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Mighty Media Kids Kicks Off the Official Blog Tour of The Ugly Dumpling


The Ugly Dumpling, Stephanie Campisi’s adorably delicious spin on the classic fairy tale, has seen some great press this month. San Francisco Book Review notes that “Children will love the story and its emphasis on the beauty of individuality, while parents will appreciate occasional bits of humor that will go right over the heads of children,” and Publishers Weekly writes that “Everyone loves the dumplings at the Golden Swan Chinese Restaurant, but no one wants the ugly dumpling of the title: it doesn’t look anything like the other pot stickers in the bamboo steamer, not even when it tries to wrinkle its brow or wear pleated pants (one of several excellent foodie jokes from debut author Campisi). … From the wordplay of the premise to Kober’s (The Flying Hand of Marco B.) crisp pictures and Campisi’s easygoing sense of humor, it’s a story with plenty of promise.” Kirkus also gave the book a starred review, noting “quirky retellings often lean on clever titles alone, but this surpasses and delights.”

In addition to receiving these rave reviews, The Ugly Dumpling is going on tour—a blog tour that is, starting with this amazing collaboration between This Picture Book Life and Thirsty for Tea. Check out this post, and don’t miss the upcoming destinations on the blog tour.











The Ugly Dumpling
By Stephanie Campisi
Illustrated by Shahar Kober
Mighty Media Kids
Trade Cloth, Picture Book | $15.95

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How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups
How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups

Chicago Tribune
“Sax’s book isn’t available for purchase until late December, but if his message strikes a chord, it may be worth a preorder…[Sax is] sounding some alarms that we’d do well to heed, and for our kids’ sakes, I think sooner is better than later.”

New York Journal of Books
“If you’re going to read one book on parenting this year, make it The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax. What makes a good nonfiction instructional book is an author who has extensive real world experience in the subject matter and who has the ability to write clearly. Leonard Sax has both… This is quite simply a good book that is easily read and will provide sound advice for giving our children the best chance to succeed in life.”

“A comprehensive breakdown of where parents have gone awry and how they can get back on track to teach virtue and character to their children… Sax provides a series of easy-to-follow solutions that help bring parents and children back to the same page, working toward a healthier, more respectful, and conscientious attitude… With the author’s solid advice, parents have a good shot at achieving these goals.”

“[Sax’s] guidelines are clear and well-supported.”

Meg Meeker, M.D.nationally best-selling author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters and Strong Mothers, Strong Sons
“One of the premier experts on parenting, Dr. Leonard Sax brilliantly articulates the problems parents experience with their children, then gives solutions. The Collapse of Parenting is academic but practical, simple but deep. If you have time to read only one book this year, read this one.”

Library Journal (11/01/2015):
Physician and parenting writer Sax gives parents a solid “D” in this look at current child-rearing trends and the implications for children’s physical and emotional health. While much has been published about the individual problems of obesity, overmedication, falling grades, and the uppitiness of kids today, Sax wraps these issues up under the all-encompassing rubric of the transfer of authority from parents to kids, resulting in parents who have earned their child’s contempt, not their love. From the “medicalization of misbehavior” (which shifts the burden of responsibility from kid to parent) to the lack of scheduled chores, Sax’s treatise encourages parenting styles that make connecting with adults a higher priority than connecting with same-age peers and that parents command their children instead of asking. VERDICT Sax cites numerous international studies but identifies three problems as being uniquely American: a culture of disrespect, medication, and overscheduling. Parents who don’t go on the defensive early will discover guidance for implementing a more authoritarian parenting approach, and their kids will be healthier because of it. Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.



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Carnegie Medal Winner – Viet Thanh Nguyen THE SYMPATHIZER
Carnegie Medal Winner – Viet Thanh Nguyen THE SYMPATHIZER

Sally Mann & Viet Thanh Nguyen winners of Carnegie medals presented by library association

By HILLEL ITALIE Associated Press

JANUARY 10, 2016 — 6:25PM

NEW YORK — This year’s winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, given annually by the American Library Association, each have strong personal feelings about libraries.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the fiction prize for his debut novel, “The Sympathizer,” told The Associated Press that a book about Vietnam he read as a boy at the local library in San Jose, California, helped inspire his future work. Photographer Sally Mann, the nonfiction winner for her memoir “Hold Still,” explained that her mother learned to drive so she could raise money for the library she founded in rural Virginia.

“She wanted to drive so she could go to these meetings and give these impassioned speeches about the importance of the library,” Mann told the AP.

The library association, currently gathered in Boston for its annual midwinter meeting, announced the medals Sunday evening. Nguyen and Mann each receive $5,000 for their prizes, funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corp. of New York. The four other finalists, who include Hanya Yanagihara for her novel “A Little Life,” each receive $1,500.

The Carnegie Medals were established in 2012, and previous winners include Doris Kearns Goodwin, Donna Tartt and Richard Ford.

Nguyen said his local library in San Jose was “like a second home” because his parents, refugees from Vietnam, were so busy running a grocery store. He remembered the library as a place he could “challenge himself with difficult ideas,” such as the time he read Larry Heinemann’s harsh saga of an American soldier in Vietnam, “Close Quarters.”

“It left a deep imprint on me and I hated that book for many years,” he said.

Nguyen would come to admire the novel for its candor and even-handedness, but he also sensed what the book and other famous Vietnam stories lacked: People like him, the Vietnamese. “The Sympathizer” is set during the end of the Vietnam War, but narrated by a spy for North Vietnam who is the son of a Vietnamese mother and French father.

“I wanted to refute the idea that there’s only an American point of view, or only a Vietnamese point of view. I wanted to account for all views,” he said.

Mann, known for her stark black-and-white photographs and for the portraits of her own children, said she and her family lived so far out in the country that books became “her lifeline to the rest of the world.” By age 13, she was not only borrowing books from the library her mother started, but also working there.

“I’m just sort of a library type person,” she said. “My mother went on to run a bookstore, which is not as pure” because people have to pay for books.

“That makes this award all the sweeter.”


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Stop By and Say Hi in Boston!

ALA Midwinter We're Exhibiting Logo

Consortium will be at Midwinter this week, and we’d love to see you!
We’ll be at booth 2131.
As usual, we’ll have author signings, galleys, and lots of swag!

Publishers in Our Aisle

Each publisher will have their own giveaways and fun, new books for you to see!

Hirsh Sawhney will have a panel of his own at the Pop Top Stage on Sunday, January 10th. The event is from 1:00 to 1:50, and features an author signing following the presentation. He will be signing galleys of his forthcoming book, South Haven.


We will have signings while at ALA:

11:00-11:30  Mick Carlon (Girl Singer)

2:00-2:30    Hirsh Sawhney (South Haven)


In addition, we will have galley giveaways and book giveaways in between signings. Stop by and pick up your next favorite book!


9:00-9:30   The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga

2:00-2:30   The Journey of Captain Scaredy Cat by José Carlos Andrés & Sonja Wimmer

2:30-3:00   Princess Li by Luis Amavisca & Elena Rendeiro                                                                                           


9:00-9:30     Among the Dead and Dreaming by Samuel Ligon

11:00-11:30  The Measure of Darkness by Liam Duncan

3:00-3:30    A Chick in the Cockpit by Erika Armstrong (not a galley, but CHOCOLATE!)



We can’t wait to meet you in person! Can’t make it to Boston? We’ll be tweeting at @ConsortiumBooks, and using the #alamw16 hashtag.


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Foreword Reviews Announces Best Poetry and Mystery Books for Winter

The Winter 2016 issue of Foreword Reviews is here, and it comes with a couple of choice features including books from Consortium publishers. The magazine calls Swallows and Waves, published by Sarabande Books, “lithe and exacting” in an article deciding the “Best Poetry of Winter 2016,” and that’s just the beginning! A feature onSecrecy, Conspiracy, & Crime” novels listed both volumes in Gallic Books’ The Lady Agnès Mystery series, remarking that the stories “showcase the courage and cunning needed to survive in a time when women had few choices in life” and continued, “A true historical thriller and murder mystery, an ancient prophecy unites an abbess, a knight, an illegitimate daughter, an assassin, and more, but corruption and evil intent often hide behind pretty words and faces, leaving Lady Agnès fighting for survival.” The same article called Bitter Lemon Press’ The Body Snatcher “gritty and raw” and “a page-turner not to be missed” and of Prospect Park Books’ The Spy on the Tennessee Walker, the magazine said, “Intellectuals and trivia buffs will appreciate both Maggie’s and Victoria’s obvious love of current events, music, and literature. . . . Historical action, romance, and modern mystery unite as Maggie and her crew solve the mystery of The Spy on the Tennessee Walker.”

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Four of Our Publishers’ Titles Are Washington Post Best Books!

The Washington Post Book World announced its lists of the best books of 2015 on November 18! Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings was selected as a Best Children’s Book in conjunction with the Washington Post KidsPost. Following its controversial review in September, the Washington Post chose Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun as a Notable Nonfiction pick. The Best Poetry Collections list described Notes on the Assemblage as “a splendid introduction to the expansive work of Juan Felipe Herrera, the nation’s new poet laureate,” and the list of Best Science Fiction and Fantasy called The Only Ones by Carolla Dibbell “a heart-piercing tale of love, desire and acceptance.” Also, O, the Oprah Magazine has posted the article online proclaiming The Only Ones one of Oprah’s Top 10 Favorite Books, which was printed in the December 2015 issue. Congratulations to our publishers who make these fantastic books a reality!

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101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die is a NYT Bestseller!
101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die is a NYT Bestseller!

101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die has made its debut appearance in the New York Times bestseller list for November 29, ranking at #6 in the Hardcover Graphic category! The fiery graphic novel from Nobrow Press serves as a sort of musical autobiography, as artist Ricardo Cavolo recommends musicians with anecdotes about the impact they had on his life. Published in September, the book has earned rave reviews from the A.V. Club, Graphic Novel Reporter, Bleeding Cool, and Shelf Awareness for Readers. Congratulations to Nobrow Press and Cavolo! We hope to see this stunning piece of artwork and memoir on the bestsellers list for weeks to come.

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Fifteen Dogs Wins Giller Prize!
Fifteen Dogs Wins Giller Prize!

Congratulations to André Alexis, who has won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel Fifteen Dogs, published by Coach House Books! Publishers Weekly announced the news on November 11, following with an e-blast to its subscribers. The Giller Prize is one of Canada’s most prestigious literary prizes, often considered equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in the U.S. The judges called Fifteen Dogs “a novel filled with balancing acts: humor juxtaposed with savagery, solitude with the desperate need to be part of a pack, perceptive prose interspersed with playful poetry. A wonderful and original piece of writing that challenges the reader to examine their own existence and recall the age old question, what’s the meaning of life?” Alexis was awarded the $100,000 prize at a black-tie ceremony on November 10. Biblioasis titles Arvida and Martin John were finalists.

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Three Enchanted Lion Books featured in NYT Book Review!

Enchanted Lion is undeniably on a roll! In addition to The Tiger Who Would Be King being voted one of the ten New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015, The Snow Rabbit and Scritch Scratch Scraww Plop were both featured with glowing praise in the November 8th edition of the New York Times Book Review. The Snow Rabbit, a wordless picture book by Camille Garoche (Princesse Camcam), details two sisters’ adventures through a snowy, winter countryside. It was published on November 3rd. Christopher Silas Neal writes in his review, “The art, meticulously crafted with hand cut paper and photographed like a miniature stage set, is layered and charmingly precise.” Scritch Scratch Scraww Plop is a heartfelt story by Kitty Crowther about a little frog named Jeremy who’s afraid of the dark. Reviewer Maria Russo writes, “Crowther imbues a familiar scenario with elegance and surprise, especially in her gray, lime green and red pencil drawing: The floor of the frogs’ house is covered in water, and Jeremy’s worst imaginings look respectably scary.” Scritch Scratch was published in September. All this praise comes after the announcement of The Tiger Who Would Be King making the coveted New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year list on October 29th. The gorgeously illustrated JooHee Yoon interpretation of James Thurber’s classic fable also received glowing reviews from other acclaimed publications, including the Wall Street Journal, and a starred review from Kirkus. The book was published in September. If you haven’t already caught up with these three amazing titles, do yourself a favor and check them out today!

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Wordless Wonder Sidewalk Flowers Continues Its Winning Streak


Sidewalk Flowers continued its streak of critical acclaim by being named one of the Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015 by the New York Times last week.  In an earlier article, a New York Times reviewer remarked, “I’d give this book to anyone with a coffee table, in a household with or without children.”

According to the New York Times Best Illustrated article, Sidewalk Flowers is, “Something to treasure,” our reviewer, Carmela Ciuraru, called this dazzling wordless book. As a girl and her father walk home through city streets, she notices flowers sprouting in unexpected places. She picks them, accumulating a bouquet that she distributes to a dog, a dead bird, a homeless man and finally, back home, her sleeping toddler sibling. In Smith’s elegant and moving drawings, as Ciuraru wrote, “the only pop of color on the first page is the girl’s bright red hoodie, redolent of Peter’s snowsuit in Ezra Jack Keats’s ‘The Snowy Day.’ More color suffuses these pages as the pair gets closer to home.”

Sidewalk Flowers is the recipient of five starred reviews:  Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and Quill & Quire.  The book was also recently honored with the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration 2015 in Canada, publisher Groundwood’s home.

Sidewalk Flowers

Groundwood Books


By JonArno Lawson & Illustrated by Sydney Smith

Trade Cloth, Picture Book | $16.95

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