish how-tos in some of Chelsea Green's strongest subject areas, including solar energy, good eating and gardening.