Monday, May 02, 2011

Over to Facebook

Hello Blue Apple fans - please visit us on Facebook for the latest BA news! Link =

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Blue Apple Books in Publisher's Weekly!

Blue Apple Books was highlighted in an article about fast growing independent publishers in Publishers Weekly yesterday:

"Blue Apple Books' publisher, Harriet Ziefert, says her children's publishing house continued to benefit from growing brand awareness in 2010, citing as one example the higher number of unsolicited manuscripts the company receives—20 a day compared to 20 a month when the company launched in 2003. That brand awareness has helped Blue Apple get into a diverse number of sales channels. 'We've proven our products will sell at high-end specialty stores as well as mass merchants,' Ziefert notes. Although Chronicle has helped Blue Apple expand, beginning July 1 the company is moving its distribution to Random House. 'It's something we felt we needed to do as the next step in our growth,' Ziefert says. The move allowed Blue Apple to hire one of its former reps, Rob Shaefer, as sales manager.

Blue Apple's big hit last year was placemats that feature activities that kids can doodle over. At the other end of the spectrum, Blue Apple has already developed several enhanced e-books and has hired a digital consultant to help create apps around some of its brands. The company has what it hopes is a strong new series that kicked off in 2010 with Bear in Underwear. The novelty title was a strong seller at Target over the 2010 holidays, and Bear in Pink Underwear is set for release this year, Bear in Long Underwear next year. Another title that did well last year was How the Sphinx Got to the Museum, with How the Dinosaur Got to the Smithsonian set for this year. Titles developed under the Dwell Studio license also sold well in 2010.

Ziefert's goal for the next several years is to increase sales at a 25% annual rate without significantly adding to the number of print titles. 'We'll stick to what we do best,' Ziefert says, which is fiction and nonfiction books for infants through ages eight to nine. 'We're not chasing trends. No vampires.'"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nice Bunny's Lessons Review in Publishers Weekly

Appearing in today's issue of Publishers Weekly:

Bunny’s Lessons
Harriet Ziefert, illus. by Barroux. Blue Apple
(Chronicle, dist.), $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-60905-028-3
“He’s Charlie. I’m his bunny,” explains the tentative speaker of this smart and sweet story that provides a very clear picture of common toddler emotions, experiences, and demands. Bunny, who wears a
coral-orange shirt that matches Charlie’s hair and has ears the shades of Neapolitan ice cream, learns everything he knows from his caretaker—for better and worse. “When we play doctor, Charlie is the boss. I learn about OUCH!” Bunny learns about “pretend” when Charlie plays the father and Bunny is the baby, and when Charlie’s mother sends him to his room, Bunny learns the meaning of “time-out” as Charlie finds authority where he can. And although Bunny learns how it feels to be alone or jealous when Charlie is less attentive, a warm hug teaches Bunny about love. Barroux’s paintings pair bold colors with shadowy, matte tones and wobbly line drawings, as if to emphasize the gamut of Bunny and Charlie’s moods. Bunny’s perspective honestly conveys a relationship’s give-and-take, while underscoring the feelings of vulnerability that can arise from being dependent upon a loving guardian’s care. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Great News about Balloon Toons!

We're very excited here at Blue Apple about our new series of comics readers for young kids - Balloon Toons. We've gotten some fantastic reviews for each of the three debut titles, which we'd like to share with you! (Also: look for two new Balloon Toons books coming next spring!)

Adopt a Glurb by Elise Gravel

"Among the nonsense pet possibilities, the choice to take home a glurb (“You can buy glurb eggs for 10 cents at the monster shop”) offers both challenges and benefits. A glurb smells like rotten mustard but has a brain big enough to learn to read. They can also walk on the wall and the ceiling and even draw, though they do enjoy unrolling the toilet paper. Gravel’s simple handbook of glurb care will delight a young audience, both for its accessibility and the glurb’s resemblance to much younger (and, therefore, sillier in the emerging reader’s estimation) children." - from Booklist

Rick and Rack and the Great Outdoors by Ethan Long

"This graphic novel takes beginning readers through three very short and humorous stories about a raccoon and a moose who explore the fine art of fishing, try to puzzle out mysterious paw prints in the woods, and stay dry in a canoe. . . This entry in the new Balloon Toons series (with a similar hefty build of the successful TOON Books line) puts the comics medium to good use: tracking the visual elements of the story will help emerging readers decode the text with ease. The full-color palette is simple, and the large panels will make access even easier for inexperienced comics readers." - from Booklist

The Super Crazy Cat Dance by Aron Nels Steinke

"Just like the Toon Books line, this is the kind of comic for kids that you’ll want to start buying your own children, nieces, nephews, and friends. . . It’s adorable, with animated cats of all colors, shapes, and sizes cavorting across the pages. There’s a ton of stuff to look at on every page, from cats in strollers, to a swim on Lake Meowzer. You’ll enjoy just checking out all of the characters and objects packed onto each page. . . The Super Crazy Cat Dance is a sweet, fun book, and it’s one that parents will cheerfully read with their children over and over again." - from Read About Comics

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mike Herrod at the Brooklyn Museum!

Come meet Mike Herrod (Comics to Go, Monster Comics) at Brooklyn Museum's Children's Book Fair!

Saturday, November 13, Noon - 4 p.m.
The Rubin Pavilion

Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

Meet your favorite Brooklyn authors and illustrators. Featuring storybooks, picture books, and graphic novels Author readings, a game for children, and cafe service will be offered.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lark Pien at the Cartoon Art Museum SF

If you live in San Francisco, be sure to check out Storytime! Family Fun Day at the Cartoon Art Museum on Saturday, October 23rd from 11am - 4pm. Lark Pien will be there with Long Tail Kitty and her new book Mr. Elephanter. More information here!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Don't Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table in PW!

We just received a great review of Vanessa Brantley Newton's new book, Don't Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table, in Publishers Weekly!

Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless
the Table
Vanessa Brantley Newton. Blue Apple (Chronicle, dist.), $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60905-029-0
Can a book be simultaneously reverent and irreverent? Newton (Let Freedom Sing) performs that potentially dicey feat with ease in this story of a Sunday supper derailed by a prayer that won’t stop. As a sizable family—diverse in age, race, and creed—gathers for dinner at Auntie Mabel’s house, a bounty awaits. But the host is determined that not a single dish, attendee, or just about anything else under the sun go unthanked. “Now bless the corn and black-eyed peas,/ Virginia ham, and mac and cheese./ Bless the roast chicken—it’s much too small./ I’m sure, Lord, it won’t feed us all.” As Auntie Mabel moves on to relatives, friends, the president, and so on, Newton wryly pictures the family’s reactions, sneaking a bite, nodding off—even the priest is playing with his food. Finally, the narrator’s father saves the day (as does the microwave). Readers will recognize the Auntie Mabels in their own lives, and also the broader family dynamics at work. Despite the ample fun, it’s clear that with these folks, family and faith come first. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)