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Building a More Patriotic Nation: Regnery Announces Children’s Imprint

By Dennis Abrams

“We are very determined not to make them political or partisan, but to make them positive and inspiring and to give kids a fun way to learn about American history.”

Regnery Publishing’s website boasts, “When the Henry Regnery Company first opened its doors in 1947, its mission was to contribute to the rebuilding of Western civilization after World War II, publishing serious works of cultural recovery, including, as it turned out, establishing and sustaining the postwar conservative intellectual movement in America.” Now Regnery has announced an extension of its mission: this summer it will launch its children’s imprint, Little Patriot Press, publishing titles for children aged 5–8 with the goal of “teaching and inspiring children through stories about American history and government.”

It was the success of Callista Gingrich’s children’s book, Sweet Land of Liberty, that gave Marji Ross, president and publisher of Regnery, the confidence to establish a children’s imprint at a time when many other publishers are pulling back from non-fiction titles. “We were working with Newt Gingrich on a book of American exceptionalism,” Ross said. “We were talking with Newt and his wife Callista about what American exceptionalism is and how to feel proud about America. We thought, what if we did a children’s book that would compliment Newt’s adult book — it would be a book that parents and grandparents could give to their children that would showcase everything good about America…And then, just two weeks after its release, Callista’s book was #4 on the bestseller lists for children’s picture books!”

“One of the things we discovered as we were laying the groundwork for Little Patriot is that there are not actually a lot of books in this category — nonfiction picture books for kids of this age — talking about American history and government. The idea is that kids in this age group are not necessarily buying books, these are books that would appeal to parents and grandparents who are interested in American history and government and civics and patriotism and American values. We are very determined not to make them political or partisan, but to make them positive and inspiring and giving kids a fun way to learn about American history.”

Regnery will release seven picture books this year, including a series by Peter and Cheryl Barnes (whose previous titles include President Adams’ Alligator and Other Household Pets) that feature mice explaining important moments of American history. Two titles in the line, Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections and Liberty Lee’s Tail of Independence, will be featured at this June’s BookExpo America. Other titles include a second book from Callista Gingrich, tentatively titled Ellis Discovers the 13 Colonies. “We are very much focused on making these books fun and entertaining and engaging. Our slogan is, ‘A nice way to learn about America.’ A little mouse is our mascot, and each book written by Peter and Cheryl will have a mouse as a narrator.”

Diane Reeves is the managing editor for Little Patriot Press, and Cheryl Barnes is the creative director. Regnery will do e-books for all titles in all platforms, and plans to have its website, littlepatriotpress.com, up before BEA. And as for Little Patriots Press’s future? Ross hopes “to have published half a dozen books a year each year and I would like for those books to be in every school library in America.”

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Hey Dennis,

    Almost every publisher is trying to build a strategy around digital content management and delivery. From a technology perspective, the development of EPUB standard has helped publishers move quickly into digital publishing. We have recently published blog post on Digital Content Management, do check it out and let us know how you find it
    http://blog.harbinger-systems.com/

    Looking forward to read more interesting stuff.

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