for the Month: April 2011

In which we learn to love books AND cars

Jason Wells talks his secret love for cars and the New York Auto Show

Over the years I’ve collected and dropped dozens of hobbies, but I’ve been a car enthusiast all my life. As the Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing for Abrams children’s imprints, I don’t often get to work on car books. I was SO fortunate in 2008 that the lovely editor (and fellow car fan) Susan Van Metre published The Great Race: The Amazing Around-the-World Auto Race of 1908 by Gary Blackwood. Finally my two passions, children’s books and cars, collided. If there was a way to squeeze a glass of wine into that mix too, life in 2008 would have been perfect!

posted on Friday, April 29th, 2011
in the category Sports, Who We Are

A Met fan learns to love (or at least appreciate) Jeter

Derek Jeter: From the Pages of the New York Times

I have been a Mets fan my entire life. I grew up in New York City, and was a freshman at Brooklyn Technical High School when they had their big win in 1986. Of course the team you root for is really all about who your parents root for (especially in New York), so growing up, I spent countless hours at Shea Stadium with my mom and stepfather. As a swingin’ single in my twenties, I would go to Shea every other weekend with my best friend, Sue. The “red” seats were $19.95 back then, and as long as we had draft beer and a loge-level sausage for dinner, we were all set. If it was a freebie night, even better.

posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
in the category Sports, Who We Are

Welcome to the new ABRAMS Blog!

Reflections on our new endeavor

Welcome to the new ABRAMS Blog! We’re thrilled to embark on this terrifically exciting endeavor. We hope that this can serve as a forum for the diverse range of ideas and expertise that make ABRAMS such a unique place to work. You’ll see a week and a half of posts before this, so we encourage you to read through all of last week’s content as well.

posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011
in the category Graphic Novels, What We're Reading, Who We Are

Earth Day 2011: 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear

Beautiful photographs from around the globe

Today is Earth Day and we all know what that means: celebrating the planet that nearly 7 billion of us call home (which reminds us, if you haven’t seen it yet: check out National Geographic’s 7 Billion project–truly incredible and somewhat terrifying). In the spirit of this greened occasion, we thought we’d share some brilliant photographs from our just-released 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear. It’s filled with images by some of the world’s greatest documentarian photographers and features some of the world’s most endangered locales, including six in the United States alone, that are most in danger of disappearing in our lifetime. The book includes some pretty frightening statistics from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which makes it quite clear that climate change is a very real problem for mankind (For instance: did you know that New York City’s Battery Park runs the risk of paralyzing floods every year that could raise sea levels by as much as 14 feet?) While we aren’t sure we’ll make it to all 100 places in our own lifetime, it’s sure worth doing our part to take care of our planet.

posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011
in the category Photography, Science

Ah, Spring! It doesn’t quite feel that way around New York City (what with the warm-cold temperature patterns and the bizarre summer-esque thunderstorms) but somewhere underneath all that dreariness lie delicate Spring blossoms, radiant sunshine, chirping birds and luscious green grass. It’s also Easter time, a celebration marked (aside from the religious significance) by a lot of richly-hued hardboiled eggs and many, many sugary treats. We thought today was the perfect time to share a recipe from Sugar Baby: Confections, Candies, Cakes & Other Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Sugar by Gesine Bullock-Prado. The book’s delightful confections are a perfect alternative for anyone sick of marshmallow peeps, including today’s recipe for homemade cotton candy (also the book’s cover image). Fear not: This recipe is not nearly as hard as it may sound. But if something like homemade rock candy or mango mousse cake is more your style, feast your eyes on some other incredible sweet treats featured in the book in our gallery of images below (or just watch Gesine work wonders with sugar in the Sugar Baby book trailer).

posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
in the category Cooking

Passover and The Szyk Haggadah

The Art of Arthur Szyk

Tonight marks the start of one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays in the world, Passover. Admittedly, I grew up in a very secularized household, in which my personal experience with religion extended primarily to what I had read in books. Moving across the country to New York City meant I was exposed to a melting pot of cultures, ideas, and yes, religions. My natural curiosity blossomed in New York and there was no shortage of new experiences and new people.

So when Abrams reissued The Szyk Haggadah this month, I had a perfect opportunity to understand more about Judaism and, more specifically what this beautiful tome meant for the Passover holiday. Pretty soon, however, my questions began to look a little like the four questions posed at the beginning of any Haggadah (more on this in a second).

posted on Monday, April 18th, 2011
in the category Art, Religion

The Plane Sense of Things

A Thinking Stone by Michael Jacobs

I’m on an airplane from London back to New York, and about an hour ago I saw below us the tip of what must have been Greenland after five or so hours over the Atlantic. It was exciting mostly because it was unexpected, having flown over England and Ireland and then over thousands of miles of water under the clouds, which were mesmerizing in their perfect simplicity.

I imagined the Grand Banks below, somewhere down there, a place I’d read about in The Perfect Storm, a shelf out in in the sea where sword fishermen go to catch their fill and, hopefully, return intact with their payload. And I let the sight of those clouds seduce me to sleep like sirens instead of reading Jane Eyre which I’d intended to do—for the first time, I’m embarrassed to admit—on the long plane ride home. Rochester will wait, I suppose, and so will Jane and so will I, for the weekend and some time on the couch or a chair in the sun with that brilliant Brontë sister.

posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011
in the category Poetry, Poetry Month, Who We Are

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day

In Celebration of National Poetry Month by Bruno Navasky

One of the most joyful days of a joyful month arrives on April 14: Poem in Your Pocket Day. The day takes its name from a poem by the noted children’s book author Beatrice Schenk de Regniers. The poem begins:

Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.

The little poem will sing to you
The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed.

posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2011
in the category Featured Book, Poetry, Poetry Month, What We're Reading