Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Librarian Preview: Small Publisher Spotlight (Spring 2021): Part One

Back in May of this year (which is to say, 1,000 years ago, give or take) Ellen Myrick, of Myrick Marketing & Media LLC, was kind enough to give me a preview of the small publishers she represents and what they had on the horizon. It was such a treat, in fact, that she offered to do it again. Why not? Never have our delicate little hearts felt more hopeful and wary than ours do on the cusp of 2021.

At this point Ellen represents Agnes & Aubrey, Barefoot Books, Blair, Cassava Republic Press, Child’s Play, Diamond Book Distributors, Floris Books, Gecko Press, Inhabit Media, Kube Publishing, Lantana Publishing, Live Oak Media, Magnetic Press, Manga Classics, NubeOcho, Peachtree Publishing Company, Readers to Eaters, School of Life, Tiger Tales, Tilbury House, Tiny Owl, Toon Books, and What on Earth Books. I won’t be able to talk about all of them today but I think you’ll like what I’ve included in this, the first part of our series.


Agnes & Aubrey

Take Me Outdoors: A Nature Journal for Young Explorers by Mary Richards

If you were to say to me, “Mary Richards? Do you mean the Director of Publications for the Tate?” then you would be correct, but clearly we travel in different circles, you and I. This book is a bit on the timely side. Libraries probably won’t have an interest, but for those of you in search of a guided journal that’s great for a bit of independent reading and ideal for home learners, this book has your number.

Barefoot Books

To Carnival: A Celebration in Saint Lucia by Baptiste Paul and Jana Glatt

Baptiste Paul! Remember that remarkable book The Field from a couple years ago (the one that I kept insisting should have been called Futbol Mud Match)? Paul wrote it and now has returned with a true celebration of Carnival. Imagine a celebration that lasts for 2 ½ months. You don’t have to if you have this book. We’re so desperate for community right now that the idea of seeing people celebrate togetherness with a big party has a special thrill. I am happy to report that this #ownvoices book will be released in French and Spanish as well as English. And check out that great backmatter!

Run, Little Chaski: An Inka Trail Adventure by Mariana Llanos, ill. Mariana Ruiz Johnson

When I think of Peru the only picture book that immediately comes to mind is Love and Roast Chicken, that trickster tale set in the Andes. But if you want something set during the Incan Empire, finding the right book can be hard. This one might fill such a gap. As we learn in the book, messengers for the king were called “chaskis” and were used to send information throughout the huge empire. From what I hear, you’ll want to check out the particularly good backmatter at the end.

Family Reunion by Chad and Dad Richardson, ill. Ashleigh Corrin

Family reunions don’t crop up in a many picture books, which is really odd when you think about it. What could be more perfect in terms of bringing all different kinds of family members together into a single spot? In this book a kid definitely doesn’t want to go to the reunion, much preferring to just play his computer games. Once he gets there, however, he starts to notice things about his family members. Consider this one a great family connection book. Sweet but not cloying.

Child’s Play

Choices by Roozeboos

First off, if you’re gonna be a one-namer children’s book creator, then by all means be Roozeboos from Rotterdam. Second, this little Dutch import sounds like precisely the kind of picture book I love to show to introspective kids. See that girl on the cover? In this book she comes to the slow, dawning realization that all the people she sees are participating in little stories that are playing out in front of her. People always make choices on how to respond to things. The trick is in watching what they do and to learn from it.

The Roller-Coaster Ride by David Broadbent

Here’s an interesting trend I could not have predicted in picture books (but makes perfect sense): Active grandmas. Not those old ladies with their curlers and buns who look like they’re 104. Many is the grandmother who has complained to me about how they’re depicted in children’s books. Now we have books like this one to counteract such complaints. The name of the game here is finding adventure in public transportation. When a grandma and her grandson go to the amusement part only to find it closed, they have to make do with what they have to find their own adventure. Think of it as Last Stop on Market Street but with 75% more rollercoasters.

I See the Sea by Julia Groves

Sometimes a book just feels textured from a distance. Beautiful art and great backmatter take a dip into the depths and come out swimming.

Stay tuned! Part Two will be out soon.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Sharon Verbeten says

    Baptiste Paul is my friend and neighbor here in Green Bay, WI! He is so proud of and excited for this book! Thanks for the good words! It’s the first time I’ve seen the artwork!