tagged with: "childrens books"
This book isn’t fun to read, and you probably won’t like it.
JUST KIDDING! Guess what? It’s Opposite Day.
Okay, momentarily snapping back to adulthood: I used to drive my parents INSANE with the declaration of Opposite Day, and I imagine my parents were not alone in their suffering. The concept of opposites is a prevalent theme in childhood, and therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s also an established theme in children’s publishing. It’s an especially important one in the realm of early childhood books, as a basic understanding of concepts such as this one is important for language development. (And the benefits of laying the foundation for Opposite Day are, of course, understood.) So, naturally we were thrilled when the opportunity arose to include an opposites book on the Abrams Appleseed list, especially because it involves a hippo in some very unexpected situations.
ABRAMS Creative Director Chad Beckerman interviews I Speak Dinosaurs! author Jed Henry. Jed is a fresh, new picture book talent and the illustrator of Pick a Pup, by Marsha Wilson Chall, and Can’t Wait till Christmas, by Mike Huckabee. Click through to read the interview!
Way back in 1978 I was hired as a sales rep for a San Francisco book distributor called L.S. Distributors. Coincidentally, it was around this time that our future CEO, Michael Jacobs, was a rep at one of our friendly competitors, Bookpeople. I was twenty years old, too young to take a buyer out for a drink (as my co-workers loved to remind me), and in fact pretty shy. Becoming a sales rep was a trial by fire, and was a big part in my growing up and coming out of my shell. I’m sure many of my colleagues may find the shyness part hard to believe, but I wasn’t always the guy who can’t shut up in meetings.
Most of my career has been in direct sales to customers, with a bit of management thrown in and a couple of years outside the publishing biz. Thirty-three years later, it’s still exciting and fun to head out to my first sales call for an independent bookstore in a new season. Yes, I’ve got much bigger customers now to whom I sell a list before I meet with the indys. It’s different, though—I only present selected titles to some customers, or an account has time constraints that are not flexible; I don’t think I can remember an appointment with an independent bookstore buyer where I was told, “Sorry, I’ve only got 45 minutes for you to sell me the whole list.”
During a recent conversation about the inherent nature of logo design, my wise Publishing Director, Cecily, said to me, “It’s like that quote, ‘I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.” This brought to mind the anecdote about Ernest Hemingway crafting his self-proclaimed best story in just six words, “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” To me, a great logo should function just like Hemingway’s story, so thoughtfully and carefully crafted that it is capable of communicating volumes of information despite the lack of quantitative information (case in point: the brilliant FedEx logo). However, while condensing a multitude of concepts into one visual representation is a challenge that fills me with nerdy excitement, it also fills me with apprehension, given that brevity doesn’t really come to me naturally.