Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More Word Fun!

You might think that translating a book about English word etymology would be pretty tough… but Korean publisher Mirae N Culture of Seoul is up to the challenge! Next year, they will be publishing a Korean language edition of Mark Abley’s Camp Fossil Eyes, a story in which two teenagers spend their summer digging for the origins of everyday English words at a summer camp like no other! We’re looking forward to seeing their edition… even if none of us here at the Annick offices will be able to read it!

For a sneak peek at some of the words explored in Camp Fossil Eyes, check out our "Word of the Week Wednesday" feature on Twitter! Each Wednesday from July 22 to August 19, we'll be tweeting a super-short story of a different word's origin, written by author Mark Abley. (You can also search for the hashtag #wowwed.) The first two words were parasite and manure... what will the next one be?

We've received lots of entries for our Camp Fossil Eyes contest, but it's not too late to enter! Just send your name, address, and favorite word to annickpress(at)annickpress(dot)com to be entered for a chance to win a free copy of the book AND a travel Scrabble set! The lucky winner will be announced on August 19!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Word-Sleuthing at Its Best!

In his new book Camp Fossil Eyes, author Mark Abley explores the intriguing origins of many words we take for granted. For example, did you know that television comes from Greek? Or that we have the Dutch language to thank for cookie?

To celebrate the wonderful world of words, we're having a contest! It's easy to enter: just e-mail your name, address, and favorite word to annickpress(at)annickpress(dot)com. You'll be added to our catalog mailing list (of course, you can request to be removed at any time) and will have a chance to win a copy of the book and a travel version of Scrabble!

Also, watch for our new "Word of the Week Wednesday" feature on Twitter. Just follow Annick Press (or search for #wowwed) to learn the interesting origins of a new word each Wednesday for the next five weeks!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chicago, Chicago, That Wonderful Town!

What could be better than Chicago in the summertime? That’s what thousands of librarians and teachers must have asked themselves before setting out for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. (Below: Katie sets up our booth.)

The Annick booth was a busy place as people stopped by to see what was new. It was great to hear so many say that they had a number of Annick books in their collections. We also heard many comment on how innovative our titles are, and how they look forward to getting our catalog. Our featured titles for the fall—Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road, The Kids @ the Crossroads series, and Camp Fossil Eyes—attracted a lot of attention. And the fortune cookies we gave away to promote The Chinese Thought of It were a big hit.

Backlist titles got a lot of attention, too—both the Little Black Book for Boys and the Little Black Book for Girlz drew enthusiastic responses and generated lots of discussion around the booth for their frank and honest approach to often controversial subject matter. But it wasn’t all work. We managed to take in an architectural tour of the fabulous Chicago skyline, explore the Magnificent Mile, and had some great meals. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again in Boston for the Midwinter Meeting.

For more photos, check out our ALA 2009 album on Flickr.

More Author Interviews!

Our authors have been busy! Allan Stratton, author of Chanda's Secrets, was interviewed by Open Book Toronto about his new book, Chanda's Wars. Click here to read about how he researched the book, his ideal writing environment, how he first got published, and his advice for writers! (You can also watch a trailer for Chanda's Secrets here!)

Sally Rippin, author of Chenxi and the Foreigner, was recently interviewed on the Tower of Books blog. Click here to read about her thoughts on Shanghai and her upcoming projects!

Sally Rippin will also be doing a blog tour this summer: if you have a blog and would like to interview her, there's still time to sign up -- just reply in the comments!

Stay tuned for a blog post on the American Library Association (ALA) conference in Chicago!

Monday, July 13, 2009

BEA Follow-up: the Slanket!

Back in May, I joined the BEA Tweetup group so I could meet face-to-face with some of the other book-lovers whose Twitter feeds I'd been following. One of the organizers, Kat Meyer, announced a MadLibs contest, which I promptly entered and then forgot about... until today, when my prize arrived, courtesy of Bethanne Patrick (aka The Book Maven)! Here I am showing off my brand new Slanket (blanket + sleeves = slanket). The left sleeve is monogrammed with a fitting hashtag: #BEATweetup2009.

This is going to come in handy next winter!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More Fall 2009 Books!

Following up on last week's post about our new Fall 2009 titles, please welcome the rest of our fabulous books for kids!

Aztec and Crusades, the first two books in our new Kids @ the Crossroads series, ask the question "What if kids wrote blogs during pivotal moment in history?" The result is an innovative blend of history and high-tech storytelling. Follow 12-year-old Yoatl's adventures as he trains to be an Aztec warrior in 1519, or trace the path of the Children's Crusade across Europe with young Hans, who is determined to find his older brother. Both books are written by Laura Scandiffio; the illustrators are Tina Holdcroft (Aztec) and John Mantha (Crusades).

Born to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors: Ever wonder what your favourite authors were like as kids? Charis Cotter tells the stories of how six extraordinary children -- Madeleine L'Engle, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Philip Pullman, E.B. White, and Christopher Paul Curtis -- transformed their early struggles into spellbinding books for kids.

Camp Fossil Eyes: Digging for the Origins of Words: What if your summer camp involved not swimming and hiking, but hunting for ancient, fossilized words? Mark Abley captures the fun of language sleuthing as he unearths the origins of well known words such as television (Greek), pickle (Dutch), and mosquito (Spanish)!

Hear My Roar: A Story of Family Violence: Gillian Watts teams up with artist Ben Hodson for this graphic narrative adaptation of Dr. Ty Hochban's book about family violence. Through the story of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and little Orsa, Hear My Roar provides a gentle, non-threatening approach to talking about family violence. A new afterword by Rita Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says “This book can help children understand that they have a right to live free from violence in their own homes.”

The Great Motion Mission: A Surprising Story of Cosmic Energy and Matter: What does physics have to do with hockey and amusement park rides? Let Cora Lee help you find out! Steve Rolston's energetic artwork ensures a dynamic, high-voltage ride.

Kaboom! Explosions of All Kinds: Natural or man-made, explosions go BOOM for reasons that defy the imagination. Gillian Richardson explores all kinds of explosions, from those made by insects to get food to those used to carve Mount Rushmore.

Together: author Hazel Hutchins teams up with illustrator Alice Priestley to bring you this sweet story exploring the concept of what-goes-with-what. Whether it's buttons that keep your shirt together or shoelaces that keep your feet from dancing out of your shoes, all the items come from the child's immediate world.Wiggle Giggle Tickle Train: This rollicking tale from Nora Hilb and Sharon Jennings introduces us to children using the world around them as inspiration for play. A pony inspires a child to ride high on her father's shoulders; a sailboat sets the stage for setting off to sea in a cardboard box; and an airplane invites kids to soar like a bird.

We're also releasing new editions of two books: you can now get award-winning The Apprentice's Masterpiece (Melanie Little) in paperback, and bestselling The Paper Bag Princess (Robert Munsch, art by Michael Martchenko) as a board book!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Annick Press Recruits Melanie Little for New Series!

Annick Press is extremely pleased to announce that acclaimed writer and fiction editor Melanie Little has signed on as editor-at-large for a ground-breaking teen fiction series entitled Single Voice. Delivered through the authentic voice of a teen narrator, these stories resonate with emotional honesty. The series will be launched in the spring of 2010, when three titles will be released. It has generated rave reviews in France, where it originated with publishing house Actes Sud:

“There’s an urgency to the stories—they read in one go. Like a punch in the stomach. In your head. In your heart.”

Le Vif / L’Express

“… a shocking series that provides young adults with an original approach to literature that places voice into the heart of reading.

Site de topolivres

“Short stories … that feature emotion … rage, and chaos.”

Voix du Luxembourg

Under Little’s guiding hand, Annick will be originating titles to further build the series. Actes Sud holds the option to publish Annick-originated titles in the French language.

As well, Little will be responsible for acquiring and editing essays for a forthcoming young adult anthology.

Melanie Little is an award-winning author and editor of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for adults and children. She studied at McGill University, Oxford University, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia, graduating with both a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Of her debut collection of stories, Confidence, the Globe and Mail wrote, “… she might very well become the Alice Munro of our generation.” Confidence was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award and selected as a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book.

Her 2008 novel-in-verse for young adults, The Apprentice’s Masterpiece, was a Canadian Library Association Honour Book, a gold medalist at the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and a White Raven selection for the International Youth Library in Munich. A paperback edition will be published this fall.

Little recently spent several years in Calgary, Alberta, where she was the Markin-Flanagan Canadian Writer in Residence at the University of Calgary and the founding editor of the nationally acclaimed literary imprint Freehand Books. Under her direction, Freehand was lauded as Publisher of the Year by the Book Publishers’ Association of Alberta and was a finalist for Small Press Publisher of the Year at the Canadian Booksellers’ Association Libris Awards. She was also awarded the BPAA Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence for her work on Marina Endicott’s novel Good to a Fault—a finalist for the Giller Prize and winner of the Canada-Caribbean Commonwealth Award.

Little and her husband, writer Peter Norman, recently moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she will be teaching creative writing at Dalhousie University and completing a novel.

Any inquiries should be directed to Colleen MacMillan, Associate Publisher of Annick Press (604-718-1888 / colleenm[at]annickpress[dot]com) or Melanie Little (mjclittle[at]gmail[dot]com).

Fall 2009 Titles Arriving!

One of the best things about working at a publishing house is watching manuscripts evolve into finished books. When the advance copies from the printers start to roll in, everyone gets pretty excited! I've got to say: our Fall 2009 books are looking good.

Allow me to introduce you to some of the new books on the block, available in September:

Shadow of the Leopard: Set in Mozambique, this is the sequel to Henning Mankell's award-winning Secrets in the Fire, and it's just as haunting and unforgettable. (Fans of crime fiction may know Mankell as the author of the bestselling Inspector Kurt Wallander series.)

Spiked Scorpions and Walking Whales: From Claire Eamer (@ceamer on Twitter!), author of Super Crocs and Monster Wings, comes a fascinating look at land animals that used to live in the sea. For example, did you know that our seas used to be inhabited by scorpions the size of crocodiles? Eek!

Chicken, Pig, Cow On the Move: The first book in this series, Chicken, Pig, Cow, just came out this spring, and author/illustrator Ruth Ohi is working on more for next season! Which is great, because I can't get enough of gutsy Chicken, easy-going Pig, and timid Cow. And who can forget drooly, snorty Dog? These picture books are destined to be classics.

The Chinese Thought of It: Most people know that the Chinese invented gunpowder. But did you know that playing cards and toilet paper are also Chinese inventions? In this latest addition to the We Thought of It series, Ting-xing Ye explores the fascinating origins of many everyday items. Other books in the series are A Native American Thought of It and The Inuit Thought of It.

Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road: This exciting tale by Priscilla Galloway and Dawn Hunter takes readers back in time on an action-packed trip along the legendary pathway that brought people, culture, and trade from Asia to the West. Follow Chinese Buddhist Xuanzang, Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan, and Italian merchant Marco Polo as their travels take them to places they had never imagined.

That's all for this week: but stay tuned, as I'll be blogging about more of our Fall 2009 list next week!