Random House Spring 2008 Preview 9.20.07

Last Thursday was the Random House Spring 2008 preview for librarians and reviewers. What fun! I loooove going to Random House. First off, the library marketing people are sweet as can be – yay Tracy and Adrienne! And Tracy always wears the cutest dresses to these things. Secondly, Anne Schwartz and Lee Wade are two of the most fun editors you’ll ever meet. They’re a hoot! Lastly, they always bring wildly entertaining, fantastic authors: Robin Brande, Jerry Spinelli and, on Thursday, Frank Portman. As usual, I had a grand time!

They started the presentation off with a bang, showing us Eric Rohmann’s A Kitten Tale (1/08). I’m a big fan of Rohmann’s Pumpkinhead so, compartively, Kitten Tale seems awfully tame. Nevertheless, it’s just as sweet as can be. I think it’ll fly off the shelves.

The second book was Grace Lin’s Bringing in the New Year (1/08). It looked gorgeous, and I enjoyed the editor pointing out that Grace’s work is “more kid-friendly than Demi.”

They also talked about Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City by Janet Schulman and illustrated by Meilo So (3/08). I’ve seen the review copy and it’s a lovely book, but I do feel like the market for Pale Male is getting a bit saturated – this is the third I’ve seen this year (Meghan McCarthy and Jeanette Winter authoring the other two). Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this one.

Schwartz & Wade shot out of the gate with Tad Hills’ new original board book, What’s Up Duck? A Book of Opposites (1/08). It looks DARLING, and I can’t wait to get it on the shelf.

Robin Corey Books presented Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who Pop-up! by David A. Carter (1/08). Some purists may be freaking out, but I thought the book looked like a blast. All the original text is there, along with the original artwork – it’s just been 3-D-ified.

Random House Golden Books talked up Little Boy with a Big Horn, a reillustrated Golden Book (1/08). Guess who the new illustrator is? Think. Who has that retro-yet-modern style with the brilliant colors? Dan Yaccarino! I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to see this one in its entirety.

There’s also a wonderful board book Baby, Baby! by Vicky Ceelen (1/08), who is a Parisian photographer. Again, I can’t wait for this one. It’s very frustrating to have to keep purchasing board books that are just recycled picture books so I was happy to see a couple new ones here.

David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim are also coming out with an Uglydoll original paperback series (4/08). My favorite part was that Kate Klimo said the books were “edgy without being cynical.” I thought that was an insightful comment.

N.D. Wilson is coming out with a multiple world fantasy, 100 Cupboards (12/07), that the editor compared to Diana Wynne Jones. The sequel, Dandelion Fire, is already planned. (Cool cover, eh?)

Lastly, Frank Portman was the featured author presentation, promoting his new book Andromeda Klein (4/08). Frank seemed rather nervous talking in front of the group in that why-would-they-want-to-hear-me? sort of way. But then he picked up his guitar to play some songs – seriously! – and it was just too much fun for words. The first song was “King Dork” – “I’m King Dork and I want you to be my queen.” It was brilliant. Then he sang a song about a certain cell phone company, explaining that it was one of his band’s most popular songs, perhaps because more than any of his other songs, this one came from his heart. Then he launched into a musical diatribe about said company. He had us all in stitches and now I have a big ol’ crush on him, much like the rest of the room.

Good times, good times.

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