Thursday, June 22, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Marlon Berreondo

It's time for another Employee Spotlight! We just had the opportunity to hear from our Director of Production and Manufacturing, Melanie McMahon Ives, and today we are introducing Marlon Berreondo. Marlon is our Warehouse Manager he's answered a few questions so that everyone can get to know him a little better.

Tell us about your history with Peachtree.

I moved from Southern California to Georgia and a few months after that I started working for Peachtree Publishers. It’s been a good experience working in an environment where people work hard and contribute in a big way towards children’s education. This coming October will mark my two year anniversary with Peachtree Publishers.

I’ve been working in this field for the last 29 years. I’ve worked in warehouses that produce electronics, telecommunications equipment, aircraft parts, and chemicals. Working with books is a lot of fun though!

What is your favorite thing about working at Peachtree?

Knowing the positive impact books have on children.

Do you have any big interests or hobbies that you focus on outside of work?

I love bike riding, soccer, volley ball, reading, and of course working around the house.

If, in an alternate reality, you were to have gone a completely different career route, what would you have done?

I wanted to be an airplane mechanic. That was the reason why I attended Park West High School in NYC.

For more behind the scenes, check out the spotlights for Creative Director Nicki Carmack, Senior Editor Vicky Holifield, and Special Sales Manager and Subsidiary Rights Director Farah Gehy.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Melanie McMahon Ives

With summer in full swing, we are bringing back our Employee Spotlights! Last year we all had so much fun getting to know a few Peaches, so we decided to keep the tradition going. (Check out the spotlights for Creative Director Nicki Carmack, Senior Editor Vicky Holifield, and Special Sales Manager and Subsidiary Rights Director Farah Gehy.)

Today we are thrilled to introduce Melanie McMahon Ives! She is the Director of Production and Manufacturing here at Peachtree, and she's answered a few questions so that everyone can get to know her a little better.

Tell us about your history with Peachtree.

I’ve been here at Peachtree for more than 20 years. I came on board after the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as a freelance copyeditor and designer for The Official Report of the Olympic Games, a mandatory written record of games that’s required to be published within 2 years of the completion of the Games. It’s a beautiful 3-volume set done in both English and French, and it is something I remain extraordinarily proud of to this day. It was a contract job that was to last 9 months, but it stretched on a bit longer, and once the books were done, I wouldn’t leave! Or something along those lines. I moved into production shortly thereafter and have been here ever since. Before I moved to Atlanta, I worked for Longman Publishing, a division of Addison-Wesley Publishing in New York.

What are your top three favorite books, any genre?

Oh that is SO HARD to answer. I have many favorite books across multiple genres. I love classic literature, children’s books, and I love horror! I will say Stephen King’s It, Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, and Madeline L‘Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. That doesn’t even scratch the surface though!

If you could be a literary character for a day, who would you be?

Ooh. Another tough one. My safe choice would be Elizabeth Bennett. I’ve always admired her quick wit, her strong spirit and tenacity, and her desire to accept nothing less than true love. A different choice might be one of Anne Rice’s vampiresprobably Louis. I don’t think I could resist the temptation to live possibly forever in a physical body even with all the emotional pain destined to accompany such a thing. I’ve thought about that quite a bit.

Who is your hero or role model and why?

It is no doubt my mother, Michele. She was just a teenager when she had me. She showed me just how far you can go with an incredible work ethic and lots of love. She made everything special when we had nothing at all. It is because of her I know what love is. She is my shining star. She taught me so much and has supported me through many a crazy time. She remains my best friend, my confidante, and my business partner! Shout out to my dad who’s been there every step of the way.

What is your favorite thing about working at Peachtree?

The books! I am so proud of all the books I’ve worked on over the years. Each one special in it’s own way. I can say I’ve had a hand in literally hundreds of them. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. And I’ve got to mention the people as well. All my colleagues are intelligent and lovely and creative. I am lucky to be surrounded by them all. It takes a village for a small company to do what we do and we do it so well!

In your position, what do you consider to be your secret weapon?

Multi-tasking! In a small company, you wear a lot of hats. It’s my job to take the manuscript to the bound book. This entails some storyboarding, typesetting and design, managing the costs and schedules of all the books, picking papers and cover stocks and cover treatments, deciding what books fit best at what printers, handling the manufacturing, and even the shipping from overseas of our picture books. It’s tough being the last rung on the ladder. I’m the last one to see anything before it goes off to the printer. But I’m also the first one to get the sneak peek of artwork, proofs, and bound advances. So that’s pretty exciting. Being able to juggle multiple projects, keeping them on time and under budget is my secret weapon.

Do you have any big interests or hobbies that you focus on outside of work?

I’m a hair accessory designer and have a modestly successful side business selling my designs. Other than that, I love spending time with my daughter and my husband and my friends.

If, in an alternate reality, you were to have gone a completely different career route, what would you have done?

From the time I was a small child I knew I wanted to be surrounded by books. I thought I might be a writer at one point, and I do some writing, but I’m more suited to the design-side of publishing. I’m lucky I’ve been able to be in publishing for most of my career. Thinking outside the box, I also love astronomy, so being an astrophysicist might have been pretty stellar. Carl Sagan is someone I admire very much.

Feel free to write any questions or comments for Melanie below!

Monday, June 5, 2017

40 Peachtree Picks: Books that Define Us

This year we are celebrating 40 years of Peachtree Publishers.One of the most fun parts of celebrating this milestone has been looking back and remembering all the wonderful people and books that have built us into our identity today.

Our President and Publisher Margaret Quinlin spoke to Peachtree's identity as a children's book publisher: "The focus [on children's books] occurred naturally through the interests of the staff, and in particular, our friendship with Carmen Deedy as she developed into an extremely talented author. But we also recognized that as a small business, we had to focus our time and talents and marketing dollars. Even within the children’s category, it is important to have sufficient depth in an area. Without that, it’s difficult to make an impression." (Read the full interview from Quinlin on having a woman-owned and independent business here.)

For the last 40 years, we've focused on books that educate, entertain, encourage and endure—books with heart that reflect our values and personal passions like nature, social justice, community, and peace. These themes in our children's books have resonated with readers around the world from the beginning and are just as important today than ever. 

If I Found a Wistful Unicorn by Ann Ashford and illustrated by Bill Drath is the first children's book published by Peachtree Publishers in 1978, and is still in print today.  A sweet and gentle story about a relationship between a young child and a unicorn that goes straight to the heart of what love really is, what we risk when we ask for love, and what special rewards may be waiting for us in return, If I Found a Wistful Unicorn began the tradition and set the precedent for quality children's books from Peachtree. 

As we reminisce this year, we want to share 40 Peachtree picks, just a few of the books that have excited us, moved us, and stuck with our customers through the years. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see our daily featured picks over the next several weeks, and feel free to share your Peachtree Pick!

Friday, June 2, 2017

New Season, New Books!

It's hard to believe that it is already time for more new books! We’re thrilled to announce our Fall 2017 list, and we can’t wait for you to read them! Whether you want to catch up with the characters in your favorite series, laugh out loud with an empowered princess, or find inspiration for more social activism, we've got the book for you.

New Board Books

Our favorite hamster is now starring in a board book series from author William Bee! Focused on early childhood learning, Stanley's Numbers will appeal to Stanley’s youngest fans as Stanley and Little Woo get ready for a picnic party.

Another board book for the Stanley series from author William Bee! Focused on early childhood learning, Stanley's Opposites will appeal to Stanley’s youngest fans who are mastering concepts like opposites..

Simple and evocative language and charming illustrations describe a girl’s experience on a snowy day. Elizabeth Spurr and illustrator Manelle Oliphant add In the Snow to the gently rhyming board books in their In the Weather series.

New Picture Books

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra finds refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight. From the Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle and award-winning illustrator Raúl Colón comes Miguel's Brave Knight, a distinctive picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel.

This energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize, but also the title "Most Dangerous Woman in America." Suzanne Slade’s powerful text written in free verse illuminates the life of this inspiring figure while Alice Ratterree’s stunning illustrations bring Jane Addams and her world to life in Dangerous Jane.

With irreverent humor and striking illustrations, Bethan Woollvin, the creator of the New York Times Best-Illustrated Little Red, puts an empowering and delightfully dark twist on a classic story of a helpless damsel in Rapunzel.

In this addition to the About Habitats series, award-winning author Cathryn Sill uses simple, easy-to-understand language to teach children about seashores and what kinds of animals and plants live there. John Sill’s detailed, full-color illustrations reflect the wide variety of seashore topography around the world. Celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the About Habitats series with About Habitats: Seashores.

New Illustrated Chapter Books

A lovable dog helps his human girl solve a mystery. King and Kayla are playing fetch with their friends, Jillian and Thor. Jillian throws King’s favorite ball too hard, and now it’s gone missing! King and Kayla must put together the clues to figure out where it went—and who has it. Join Dori Hillestad Butler's dynamic duo in King & Kayla and the Case of the Mysterious Mouse to solve the mystery!

Delightfully odd and positively surreal, Alex T. Smith’s latest addition to his illustrated early chapter book series is Claude on the Big Screen. When Claude spots a film crew on Waggy Avenue, he and Sir Bobblysock can’t wait to help behind the scenes. But when the movie loses its stars, the pals are launched onto the big screen!

New Middle Readers

When Charlie exaggerates about his dad’s career and convinces his classmates that his dad would be the greatest Career Week speaker ever, what will happen if his dad actually does come and his friends find out the truth? From Grammy-award winning author Bill Harley, Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth uses humor to illuminate important values such as learning to live together as a family and making the best of a bad situation.
Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the U.S. Constitution. From the award-winning team, Cynthia Levinson, children’s book author, and Sanford Levinson, constitutional law scholar, Fault Lines in the Constitution will encourage exploration and discussion from young and old readers alike.

Check out our full Fall 2017 catalog here, and stay tuned for giveaways, interviews, and more!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog is a CCBA Winner!

We are so excited to share that Madeline Finn and the Library Dog has won the Children’s Choice Book Award in the Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year category! The Children's Choice Book Award is the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by kids.

We spoke to debut author-illustrator Lisa Papp about this wonderful honor, so read on for an exclusive interview with her about her book and its impact in the lives of so many children.

Congratulations on the Children's Choice Book Award! Did you ever think Madeline Finn and the Library Dog would take off like this?

Thank you so muchI haven’t stopped smiling since I heard the news! I didn’t know Madeline Finn would touch so many people. I only knew that I loved creating her character, and the world she and Bonnie share. I didn’t like reading out loud when I was little, and I’ve always loved animals, so Madeline and Bonnie are both very dear to me. They are expressions of things I love and understand.

In your opinion, what about Madeline Finn resonates with kid readers?

I think it’s the vulnerability. Everyone knows what it’s like to want something, and not be able to get itno matter how hard you try. There’s an honesty in Madeline Finn’s struggle. And in Bonnie, there’s complete acceptance. When Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, none of her quirks or complications matter. Bonnie loves her just the way she is. I think there’s a great comfort in that.

What would Madeline Finn and Bonnie have to say to all the kids who voted for the book?

Madeline Finn: Thank you for picking my story! Even though it’s kind of embarrassing when I mess up reading, I found out it’s okay when you have a good friend. I hope your library has a Bonnie too. And a Mrs. Dimple. But if they don’t, I’ll share mine with you.

Bonnie: “W O O F !”  (I believe in you. Thank you for trusting me.)

If you want more Madeline Finn in your life (or the lives of the kids around you), check out the Madeline Finn Activity Kit with coloring pages, word searches, and mazes for all Madeline Finn fans! 

Interested in library dog programs? Whether your local library has one or not, you can find out what it takes to start and maintain a library dog program from R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) executive director Kathy Klotz: 5 Steps to Establishing a Successful Library Dog Program.