The exciting news we have this week is that we are officially launching our compostable book series as a subscription! The subscription starts with "Imagine Your World" shipping immediately, followed by brand new books in October, December, February, April, and June. This year our theme is broad but encapsulates "imagination", starting with "Pushie Jr." By Maud Lavin and illustrated by Rachel Coulter, takes you into the lives of Pushie, Shayla, and her older sister Bev, in dealing with a playground bully. Pushie, Jr. learns to channel her frustration in fun and productive ways but ultimately learns more about friendship and family.
Maud Lavin is a New York Times Notable author and has been celebrated for her work and writings about socially driven topics that flirt with design, feminism, and consumerism, also a Full Professor at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Rachel Coulter is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago who has an affinity for all things tiny. Rachel has committed her time and energy to kids of all ages from being the director of a summer camp to nannying, along with her creative pursuits.
Our release in December, just in time for the holidays, is "Blow Wind Blow", by Bruce Ray and Illustrated by Alyson Beaton. This is an epically creative tale about an inquisitive boy who has to make a very big decision. Rufus Bishop V, lives in a house at the edge of the city with 4 generations of Bishop men. The story takes you into his life, living in a perfectly pristine house yet he never ventures outside. The tale is whimsically illustrated to show the life of the boy, his father, his grandfather, and great-grandfather as he seeks to understand the wonders of the world outside his window.
Bruce Ray is always surrounded by kids, maybe one of the most gentle people in the world who is a Pastor of an activist church in the Logan Square neighborhood and the director of a Lutheran Day care. He spends his time leading people in the charge for a more just community and housing for all! Alyson Beaton is always getting herself into new ways of working with kids and developing more and more materials that engage them creatively. She is also a mom and an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Columbia College Chicago.
Later this year will also include: February, "What is it Like?" by Alysia Kaplan exploring creative ways of seeing the world through the brilliant photographic/print making eye of Alysia who is a mom, Design Professor at SAIC and print making maven. Her work is inspired by her travels to the Netherlands where she spends time creating and installing her prints bringing to life her wonderfully illustrative style. April will be a month of wonder with the release of "Ben and Zella" See the World By Sarah Mallin, a tale about a boy who "unplugs" for the weekend and is forced to find his inner imagination with a little help from his friend Zella. Sarah has been avidly writing children's books for years along with balancing her professional career with baking pies that show her love of all things beautifully delicious.
Finally, in June we will launch summer with another activity book that is really a sketchbook called "An Architect's Day" by Petra Probstner, where kids can learn to sketch and explore as an architect does. Petra is an Architect by trade and has the energy and imagination that we would all wish to possess. She is also an Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture at Columbia College Chicago and is originally from Hungry who did her Masters at The Glasgow School of Art, worked in London, Buffalo and now Chicago.
We are so excited about our series and know you will love all of the books. In the coming weeks we will be featuring all books, authors and illustrators here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe click here it is only $60 for the year of books delivered to your door, and includes a reusable hard cover.
Thank you for your support for our 100% independent publishing company, based in Chicago, IL with all books hand bound and produced in the windy city and are as green as can be.
I am working on shooting our products in context of a girl's room and boy's room. See the photos here in our gallery.
Just a quick post about what I have been up to this week. I have been trying to get the last few things figured out before sending Imagine off to the press. I have designed not only the activity posters which will cost between $12-$15 (which you can buy alone and am printing 1000) but a way for kids to carry them everywhere around their city or town. The entire kit will include the hard cover folder, satchel, and colored pencils for $45 and will be initially a limited edition of 100.
I wanted to model the design off of the red Holga camera, something fun, vintage yet durable. I am still working on the details of the design and it will include some custom fabric touches, and will have some final versions by the end of the month. The official release of the book will be May 7 at the end of National Compost Awareness week! YAY! Stay tuned for more details!
Today as I was working on the wrap for Imagine, I searched for a standard symbol for "compostable." My search came up ugly and empty so I took a stab at a symbol. If you have any comments or suggestions, send them my way! OR if anyone wants to use this symbol, email me and I'll send you a file to use.
I met with my friends at Consolidated printing this week and am so happy to be working with them again. They are a great family company who has had an environmental mission for 20 years. During the production of Grow: An Environmentally Friendly Book we discovered, with them, that all board books have been printed in China since the 1980's. We in the U.S. do not have the capabilities to produce these books currently which is why KJ and I had to hand bind all 700 of the books ourselves, in an effort to keep true to our mission. It turns out that Consolidated is considering acquiring the equipment to manufacture these books again! I was thrilled to hear that I may see a light at the end of the tunnel of gluing books by hand in mass quantities. I'll be creating a Grow page soon since I am transitioning our growbook.org web site to merge with growbookspress.com.