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Prickly Jenny from Owlkids Books

Hello! Angela here from the PGW Berkeley marketing team.

I really want to tell you all about a book that resonates with me this week titled Prickly Jenny from Owlkids Books. The last two weeks with my almost four year old have been rather prickly! It feels like Sibylle Delacroix has written about my toddler this week except it would be titled Prickly Lilah! As a parent of a toddler I am loving this gem of a book and so does The New York Times

“No one does cranky with quite as much panache as the French. Two picture books about bad moods, both written by Francophone authors and offered in English translations for the first time, demonstrate what may be the secret. Both take an approach that many parents struggle to master: The less you fight it, the more likely it is that irritability will give way on its own to something else — sometimes, even something charming.

“Prickly Jenny,” by Sibylle Delacroix, is short, direct and small in size — befitting the proper approach to its subject. We meet Jenny, a round, rumpled toddler who “doesn’t say good morning because, really, what’s so good about it?” She won’t wear the polka-dot dress her mother picks out. She didn’t want to go to the fair with her father, so she “grumbles and drags her feet.” She even says she won’t eat ice cream for dessert — though we see her gobble it up, anyway.

Delacroix ventures into the paradoxical heart of toddler grumpiness: “Jenny says ‘Leave me alone!’ But she cries when Mommy goes away.” When she holds up her drawings, she “doesn’t want to hear ‘wow’ or ‘that’s nice!’ ” At one point she begins to crack a smile — but, we’re told, “if you fuss about it, Jenny will go back to grumbling.” The fact is, Delacroix concludes, “Jenny doesn’t know what she wants today.” That’s hard for grown-ups to accept, but it’s worth remembering, as Jenny does, that “tomorrow, when she’s bigger, it will get better.”

This wonderful little book gently suggests that maybe all a kid like Jenny needs from the people around her is a kind of warm, quiet presence. Delacroix’s drawings are soft around the edges, capturing the feeling of a child’s world that’s just a bit out of focus. She makes Jenny’s head enormous, like some giant, heavy object she must struggle to balance on narrow shoulders, which is just how a child — or anyone — carrying a load of disagreeable thoughts feels.”

The New York Times Sunday Book Review | By   – Online March 18, 2015

Prickly JennySibylle Delacroix graduated from the École de Recherché Graphique in Brussels and worked as a graphic designer for several agencies while juggling her illustration career. She now illustrates full time and lives in the Midi-Pyrénées in France.

Prickly Jenny
Author:  Sibylle Delacroix
March 17, 2015
$16.95 USD
Hardcover Picture Book
Juvenile Fiction \ Social Issues \ Emotions & Feelings
Ages 3 to 7, Grades P to 2
Owlkids Books


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Throw Like a Woman (The Story Plant)

Looking for a good book that will tide you over until Opening Day?  Check out Throw Like a Woman, a novel about a woman finding herself again after her divorce by landing on the mound as the first woman player in Major League history.

Download a digital reading copy today:

“For baseball fans who yearn for a female Jackie Robinson, reading Susan Petrone’s fun and absorbing novel THROW LIKE A WOMAN becomes a kind of prayer. ‘Please, Lord! Give talent a chance. Let this dream come true!'”
– Mary Doria Russell, author of THE SPARROW

Throw Like a Woman

By Susan Petrone

p-ISBN: 9781611881998, e-ISBN: 9781611882001

Hardcover, 336 pages, $25.95 (US & Canada)

Pub Date: March 24, 2015

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An Enlightening Culinary History
An Enlightening Culinary History

An expansive, illuminating history of one of our most vital yet unsung food animals, Lesser Beasts turns a spotlight on the humble creature that, perhaps more than any other, has been a mainstay of civilization since its very beginnings—whether we like it or not.


“Forget the egg. It’s the pig that’s incredible and edible. And Mark Essig tells the remarkable animal’s checkered history with a style and verve that’s as irresistible as bacon itself.”

—John Donohue, editor of Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers who Cook for their Families

“Pigs are omnivorous. And so is Mark Essig. From a Roman recipe for salt curing and cold smoking hams that Cato favored, to the ignoble efforts of American industrial farmers who have shown neither their pigs nor their customers respect, he has sifted the archival record to write a smart and thoroughly engaging social history of the curious entwinings of pig and man.”

—John T. Edge, series editor, Southern Foodways Alliance Studies in Culture, People, and Place

“An enlightening culinary history… A lively, informative farm-to-table feast.” —Kirkus Reviews

Mark Essig tells a fine tale of the unsung exploits of the lowly pig, from the age of the pyramids and the wars of the conquistadors to the awful abattoirs and trendy restaurants of today. With clear prose and careful research, he redeems an animal that has played a seminal role in human history while enduring near universal disdain. This fascinating book provides a marvelous antidote to our unexamined views on the pig.”

—Andrew Lawler, author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization

“A thoughtful book about the fascinating relationship between pigs and people, from Leviticus to Charlotte’s Web. I learned something new on every page: Essig has a knack for delivering reams of information with lightness and wit, even as he makes an eloquent plea for a reformed pork industry, one where the bacon we eat comes from ‘a pig that lived like a pig.’ Whether you eat pork or not, Lesser Beasts is a gripping meditation on the plight of pigs.”

—Bee Wilson, author of Consider the Fork


LESSER BEASTS: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig    By Mark Essig

ISBN: 9780465052745

E-Book ISBN: 9780465040681

On Sale: 5/5/15;

Price: $27.50 US

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Lavina from The Story Plant

The Story Plant received a great Kirkus review for Lavina, calling the novel, “thoughtful fiction that once again exposes the dark enigma of America’s racist past and present.”

Lavina: A Novel

By Mary Marcus

p-ISBN: 9781611882018, e-ISBN: 9781611882025

Hardcover, 358 pages, $25.95 (US & Canada)

Pub Date: April 28, 2015

Author: Mary Marcus

3/1         Kirkus

An exploration of race relations in Louisiana from multiple perspectives, including those of a 12-year-old white girl and her family’s African-American housekeeper. In the early 1990s, Mary Jacob Ascher (nee Long) gets a call from her older sister, Kathryn, informing her that their father, Jack, is dying and that she’d better hurry home to Murpheysfield, Louisiana, if she wants to see him. Mary Jacob, one of the narrators of the story, reminisces about her privileged upbringing and the “gorgeous greedy bitches” who were Jack’s ex-wives. On her return trip she finds out that Billy Ray Davis, a brilliant harmonica player from Murpheysfield who had made a name for himself in the ’60s, is passing through town to give a concert. Billy Ray is the son of Lavina Davis, the Longs’ housekeeper, who provided most of the nurture and care that Mary Jacob received during the formative years of her adolescence. We see the family dynamics—that Mary Jacob is still alienated from Kathryn, who’d always been the pretty one, and that Jack wants to see his beautiful former wife, Van, before he dies, and he asks Mary Jacob to find her. The novel then shifts back to the summer of 1963, when racial tensions are high in Louisiana, and a rumor develops that Martin Luther King is coming to Murpheysfield to lead a sit-in. Jack’s virulent racism leads him to consider assassinating King, and Mary Jacob, already questioning the system under which she’d been raised, develops a counterplot that would involve sacrificing her own life. We also encounter racism through the experience of Billy Ray’s growing musical prowess and his involvement with Mary Jacob’s family. Thoughtful fiction that once again exposes the dark enigma of America’s racist past and present.

Advance Praise:

Lavina is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Mary Marcus gives distinctive voice to three engaging characters, bringing our compassion and sympathy to each of them as she deftly unravels their complex story of heartache, courage, and love.”

– Diane Chamberlain, international bestselling author of Necessary Lies

Lavina is a richly nuanced journey to Louisiana during the civil rights era and contemporary times that encompasses the liberating but pain-filled emergence of R&B and rock and roll. Mary Marcus has a mystical insight into the agony and ecstasy of the creative process and the lives of performers. She also unflinchingly brings alive the insane disparity of lives of rich and poor, and black and white, and sees both the pain, the cruelty and also the love and richness of the South.”

– Danny Goldberg, author of Bumping into Geniuses

Lavina is a taut simmering and thoroughly southern work of art. Prepare to lose yourself in this thrilling novel, beautifully crafted by the awesomely talented Ms. Marcus.”

– Robert Tate Miller, author of Forever Christmas

“Mary Marcus’ Lavina is a sprawling, passionate Southern Gothic nightmare which beautifully depicts the transformative power of musical creation. Billy Ray jumps from the page as a living, breathing embodiment of Louisiana’s Black roots music.”

– Blake Leyh, Emmy Award-winning music supervisor of The Wire and Treme

Visit Mary Marcus online:

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“A great read for anyone interested in Confucius, philosophy, or culture in East Asia.” —Library Journal

“Part biography, part history, and part analysis of Chinese current affairs, this remarkable book… traces the lasting influence of Confucianism in China, despite enormous political and social changes in Chinese society.” —Publishers Weekly

 “A fine account of Confucius’ world, and of the use and misuse of the Master’s thinking throughout Chinese history. Whoever wants to understand China must start with Master Kong!”

—O.A. Westad, author of Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750

 “Michael Schuman’s book is nothing short of indispensable reading for anyone trying to comprehend the local, regional, and global impact of China and its motivating philosophical underpinnings. Today’s China is an extension of its past and Confucius’ guiding influence remains at its core. China is incomprehensible without this intellectual framework. To that end, Confucius is a generationally significant contribution.” —John Huntsman, former United States Ambassador to China

“To understand the philosophical heart of East Asia, read this book. In his vibrant and engaging portrait of Confucius, Michael Schuman gives us the sage as we’ve never seen him, undeniably shaping modern politics, business, and private life for a quarter of humanity. It is a marvel of intelligent research, great reporting, and clear analysis.” —Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

“Michael Schuman skillfully traces the ebb and flow of Confucius’ influence through the millennia. He also reflects on the enduring impact of Confucian thought on the lives of millions of contemporary East Asians. As the United States’ attention shifts increasingly towards that part of the world, Schuman’s book enriches our understanding of the values underlying that dynamic region.” —John Negroponte, former Director of National Intelligence

“This fascinating book rescues Confucius, his teaching, and his wisdom from the authoritarian embrace which has so distorted what we should learn from the Analects. Michael Schuman helps us to better understand Asia’s past, present, and indeed future.” —Christopher Patten, former British Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong


Basic Books Publicity History for:

CONFUCIUS And the World He Created

By Michael Schuman

ISBN: 9780465025510

E-Book ISBN: 9780465040575

Release: 2/10/15; On Sale: 3/3/15; Pub: 3/3/15

Price: $28.99 US/ $32.00 CAN; Carton qty: 24

Contact: Carrie Majer, 212-340-8140

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Seaver the Weaver

We are thrilled that Seaver the Weaver was included in Betsy Bird’s review, February 16, 2015, on School Library Journal’s A Fuse #8 Production Blog, as part of a 2015 trend watch piece on spiders and flies.

Pull Quote: “Ever heard of the publisher Mighty Media Kids? Well, if this book is any indication they might be one to watch. The Brothers Hilts did that lovely little book The Insomniacs a couple years ago and then were never heard from again. This book, about a spider that thinks outside the web, makes good use of their skills. Particularly the parts where Seaver must attend to this ‘guest’.”

Seaver the Weaver
Paul Czajak | Brothers Hilts | Age: Up to 7 | $15.95, 32 Pages, Picture Book
ISBN 978-1-938063-57-2 | Mighty Media Kids

9781938063572_60f79Find out more:


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In a Village By the Sea from Creston Books

9781939547156_f0476We all fell in love with this title when it was presented at Creston Books’ Spring 15 marketing meeting. Written in a spare, lyrical style using fresh, evocative imagery, In a Village by the Sea tells the story of longing for the comforts of home. A perfect book for teaching about diverse cultures and lifestyles through rich pictures and words, moving from the wide world to the snugness of home and back out again.

In a Village By the Sea by Muon Van, ill. by April Chu (Creston): At first glance, In a Village By the Sea appears to be a traditional story about family, but Van’s clever nesting doll narrative and Chu’s playful illustration gives this family’s story a healthy sprinkling of magic.” – Huffington Post Online: The Best Is Yet to Come: An Early 2015 Picture Book Preview (

“In circular fashion, this simple story’s narration unfolds, with great power behind the few words on each page.  The intense illustrations, done in pencil and digitally colored, set human and animal characters into seascapes and interior scenes in an almost timeless Vietnam and extend the story far beyond the words. A wife and a baby are in their traditional kitchen anxiously awaiting the fisherman-husband’s return. He is in his boat, fearfully viewing the dark waves and black clouds but also looking at family photos (a hint of modernity). Will he get home to his wife and baby “in his village by the sea” in the “small house” mentioned at beginning and end? Of course readers hope that he will, but there’s far more to this book than just the story. The visual surprises here are a faithful, loving dog that appears in most illustrations and leads eyes to “a brown cricket, humming and painting” beyond a hole in the wall. This is not just any cricket but perhaps illustrator Chu’s avatar. After all, the cricket is seen painting the scene of the stormy seas and the little white fishing boat with the husband sitting nervously on the deck. Near the author and artist biographies, the cricket is even signing “AC.”  The illustrations, with strong references to Chinese pen-and-ink landscapes and Japanese woodblock prints of the sea, will draw readers to this book again and again. (Picture book. 4-7)” – Kirkus Review Review Posted Online: Feb. 3rd, 2015 | Starred Kirkus Review Issue: Feb. 15th, 2015

In A Village By The SeaMuon Van was born on the run in the southern port city of Rach Gia, Vietnam. When she was nine months old, she left Vietnam as part of the “boat people” mass exodus. She now lives in Northern California.

April Chu began her career as an architect with a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, but decided to return to her true passion of illustrating and storytelling. She recalls spending most of her childhood drawing whimsical characters in her notebook after school everyday, and she hasn’t stopped drawing ever since. April currently lives and works in Oakland, CA. This is the second picture book she has illustrated. For more information, visit

In a Village by the Sea
Author:  Muon Van, Illustrated by April Chu
Release: June 9, 2015
$16.95 USD
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 Paige’s interview on the TODAY Show-


By Paige McKenzie

On Sale March 24, 2015 / $16.00 US

Trade Cloth


I am very excited to share more creeptastic updates for The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, including a terrific piece that just ran in THE NEW YORK POST

“The Haunting” book is about Sunshine Griffith, a 16-year-old girl who moves with her single mom, Kat, from sunny Austin, Texas, to the fictional rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Wash.

Sunshine begins to notice some strange phenomena in the house — starting with mysterious ghostly laughter on her first night in the new home.

To convince her skeptical mom that it is not all the product of an overactive imagination, she begins videotaping in an effort to capture some of the paranormal activity in the house.

Research at the local library reveals that a murder that took place in the house.

As she begins studying the specters haunting the house, she begins to realize that she can communicate with the ghosts.

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Consortium is going to ALA Midwinter! Come see us!


Consortium will be at Midwinter this week, and we’d love to see you! We’ll be at booth #4129. As usual, we’ll have author signings, galleys, and lots of swag!


We’re bringing along a few publishers you should get to know: Auzou Publishing, Blue Apple Books, Cinco Puntos Press, Curbside Splendor Publishing, Enchanted Lion Books, Ig Publishing, Nobrow Ltd, and TOON Books. Each publisher will have their own giveaways and cool, new books for you to see–check them out!


Come to our party! We’re having a Consortium Family Party at the Beauty Bar in Chicago. The invite can be found here. RSVP, and come for the free drinks, $5 manicures, and great DJ sets!


Françoise Mouly, publisher of TOON Books, will be on the ERT/Booklist Author Forum Panel, on Friday, January 30th, from 4:00 to 5:15 at W375b, McCormick Place. Françoise will also be on the ASCLA Institute Panel: Using Comics to Promote Literacy at All Levels, Friday, January 30th, 12:00 to 4:00 at the Hilton Chicago, Salon A.


We will have many signings while at ALA:


5:30-6:00  Erika Wurth (Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend)


10:00-10:30  Cyn Vargas (On the Way)

11:00-11:30  Brian Costello (Losing in Gainsville)

12:00-12:30  Halle Butler (Jillian)

1:00-1:30  Susan Lanier (The Game We Play)

2:00-2:30  Janet Halfmann (Animal Teachers and Eggs 1,2, 3)

2:30-3:00  Pranas T. Naujokaitis (Belches, Burps, and Farts, Oh My!)

3:00-3:30  Chris Bower (Little Boy Needs Ride) and Ben Tanzer (Lost in Space)


11:00-11:30  Marvin Tate (The Amazing Mister Orange) and Tim Kinsella (Let Go and Go On and On)

1:00-1:30  James Todd Adcox (Does Not Love) and Daniela Olszewska (Citizen J)

3:00-3:30  Bill Hillman (The Old Neighborhood)

3:30-4:00  Pranas T. Naujokaitis (Balloon Toons)


10:00-10:30  Dasha Kelly (Almost Crimson)

11:00-11:30  Ryan Kenealy (Animals in Peril)

12:00-12:30  Cassandra Troyan (Kill Manual)


In addition, we will have galley giveaways, book giveaways, and book purse giveaways in between signings!


Finally, during the Spotlight on Adult Literature, on Saturday, January 31st, at 2pm, we will give away galleys of The Surfacing, by Cormac James. Stop by and pick up your next favorite book!


We can’t wait to meet you in person! Can’t make it to Chicago? We’ll be tweeting at @ConsortiumBooks, and using the #alamw15 hashtag.

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Creatures of a Day
Creatures of a Day

Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy

by Irvin D. Yalom

Yalom’s masterful storytelling, Creatures of a Day shows that the process of psychotherapy can create some of the most engrossing human dramas imaginable. Heartfelt, inspiring, and endlessly compelling, Creatures of a Day provides an unflinching look at the human soul, and all the pain, confusion, and hope that goes with it.

Shelf Awareness did a fantastic interview with Irwin D. Yalom about his new book Creatures of a Day.

Here is a peak…

“Creatures of a Day” is a phrase drawn from a quote by Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius.  ….why did you select it as the title of the book?

The title story is a complex story about my suggesting to two different patients that they read Marcus Aurelius’ confessions. It deals with several issues, among them how the two patients saw very different things in their readings. One of the patients was very fixated upon my having a particular image of him in my mind. This was so important to him that he withheld important information from our therapy. One particular quotation referred to our tendency to use the phrase that we are but “creatures of a day.” That turned out to be a very important concept for this patient, and we discussed that phrase several times together in our work. I liked the ring of it and immediately thought of it for the title.

To read the full interview Shelf -Awareness Max issue

In the end, no two patients or their dilemmas are alike, nor do they reach conclusions and/or self-discovery in the same way or time frame. And while the themes explored may be largely universal, the resolutions certainly are not. Yalom believes that each patient must dive into “a great-souled man’s sea of wisdom” in order to emerge on the other side……





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