By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Distinctive, Ambitious, and Committed ‘Today (September 12), Greystone Books in Canada has announced a new “Greystone Kids” list for the UK market that shares the same thrust as the company’s adult nonfiction, which features issues in environmental consciousness.
Greystone Kids is expected to release five titles in the UK in the spring, after an earlier Canadian release from the company’s Vancouver base.
The list will showcase the work of writers and illustrators of diverse backgrounds—among them, a children’s author from Mongolia, whose books sell as many as 5 million copies in China, and the bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben, who will visit the UK to mark the launch of the list in March.
The spring list features:
- Can You Hear the Trees Talking? by Peter Wohlleben, called “a nonfiction book that shares the magic and wonder of forests through colorful photographs, quizzes, and activities.”
- Birdsong written and illustrated by Julie Flett, “a portrait of an authentic relationship between an elderly woman and a girl who lives next door. The pair bond over shared passions for art and nature in themes of friendship, loss, and connection.”
- Spur, A Wolf’s Story written by Eliza Robertson and illustrated by Nora Aoyogi. This one, says Greystone’s media messaging, is inspired by Robertson’s concern for government-sanctioned wolf culls in Canada, While inspired by Canadian events, this an issue of global environmental concern.”
- Hello, Crow! written by Candace Savage, illustrated by Chelsea O’ Byrne, in which the author shares her knowledge of crows in a picture book about a young girl who must convince her phone-addicted dad that the crow who brings her gifts is real.
- The Moose of Ewenki written by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane, translated by Shelley Tanaka, and illustrated by Jiu’er as “a fable about a Mongolian hunter-gatherer, who befriends an orphaned moose calf, teaches valuable lessons in empathy, friendship, and the importance of establishing a true connection to nature. It also illuminates a vanishing way of life for the Indigenous Ewenki peoples of Inner Mongolia.”
Greystone publisher Rob Sanders lays out his rationale in an extended prepared statement for today’s announcement, saying, “The time had come for Greystone to reach out to younger readers about matters we consider to be important in the world today.
“These inspiring and visually compelling books cover the topics of inclusion, global issues, science, the environment, and nature themes, which have been so well received in our adult publishing program, and are at the forefront of current trends in children’s publishing.
“All of us at Greystone have been very pleased with the response to our list in the UK over the past few years. Now—with the help of some very experienced and talented UK children’s publishing advisors–we’re excited to introduce our first children’s list in the United Kingdom.
“All the titles have good national curriculum connections and we’re confident that they’re being launched into a market eager for new books covering these themes.
“Under the Greystone Kids banner,” Sanders says, “we’ll publish picture books for young readers, and nonfiction books for middle readers.
“Furthermore, this new division will include an imprint—Aldana Libros—to be led by children’s publisher Patricia Aldana—to bring outstanding books from around the world to the English-speaking market. Altogether, the new Greystone Kids programme will be distinctive, ambitious, and committed to publishing talented writers and illustrators.”