In a further case of life imitating art, author Torben Kuhlmann will visit the United States in May, and we are sure he will become a sensation, just like his brave little mouse. Events are planned at McNally Jackson Bookstore in Manhattan, The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC and at the Book Expo America—the biggest bookselling conference in America.
The book will be on sale May 2014, and reviews to date have been simply smashing! The Huffington Post called it “Perhaps the most visually stunning book of the year…” and Elizabeth Bird of Fuse #8 Production Blog at SLJ.com opined that “the sheer beauty of this book is likely to overwhelm the senses.” NorthSouth is overwhelmed at the reception Lindbergh is getting here in the USA!
Hooray for Hello Mr. Hulot!
We were excited to publish David Merveille’s enchanting Hello Mr. Hulot this fall. Inspired by the classic character created by French film maker Jacques Tati, the book follows Mr. Hulot’s adventures in Paris and beyond. Tati and Mr. Hulot have quite the cult following, but the reception to David’s beautiful artwork has been quite wonderful! The book received a star from Kirkus, just before the American Library Association Annual Meeting in June. We were then notified that it would be a Junior Library Guild selection, which is a wonderful seal of approval–the JLG is quite a distinguished organization! Just this past week, The Horn Book let us know that Hello Mr Hulot will receive a starred review in their January/Feburary issue. And this morning we woke to a fabulous article on the Huffington Post, naming Hello Mr Hulot as a honorable mention for the Best Picture Books of the Year list.
Hello Mr Hulot is a great example of how a book builds…one great review that came at the right time brought the book into focus at a great gathering of librarians. An enthusiastic staff that kept recommending the title. Junior Library Guild sharing with their network. The good news and reviews keep percolating…and now, several months later…good things are still happening. We’re so proud of this book, and so grateful to David Merveille for having the vision to bring Mr. Hulot to the page!
ALA Annual-Chicago 2013!
We had a tremendous trip to Chicago for the ALA Annual Conference. NorthSouth always has a great time at this conference, but this time we did things a bit differently and the changes made a big difference. The biggest difference was that this year we were very lucky to have Ute Krause attend. Ute is the wonderful author illustrator of several books for NorthSouth. Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon, Nick and the Nasty Knight, and the upcoming No Ordinary Family.
On Friday night, we made the trek out to Book Stall Chestnut Court in Winnetka, IL, one of the lovely suburbs of Chicago. This fantastic store held a Sleepy Storytime event for Ute, where she read her books for a bunch of adorable children who showed up in their pajamas. One little girl knew all the twists and turns to Ute’s books–she was a most adorable addition to the reading. And then we had cake.
The next day, ALA started with a bang and one hundred and fifty librarians lined up at the NorthSouth Booth to meet Ute. Ute didn’t stop until everyone had a book. It was an overwhelming crowd and we were so happy to be able to introduce Ute to so many fantastic librarians. The exhibits were quite lively, and there were so many amazing authors attending the show. The first day is always a bit overwhelming!
On Sunday, we had another day of exhibits and meetings, and a plan for Ute to sign at Baker and Taylor’s booth, where one hundred librarians lined up for signed copies of her books. That night we all attended the Caldecott Newbery Wilder Awards Banquet. Jon Klassen gave a fun and touching speech on his win for This Is Not My Hat. We were especially thrilled for Jon, as our parent company, NordSud Verlag, published This Is Not My Hat and several of his other titles in Germany.
This ALA, aside from having an author join us, our publisher and associate publisher came from Switzerland to check out the ALA action. They were not disappointed! Herwig, our publisher met many extremely engaged librarians and was able to share a look at some of our upcoming 2014 titles. Andrew rolled posters like a champ. Nick Miller (publicity) and I (sales and marketing) kept things running smoothly, bringing Ute to meet people, meeting librarians and talking about books until we were hoarse! The best news is that we all left completely enthused for the next ALA, coming up the January in Philadelphia. Hope we see you there!
–Heather Lennon, Publishing Director
Happy Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day is about to become a very special day in my household. Not that it wasn’t special before this year—growing up, I’d always made sure to have a card signed and ready for my Mom—but this year is different. This year, my wife and I welcomed our first little one into the world, and my wife, who has been a fantastic mother of three bad cats, will now be a fantastic mother of one bad baby boy.
It’s times like these when I especially love working in children’s books. This spring, NorthSouth Books is publishing not one, but three (!) picture books that celebrate mothers.
In January, we published There’s No One I Love Like You (9780735841260). Author Jutta Langreuter teams up with illustrator Stephanie Dahle for an amazingly adorable picture book. Brayden Bunny doesn’t like it one bit when his mommy asks him to wash his ears and clean his room. Chores, chores, chores. What to do, then? Naturally, he decides he has had enough of mom’s rules, and he is going to move in with his friends. In the end, Little Bunny discovers the truism that there’s no place like home—even if you and your mom do occasionally disagree. Kirkus says that ‘readers will relate to Brayden’s [Little Bunny] experience’ and ‘develop a better appreciation for the comforts and rules of home.’
This past February, we published Mama Hen’s Big Day (9780735841093), a picture book both written and illustrated by Jill Latter. Mama Hen is just about ready to lay her egg. But where would be the best place to settle down with that egg? Cats and hedgehogs and even snakes seem to take up the very best spots. Finally, Mama Hen realizes that the best spot for her egg is under her wing, providing a mother’s warmth and love, wherever that may be. Kirkus praises Mama Hen’s Big Day for its ‘brisk pace,’ making it just perfect for moms and their youngest readers.
Lastly, we are reissuing Little Bunny’s Sleepless Night (9780735841239) in June. Bestselling author-illustrator duo Carol Roth and Valeri Gorbachev first published this picture book with NorthSouth Books in 1999. Publishers Weekly wrote that Little Bunny has ‘a breezy style’ that was ‘right on target for a merry bedtime tale,’ and I am so excited to bring this back into hardcover. Little Bunny, an only child, is so lonely that he can’t fall asleep. If only he had the company of a good friend. But when Little Bunny tries to spend the night with each of his buddies—Squirrel, Skunk, Porcupine, Bear, and Owl—he soon discovers that his own bed near his mama is best.
These won’t be the only three gifts that I’m giving for Mother’s Day, but they’re certainly a good start.
Nick Miller, Publicity
C’mon, Get Hoppy!
One of the greatest things about being an editor with NorthSouth Books is getting to read such diverse stories from around the world.
I recently had the great pleasure of working on our new release, 999 Frogs Wake Up. This story has that indelible blend of artistry from another country (in this case, Japan) and universality that lets us all really connect with a story.
When the 998 froglets wake their sleepy big brother, I was totally reminded of the loving, yet mischievous pleasure I felt in doing the same to my big brother. And who doesn’t love being led on a quest by a beloved older sibling?
In this playful picture book, big brother leads his little brothers and sisters to find more sleepyheads to wake up. Sibling rivalries are put aside as all join forces to engage in the playful search—looking under rocks and leaves. It’s here that I feel a subtle and beautiful influence from Japan…in the gentle reverence for nature as the froglets discover a sleeping turtle, lazy ladybugs, and a drowsy lizard and perhaps most of all—in witnessing the sleepy turtle’s gratitude in being awakened in time to see the blossoming cherry trees. It’s simply gorgeous.
Then, as with any good older sibling-led adventure, things get interesting. Ken Kimura and Yasunari Murakami once again bring their loveable little creatures face to face with a feared enemy—in this case, a big red snake. Just like in 999 Tadpoles, also written and illustrated by this talented team, a surprising solution is found in the nick of time that saves the day.
It’s mom and the grateful turtle to the rescue. When the snake asks, “Is it time for a nice meal?” momma frog says in almost ‘Jedi mind shift’ style, “Not yet, you can sleep some more…” Then, like any good and true friend, the sleepy turtle offers to take the snake away, deep into the woods.
999 Frogs Wake Up is a joyful, humorous story–filled with sibling camaraderie and the perfect balance of discovery, adventure, and friendship. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Beth Terrill, Editor
Celebrating Twenty Years of The Rainbow Fish!
It’s hard for all of us here at NorthSouth to believe that it’s been twenty years since the original book was published. The special effect that created Rainbow Fish’s iridescent scales contributed to an instant publishing sensation. Marcus Pfister’s story of the little fish who wasn’t perfect resonated with readers and reviewers alike, and that’s why it’s endured for twenty years.
“I wanted someone children could sympathize with—Rainbow Fish has faults and makes mistakes, but he learns from them.” Marcus Pfister said, when describing his motivation for writing The Rainbow Fish.
The Rainbow Fish went on to be the 1993 Christopher Award Winner, an IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, winner of the Bologna Book Fair Critici in Erba Prize, and more importantly…it won hearts everywhere! The Rainbow Fish became an animated television series, and now it can be seen in a touring musical production. Twenty years later, it is one of the first books that children in the United States read when they kindergarten. Every year, we are sent pictures of some fabulous crafts that the kids create, depicting Rainbow Fish.
On October 1st, the latest book in the Rainbow Fish series went on sale. Good Night, Little Rainbow Fish goes back to the beginning, when Rainbow Fish was a baby and still needed his mommy to go to sleep. We have a sparkling celebration planned to tie this new book into the twentieth anniversary. Visit us on our facebook page to stay current with all of our offerings, including book giveaways, downloadable coloring pages, and a selection of glittering games and stickers and finger puppets to enhance the Rainbow Fish experience.