On 24th November 2007, I attended the SCBWI-Bi Winchester Writers' Day. At the end of the event there was an editors' panel where four children's book editors told the delegates why they have published particualr books. Over the month I have decided to give a brief run down of what they said. I hope you find it useful.
Stephanie Stansby – Little Tiger Press
Little Tiger Press is a small independent company that specialises in picture books. The books on their list portray emotion.
They have a core list of illustrators they use and they like to develop artists from scratch. They guarantee their illustrators two books a year. Characterisation is key. The illustrations should let the character come through.
Stephanie prefers books she can get to the guts of and find out why they are working or why they are not working. She said publishers are there to help. Stephanie likes examining how the text and art correlate in picture books. Both the parent and the child should be able to connect with the book on a personal level. Rhythm and repetition give the story momentum and pace. Being able to read the book aloud, again and again and again, is important.
The text has to work without the illustrations; the illustrations have to work without the text; both have to work together.
Here are some examples of books she loves that are published by Little Tiger Press:
Big Bear, Little Bear by David Bedford and Jane Chapman
Augustus and His Smile by Catherine Rayner
Dirty Bertie by David Roberts
I Love You Sleepyhead by Claire Freedman and Simon Mendez