In 1992, Candlewick Press opened its doors as an independent children's publisher, and we remain an independent publisher today. What does that mean? We are 100 percent owned and operated by our employees — who include our 85 staff members in Somerville and more than 155 authors and illustrators.
Candlewick Press arrived on the scene with some of the highest-quality picture books anywhere. And in the years since then, our offerings have grown to encompass all ages, from board books to e-books, high-end novelty to cutting-edge fiction. What hasn't changed is our goal of excellence, our model of independence, and our commitment to the authors and illustrators who create our books and the readers who love them.
Two decades and more than 2,000 awards and accolades later, we are as committed as ever to independent thinking and primed for a future that looks brighter than ever.
Lighting the Candle
When a young Englishman named Sebastian Walker set out to publish the very best books for children in 1978, he launched his company in the spare bedroom of his London home and convinced a team of brilliant and ambitious people to join him. The company's unique message was clear: books and their creators were the stars of Walker Books. His rare commitment, support, and generosity went on to infuse Candlewick Press, founded in Massachusetts in 1991, along with Walker Books Australia. Today, Sebastian Walker's legacy flourishes on three continents. Candlewick Press is part of a passionate global publishing enterprise with infinite horizons.
Fanning the Flame: Candlewick Press Today
Candlewick Press opened with a mere six employees. Today, our staff numbers nearly one hundred. We've published more than 3,000 remarkable children's books, including the classic picture books Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth, and Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram. Our storied picture-book list remains rock solid, as evidenced by the New York Times bestseller I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, the very definition of a classic-in-the-making.
We've created Brand New Readers for those just beginning to read and launched Candlewick Sparks for those striving to master the skill. We've dipped into the great canon of children's literature and issued the fresh and jubilant My Very First Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, along with stunning graphic interpretations of Beowulf, Shakespeare's works, and other classics.
Our reputation for high-quality nonfiction began with publication of the groundbreaking and standard-setting volume It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley. That reputation is sustained today by award-winning titles such as Master of Deceit by Marc Aronson, Almost Astronauts by Tanya Stone, and Beyond Courage by Doreen Rappaport.
We've greatly expanded our list of extraordinary middle-grade and young adult titles, among them the National Book Award winner The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume One: The Pox Party by M. T. Anderson and the Newbery Medal winners The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo and Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz. Popular series such as Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, Emily Windsnap, and Clarice Bean keep younger readers laughing, while Chaos Walking, Klaatu Diskos, and Angel Burn provoke and challenge young adults.
And how could we forget the 'Ologies? Having taken flight with Dragonology, our New York Times best-selling publishing phenomenon continues to soar, offering a world of wonder in a series of lavish and whimsical novelty books.
Our logos — the original Big Bear, spiriting a candle through the dark, and the Candlewick C-flame, which now highlights our books for older readers — remind us that our authors and illustrators are truly the best and brightest in the business.
Feeding the Fire: What about Tomorrow?
E-readers, tablets, and other handheld digital or electronic devices deliver content to readers and consumers with a touch of a button. Perhaps not since Gutenberg's invention of movable type has the world of publishing undergone such seismic change. Keeping pace with those changes is Candlewick Press, proving that our relatively small size enables us to adapt to evolutions in the industry nimbly and swiftly. We are one of the few publishers working with its digital content delivery partners to attend to critical typographic, composition, and design elements as a book makes the transition from one handheld device (the book!) to another. Our electronic publishing program is robust, with more than 250 titles now available in electronic format.
In 2007, the Walker Books Group established Walker Productions to develop its characters and stories in other media. Working with a range of world-class producers and animators, Walker Productions is bringing our books and characters to life and creating environments in which yet more stories can be told.
Lighting the Way
More changes in the publishing industry, more changes at Candlewick Press, and more changes within the entire Walker Books Group are inevitable. It's an exciting new world, with an entirely new generation of storytellers coming of age, wielding new tools. Whatever the future brings, we will remain staunchly independent and single-mindedly focused on one simple aspiration: creating and publishing the very best stories for children and young readers on the market.
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