for the Month: July 2011
Sales Assistant Matthew Dinda gives us an inside peek at the great work he and other ABRAMS staffers do for the Children’s Book Council and the Council’s Early Career Committee. Jason Wells, executive director of children’s marketing and publicity, and Susan Van Metre, publisher for Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books and Abrams Appleseed, are also involved.
As we near the pinnacle (nay, end) of NYC’s Smurfweek festivities (which celebrate tomorrow’s opening of The Smurfs), I turned to our resident Smurfologist Matt Murray, the author of the just-released The World of Smurfs. The World of Smurfs is an exhaustive compendium of all things smurfy. Much of the content has never before been published in English. There are fascinating sidebars on the Nazi occupation of Belgium, the origin of the word “schtroumpf”/smurf, and the voice behind Jokey, to name a few. Murray takes fans through the creation of the Smurfs, from the early days of their creator, Peyo, as a struggling cartoon artist, to the global phenomenon they became, and finally to the recent Smurf resurgence. For this piece, I polled my Abrams colleagues to find out what they’d always wondered about the Smurfs. Below are Murray’s answers; memorize these and you might be able to pass yourself off as a Smurfologist!
Last week, Cecily Kaiser, publishing director for Abrams Appleseed, our newest imprint and the publisher of books for kids 0-5, set out to foil an unsuspecting coworker’s office along with Abrams Editorial Director Deb Aaronson. Here are the results.
The Columbia Publishing Course is an industry institution, in which college graduates from far and wide come to New York City in hopes of pursuing their dreams of working in book publishing. Hot on the heels of a fascinating New York Times article last week, Jason Wells, the executive director of marketing & publicity for Abrams Books for Young Readers & Amulet Books, and Wesley Royce, assistant editor, reflect on their experiences with the CPC and the value of the six-week program in a constantly evolving publishing world.
Despite the hot summer weather, this time of the year is my favorite time to be in the kitchen. The abundance of fresh, flavorful, and local vegetables, herbs and fruit is so refreshing and makes cooking so much more fun! it’s the perfect time of year to try new things (like the green Purslane, which I recently discovered at the Farmer’s Market. It’s very high in Omega 3!) and to whip up a new recipe. This past weekend, I went to one of my most favorite cookbooks, Deborah Krasner’s Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat, recently published by our Stewart Tabori & Chang imprint, and found the perfect summer dish.
1. Having watched hours of the show while working on the book, I now feel I have learned the life skills required to deal with ill-fitting bras, postpartum psychosis, husbands who decide they are women, fistula (look it up, I had to), and Internet predators. And that’s just scratching the surface…
Jones Beach is pretty high up on the list of my favorite books that I’ve edited. It’s a beautiful black and white collection of photos taken during summers at the famed New York beach from the 1970s into the early years of this century. (That said, it’s not always easy to tell when each image was snapped; there seems to be a bit of a time warp on that particular stretch of sand.) The photographer, Joseph Szabo is most famous for his pictures of teenagers taken in the 1970s, but the same deft ability to capture the joy, intimacy, or humor in any given situation is clearly apparent in this particular series as well.
Since I work in the area of Digital and Web Development at ABRAMS, I’m a huge proponent of using less paper whenever possible. I bought my first iPad the very first day it came out (now I have an iPad 2), and ever since then I’ve been in love with the idea of using digital documents on a tablet instead of printouts. It not only saves paper, which is great for the environment, it saves space on my desk! A minimalist at heart, a clean desk keeps me focused and happy.
Summer is my favorite season. No doubt about it. I went to sleep-away camp for a million years and it’s still my favorite place on earth. I’d go back to camp now but it would probably be a little creepy for the other girls.
For me summer means sunshine, flip-flops, hot dogs on the grill, swimming pools and the beach. But it also means reading. I know kids usually grumble about summer reading but that’s because they don’t realize the beauty of it! One of my favorite things to do is go to bookstores in late May or early June and peruse their summer reading displays. They’re full of beach reads—stories about beach houses and summer loves and all that good stuff. I can’t get enough of it!
Last fall, I had the pleasure of working on the publicity campaign for Chess Masterpieces, a book chronicling the visual history of chess sets over the course of the last 1000 years. It was an interesting project and taught me a lot about a game and sport of which I knew very little. This was last October and I hadn’t been thinking too much about the book in the time since. That is until Lisa Suhay, the director of the Hip Hop Chess Federation, which promotes chess among disadvantaged youth in Virginia, contacted us about George Dean’s epic tome. She wanted to have Dr. Dean, a renowned chess enthusiast and chess set collector based in Michigan, to sign a copy of the book to give as a prize to the most improved chess student at their free summer camp chess program in Virginia…