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Macavity: “A World of Mischief and Hilarity”

With the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” returning to Broadway and the unstoppable reign of kittens over the internet, Faber & Faber’s series of new editions of individual picture books featuring T.S. Eliot’s feline characters from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats couldn’t come at a more perfect time.

Macavity, Eliot’s infamous “Mystery Cat,” is the title character of the newest release in this series (Macavity: The Mystery Cat; By T.S. Eliot; Illustrated by Arthur Robins; 9780571308132; Trade Paper, Picture Book; $9.95). This picture book has received a great review in The New York Times!

“It’s rare that a poem not meant for a picture book translates so smoothly into the form, but Macavity does, coming in at the perfect length and with ample opportunity for illustrations to help build out the story. There’s a refrain — after each dastardly deed we learn about, we’re informed that ‘Macavity’s not there!’ — that makes it a good read-aloud. And the character himself is, of course, the kind of blithe rule-breaker children love hearing about. In fact his ‘crimes’ resemble the kind of thing a kid could get in trouble for: He snatches the milk; he breaks the greenhouse glass. And ‘they say he cheats at cards’… Arthur Robins, a British illustrator whose many credits include My Granny Is a Pirate and a wonderful version of The Teeny Tiny Woman, gives Macavity a wide-faced, grinning demeanor. On a few pages we catch glimpses only of a tail. With their high-spirited, wavery lines and casual, splotchy color, his friendly illustrations call to mind Quentin Blake, but with perhaps a bit more innocence to them. Like Eliot’s verses, they present a world of mischief and hilarity, where cats, true to their nature, lurk, but dark shadows do not.”

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The New York Times Loves Pinny in Summer in Summer (By Joanne Schwartz; Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant; 9781554987825; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $16.95) has received a shining feature this weekend in The New York Times!
“A late summer day near the ocean, a smiling girl who hums as she looks for ‘a special kind of rock’ to make a wish on: From this lovely opening through four simple chapters, Pinny in Summer sets an idyllic mood. Pinny seems wonderfully plucked out of time. Parent-free, she picks blueberries, takes walks, makes a cake, hosts a party and cleverly handles a mischievous seagull’s incursions. Malenfant’s adorable, windswept watercolors add even more charm to each page.”

Current Image



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Two Creston Books in School Library Journal

Two titles from Creston Books have received great reviews from School Library Journal!

Busy Busy! (By Lucy Scott; 9781939547255; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $15.99)
“A sweet story to share one-on-one with a special, busy child. Recommended for most public library collections…The endpapers are cleverly covered with scribbles of a toddler, reminding us of the boundless, vivid world of a young child’s day. The digitally created illustrations bring the child’s imagination to life.” Check out the full review here!

Mira’s Diary: California Dreaming (By Marissa Moss; 9781939547224; Trade Paper; $12.99)
“After adventures in Rome, Paris, and London, Mira, her father, and brother are finally back home in San Francisco. The family thinks that Mira’s mother is somewhere back in time in San Francisco, attempting the forbidden—changing the past…Fast-paced and full of details, the wrap-up of this series gives answers to all of the questions posed in earlier books… A satisfying conclusion. Recommended to fans of the series and Moss’s other works.” Check out the full review here!

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A Kirkus Star for You Are Two!

You Are Two (By Sarah O’Leary; Illustrated by Karen Klassen,  9781771470735; Owlkids Book; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $14.95), Sarah O’Leary’s follow-up to this spring’s You Are One, has received a Kirkus Star for fall! O’Leary combines her charming narration with Karen Klassen’s beautiful supersaturated ink-and-wash illustrations to warmly depict a baby’s second year milestones.

“Toddlerhood often gets a bad rap—just think of the phrase “terrible twos.” But in O’Leary and Klassen’s hands, 2 is anything but terrible. Two is active, capable, vocal, compassionate, thoughtful, creative, determined…whole. Two is human in this picture book, and the narration’s direct address provides affirmation of toddlers’ human complexity and dignity from one spread to the next: ‘Now that you are two, you are learning about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You are forming memories and making plans.’ Accompanying illustrations depict a diverse range of children, different ones on each spread, which nicely avoids having any one depiction of toddlerhood falsely stand in as universal, who engage in activities that echo or expand on the text. Playful industriousness gives way to contemplative calm or mischievous determination, embodied in the faces and postures of the children. The dialectic between art and text offers some surprises, too, as when the line ‘Wherever you go your baby goes, too’ is paired with a picture of a child in the bathtub—not with a baby doll but with a sudsy toy T. Rex.

Pick up a copy or two for the toddlers and toddler-fans in your life.”

Check out the review here! You Are Two is coming soon in September.

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PGW Kids and Legato at ALA Annual in Orlando!

ALA AnnualPGW Kids and Legato will be at ALA Annual in Orlando, FL this week! We would love to see you at our booths 2212 and 2213. Check out the author signings that we will have during the conference:

Friday, June 24
5:30–7:00pm: Madeleine Dunphy (Cat in the Night, Web of Life Children’s Books)
5:30–7:00pm: Marissa Moss (Caravaggio: Painter on the Run, Creston)

Saturday, June 25
10:00–11:00am: Lisa Moore (Flannery, Groundwood)
10:00am–2:00pm: Kathryn Otoshi (Beautiful Hands; One; Zero; Two, KO Kids)
11:00–11:30am: Lauren L. Wohl (A Teeny Tiny Halloween, Persnickety Press)
11:00am–Noon: Robin Newman (Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, Creston)
1:00–3:00pm: Marissa Moss (Caravaggio: Painter on the Run, Creston)
2:00–2:30pm: Sheri Lynn Fishbach (Dex, Persnickety Press)
3:00–3:30pm: Brian Scott Sockin (Am I Like You?, Cornell Lab Publishing)
3:00–5:00pm: Marcia Goldman and Lola (Lola Goes to School, Creston)

Sunday, June 26
10:00–11:00am: Robin Newman (Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, Creston)
10:00am–Noon: Jennifer Swanson (Explore Forces and Motion!, Nomad)
10:00am—Noon: Lauren Bradshaw (Henry’s Bright Idea [Walnut Animal Society], Cameron + Company)
10:00am–2:00pm: Kathryn Otoshi (Beautiful Hands; One; Zero; Two, KO Kids)
1:00–3:00pm: Marissa Moss (Caravaggio: Painter on the Run; Mira’s Diary: California Dreaming; Mira’s Diary: Bombs Over London; Amelia’s Middle-School Graduation Yearbook; Blood Diaries: Tales of a 6th-Grade Vampire, Creston)
3:00–3:30pm: Terry Farish (Joseph’s Big Ride, Annick)
3:00–5:00pm: Marcia Goldman and Lola (Lola Goes to School, Creston)


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Nearly everyone swears…..
Nearly everyone swears…..

….whether it’s over a few too many drinks, in reaction to a stubbed toe, or in flagrante delicto.  It may be starred, beeped, and censored—yet profanity is so appealing that we can’t stop using it. In the funniest, clearest study to date, Benjamin Bergen explains why, and what that tells us about our language and brains.

Swearing, it seems, is an intimate part of us that we have decided to selectively deny.

That’s a damn shame. Swearing is useful. It can be funny, cathartic, or emotionally arousing. As linguist and cognitive scientist Benjamin K. Bergen shows us, it also opens a new window onto how our brains process language and why languages vary around the world and over time.

In this groundbreaking book, Bergen shows us how and why we swear, and reveals to us the wondrous workings of the brain in the process.


“A winner for the psycholinguistics nerd in the house.”

—Kirkus Reviews


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INTO THE RIVER Featured in Publishers Weekly

Into the River (Polis Books,9781943818198, Trade Cloth $17.99) by Ted Dawe makes its North American debut this week, and the chilling YA novel (and the controversy preceding it) has been featured in Publishers Weekly!

“The Margaret Mahy Award-winning novel follows the story of Te Arepa Santos, who struggles between two cultures, that of his Maori tribe and a posh Auckland boarding school where bullying is rampant.

The novel, self-published by Dawe in 2012, was originally deemed M (unrestricted) for audiences 16 and older by New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification which noted that the novel contained ‘sex scenes, offensive language and drug use.’ Following an appeal from Family First New Zealand, a conservative organization, Into the River was then rated R14 by the Film and Literature Board of Review in December 2013, which made it illegal to ‘sell or display the book’ to those aged 14 and below.

According to librarians who spoke with Dawe, prior to the restriction, the novel had been ‘the most borrowed New Zealand book in the New Zealand library system.'”

Check out the full article here.

Other praise for Into the River:

“Both daring and compulsively readable, in Into the River Ted Dawe combines mythology, history and gritty realism into a powerful novel. An outstanding piece of world literature.”
—John Boyne, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

“Determined and curious teens will find this work thought provoking, eye-opening, and maybe even familiar.”
School Library Journal

“Te Arepa, who cycles through a believable variety of identities and struggles, is beautifully vivid. The compassionate depiction of the teen’s choices, both good and bad, as well as the candid portrayal of life at an all-boys school, packed as it is with drugs, drinking, sex, and violent bullying, will give this significant appeal for fans of character-driven novels where the conclusions aren’t very rosy, let alone clearly definitive.”

“Riveting…Into the River is a raw story that rings true. Older teens will devour this fresh, engaging coming-of-age novel about personal identity and poisonous social inequality, the excitement and terror of adolescence, the nuances of friendship and freedom and much more.”
—Shelf Awareness

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Come See Us in Orlando!

Consortium will be at Annual next week, and we’d love to see you! We’ll be at booth 2227. As usual, we’ll have author signings, book and galley giveaways, candy, and lots of swag!

Publishers in Our Aisle

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

Shonna M Humphrey will have a panel of her own at the Pop Top Stage on Saturday, June 25th. The event is from 9:00 to 9:50 am, and features an author signing following the presentation. She will be signing ARCs of her latest book, Dirt Roads & Diner Pie.

William Grill and Kevin McCloskey will be on a panel for the Graphic Novel Stage, on Saturday, June 25th, from 9:30 to 10:20 am. Titled “Reaching Reluctant Readers,” the panel aims to discuss ways that graphic novels reach those difficult-to-engage-readers. They will share the panel with two other great authors and artists, Jim Ottaviani and MK Reed. The panel will also feature a signing following the presentation. William Grill will sign copies of The Wolves of Currumpaw, and Kevin McCloskey will sign copies of The Real Poop on Pigeons!

We will have several author signings while at ALA:


10:30 – 12:30     Shonna M Humphrey (Dirt Roads & Diner Pie)
11:30 – 12:00     William Grill (The Wolves of Currumpaw)


10:00 – 12:00     Rabbi Ben Kamin (I Don’t Know What to Believe)
11:00 – 12:00     Antonio Castro L & Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford (My Tata’s Remedies / Los remedios de mi Tata)
1:00 – 3:00        David Levy (The Family Caregiver’s Manual)
2:00 – 3:00        Kevin McCloskey (The Real Poop on Pigeons!)

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


9:00 – 9:30        The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman
9:30 – 10:00       Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall
10:30 – 11:00     That’s Not Normal! by Mar Pavon & Laure Du Fäy
10:30 – 11:00     Bang Bang I Hurt the Moon by Luis Amavisca & Esther G Madrid
12:30 – 1:00      The Book of Harlan by Bernice McFadden
1:30 – 2:00        Musnet by Kickily
2:30 – 3:00       The Elk Hunt by S. J. Dahlstrom


9:00 – 9:30        A Road Unforeseen by Meredith Tax
12:00 – 12:30     The Gloaming by Melanie Finn
12:30 – 1:00      Bertrand Court by Michelle Brafman
1:30 – 2:00       Stealing Indians by John Smelcer
2:30 – 3:00       Adolfo Kaminsky by Sarah Kaminsky
3:00 – 3:30       A Chick in the Cockpit by Erika Armstrong

Also, we will have candy giveaways on Saturday and Sunday at 3pm!

We can’t wait to meet you in person! Can’t make it to sunny Orlando? We’ll be tweeting at @ConsortiumBooks and @HeatherCHart, and using the #alaac16 hashtag.

TLDR? Here’s a handy flyer with everything I’ve mentioned above!

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Bad Girls of Fashion Gets a Kirkus Star!

Current ImageBad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga has received its first glowing starred review. Kirkus calls it a “probing look at influential women in fashion history,” and notes that “richly detailed and engagingly written, Croll’s captivating study is sureCurrent Image both to enlighten and embolden fashion-minded youth.” Bad Girls of Fashion is the follow-up to Jennifer Croll’s Fashion That Changed the World (Pretsel, 2014), and covers style revolutionaries and trendsetters such as Madonna, Cleopatra, Black Panther radical Angela Davis, and gender-bending Marlene Dietrich.

BAD GIRLS OF FASHION; by Jennifer Croll, illustrated by Ada Buchholc; TP 9781554517855; HC9781554517862; Fall 2016
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A Spirited Blend of History, Anthropology, Folklore, and Biology – COYOTE AMERICA
A Spirited Blend of History, Anthropology, Folklore, and Biology – COYOTE AMERICA

This is one of my favorite books on our fall list…


“Historian Flores has written about the American West for decades, so it’s no surprise his gaze should turn to the region’s scrappy mascot. Over the past 500 years, the original desert-dweller has expanded its territory as far north as Alaska, south into the tropics and deep into many cities. That ubiquity has created a host of problems for both the animal and its neighbors, human and otherwise. Flores captures all sides of the situation in this detailed portrait of an American icon.” —Discover

“It is often impossible to separate how animals behave ‘wild’ from how they behave around humans. Coyotes are a startling example…. Historian Dan Flores has fun describing how coyotes make a mockery of our attempts to put nature in order: ‘It turns out, the coyote really is The Dude, and The Dude absolutely abides.’” —New Scientist

“In a straightforward style, the author unpacks the myths and urban legends surrounding the coyote and conveys his admiration and respect for this incredibly intelligent predator…. Highly recommended for natural history enthusiasts interested in moving beyond the conventional wisdom about coyotes to gain a deeper understanding of their presence in our midst.”

—Library Journal

“[An] absorbing book…. The coyote stories in this book are among the best, and Flores is a master storyteller.” —Natural History

“[A] spirited blend of history, anthropology, folklore, and biology that is capable of surprises…. Well written throughout and just the right length, Flores’ book makes a welcome primer for living in a land in which coyotes roam freely – in, that is to say, the Coyote America of his title.”

—Kirkus Reviews

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