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brams Appleseed aims to foster the development of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers by engaging them—and their parents—

through artful, beautifully conceived books. Each board book, novelty book, and picture book is informed by a precise knowledge of its intended audience; the content expands on what the child already knows to transform his or her perception of the world. Abrams Appleseed has garnered critical acclaim for books such as Pantone: Colors, Janik Coat’s Hippoposites, Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham’s Now I Am Big!, Barney Saltzberg’s Andrew Drew and Drew, and Eric Barclay’s I Can See Just Fine.


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Abrams Books for Young Readers

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brams Books for Young Readers grew out of a tradition of beautiful art books, and since its founding in 2014 the imprint has published engaging,

well-designed, and innovative illustrated fiction and nonfiction for children. ABYR’s books include award winners and bestsellers. Some of its exceptional illustrators are Graeme Base, Laurent de Brunhoff, Nikki McClure, Duncan Tonatiuh, Joëlle Jolivet, and Peter Reynolds; and its highly regarded writers and poets include Laura Numeroff, Susan Orlean, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Andrea Beaty, and Cynthia Rylant. Among its distinguished nonfiction authors are Tonya Bolden, Jan Greenberg, Robert Burleigh, and Susan Goldman Rubin. ABYR’s fiction runs the gamut from sweet to playful for ages four through eight, while the nonfiction includes fully illustrated biographies for young readers and longer, more detailed illustrated books for middle-grade readers.


AMULET BOOKS

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mulet Books publishes fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels for middle-grade and teen readers. The ideal Amulet title has sparkling writing and

a unique point of view that appeals to kids and teens. Books on the Amulet list are not afraid to challenge the form and design of a traditional novel. Examples include the ttyl series by Lauren Myracle (the first novel in instant messages), Meanwhile by Jason Shiga (an interactive graphic novel), and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Diary of a Wimpy Kid was the first of the “hybrid novels” and has sold over 150 million copies worldwide. Our books have been award winners—like Margi Preus’s Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai—and bestsellers—like Michael Buckley’s Sisters Grimm and NERDS series and Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series.


S

ince the inception of Abrams in 1949, we have identified and celebrated contemporary and groundbreaking art, championing burgeoning creative forms

and presenting them to the public in beautifully produced and authoritatively written illustrated books. With the launch of Abrams ComicArts in the spring of 2009, Abrams recognizes and publishes award-winning art books and graphic novels that illuminate the world of comics and comics art. Our goal is to maintain the fine-art tradition for which Abrams is known while defining the medium of comics and comics art for generations to come.


Illustration by Matthew Cordell

Tamar Brazis

T

 amar Brazis believes that most things in life can be learned from reading Arnold

Lobel’s Frog and Toad series. Her (obsessive) love for this duo has informed much of her sensibility toward working on children’s books. Tamar received

Editorial Director

her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA from The New School, with a concentration in poetry. After working at HarperCollins, she moved to Abrams, where she has focused on picture books and middle-grade fiction for over eleven years, along with a list of music-related adult titles. Some of her projects include the New York Times bestselling Jellybeans series by Laura Numeroff;  The Night Gardener  by Jonathan Auxier;  The Museum,  illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds; Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews and Bryan Collier; and Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson and David Shannon. Tamar has a soft spot for doughnut shops, Dante, and “Baby, It’s You” by the Shirelles. She’s still hoping to find the next Frog and Toad.


Illustration by Cece Bell

Editorial Assistant

Orlando Dos reis O

rlando Dos Reis’s love for children’s books

writing and cinema. From there, he went on to Kansas

began at an early age when he came across

State University where he taught college composition

a little series called Animorphs by K. A. Applegate.

courses and received an MA in children’s and young

He knew these books so well, in fact, that he started

adult literature. (He wrote his thesis on Harry Potter;

writing fan fiction based on the series—and he even

ask him about it sometime.)

created business cards for himself as an Animorphs

Orlando began working for Abrams Books for

ghostwriter! But Orlando’s love affair with children’s

Young Readers and Amulet in January 2014 after

books didn’t end there: His two favorite series for chil-

graduating with a certificate in publishing from the

dren remain Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series and, of

Denver Publishing Institute and a Managing Editorial

course, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Some ten

internship at Bloomsbury USA—and he is loving every

years later, Orlando’s passion for reading and writing

minute of it.

led him to Virginia Tech where he studied creative


Illustration by Jen Corace

Erica Finkel

Associate Editor

G

rowing up in Maryland, Erica Finkel

picture books through young adult novels, including

could often be found on the sidelines of her

Fraidyzoo (an ALA Notable Book), My Basmati

brother’s Little League games with a big stack of

Bat Mitzvah, and the Winterkill series. She focuses

Nancy Drew books or anything by Madeleine L’Engle

on fiction, and would like to especially acquire

or Sharon Creech. She earned a BA in English Liter-

contemporary realism and fantasy that straddles

ature from Tufts University and taught English in a

the literary and commercial divide. She loves atmo-

teeny town in France, where she often felt like Belle

spheric fantasy series like Graceling and Girl of Fire

in the opening sequence of Beauty and the Beast.

and Thorns, smart romance in the vein of Rainbow

After returning to the States and earning an MA in

Rowell and Lauren Myracle, and boy narrators with

Publishing and Writing from Emerson College, she

lots of feelings, such as in the work of Andrew Smith,

moved to New York to take a job at Abrams in 2010.

Gary Schmidt, and Tim Tharp.

She now works on a wide variety of projects from


Illustration by Fiona Robinson

Editor

Anne heltzel A

nne Heltzel’s dream as a child, accord-

worked primarily on YA titles such as the New York

ing to her middle school diary, was to become

Times bestselling Seizure, by Kathy Reichs and the

a book editor. Her other dream was to become Betsy

Edgar Award nominated How to Lead a Life of Crime

from the Betsy-Tacy series. Neither seemed likely to

by Kirsten Miller. She is delighted to have joined the

come true; but the fact that one did contributes to

Abrams family, where she is acquiring with an empha-

her continued belief in magic. A desire to cultivate a

sis on young adult fiction.

sense of wonder in other children cemented her love for children’s publishing.

An adventurous soul, Anne has lived in India and France, where she wrote, au paired, and free-

Anne earned her BA in the Program of Liberal

lance edited for NYC publishing houses. She is also

Studies from Notre Dame and her MFA from The

the author of three published novels. When she is not

New School. Her career in publishing began at Curtis

reading, writing, or editing, Anne can be found rifling

Brown Ltd., where she was an assistant to a literary

through thrift store racks or putting in park time with

agent in the Children’s Department. Shortly thereafter

her affable pup.

she moved to an imprint of Penguin Group, where she


Charles Kochman

Illustration by Ross MacDonald

Editorial Director

C

harles Kochman joined Abrams in 2005.

Prior to Abrams, Kochman spent twelve years

He is the editorial director of Abrams ComicArts

as the first editor of licensed publishing at DC Com-

and the editor of the #1 bestselling Diary of a Wimpy

ics and MAD Magazine, where he launched the MAD

Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Kochman has edited

Books imprint and edited the company’s first New

several hundred books for all age groups, including

York Times bestseller, The Death and Life of Super-

picture books by Jon J Muth and Ross MacDonald;

man. Kochman started his career in 1985 at PlayValue

middle-grade novels by Jon Scieszka; retrospectives

books, an imprint of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and in 1987 he

on Rube Goldberg, Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman,

became an editor at Bantam Books, where he edited

Charles M. Schulz, Maurice Sendak, and William

the Choose Your Own Adventure series and the first

Steig; definitive monographs in collaboration with

middle-grade Star Wars publishing program. A grad-

Daniel Clowes, Jules Feiffer, Jaime Hernandez, and

uate of Brooklyn College with a BA in children’s liter-

Alex Ross (with designer Chip Kidd); award-winning

ature, Kochman is a member of the National Cartoon-

graphic novels, including Mom’s Cancer by Brian

ists Society and the Society of Illustrators, and is on

Fies, Nat Turner by Kyle Baker, Yiddishkeit by Harvey

the board of advisers for the San Diego Comic-Con’s

Pekar, and My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf; and

Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writ-

collections with Harry Bliss, George Booth, Robert

ing, the Spectrum Art Annual, and the Museum of

Crumb, Al Jaffee, Françoise Mouly, Art Spiegelman,

Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA).

and the Topps Company.


Howard Reeves Illustration by Dan Kirk

Editor-at-Large

H

oward W. Reeves is the founder and former publisher of the Abrams children’s

books program. Today, as editor-at-large, he edits a wide range of picture books, illustrated nonfiction, and novels. He has always been intrigued by faraway places and people who have had very different experiences from his own. As a child, he was taught by his parents—both teachers—a sense of fairness and equality for all people. These early life lessons and interests, along with his love of whimsy and beautiful things, such as fine art, played heavily in his choosing children’s books as his life’s profession. And these lessons and interests are reflected in the books he edits, such as the novel Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus, winner of a Newbery Honor, about a Japanese boy living in the nineteenth century who helped open the doors of Japan to the Western World, and Maritcha: A Nineteen-Century American Girl, winner of the Coretta Scott King Honor, about a free young black girl living in New York City before the Civil War.  Other books he has edited include Mammoths and Mastodons by Cheryl Bardoe, an Orbis Pictus Honor book, published with the Field Museum, Chicago; and George Bellows: Painter with a Punch by Robert Burleigh, published with The National Gallery of Art.


Illustration by Amy Ignatow

N

icole Sclama’s love affair with books began before she could read, when she

would trick her parents into reading extra bedtime stories every night. Her fear of having to

Nicole Sclama

say “I’m between books right now” inspired her to carry two books with her wherever she went, just in case she finished one. Although she finds it impossible to pick a favorite book, she reads The Phantom Tollbooth every summer. Frequent trips to Barnes & Noble while growing up led to a position as a part-time bookseller there during her senior year of high school. She continued to work for Barnes & Noble throughout college, and she became the Children’s Lead in the downtown Washington, D.C., store after graduating from

Assistant Editor

The Catholic University of America with a BA in English Literature. Surrounded by old and new favorites, Nicole enjoyed sharing her passion for reading with every customer. Nicole began working for Abrams Appleseed and Abrams ComicArts in September 2013 after completing her MA in the humanities with a concentration in English Literature from the University of Chicago. She is excited to be working on books that will make reading as much fun for others as it is for her.


Illustration by Chuck Groenink

Traci TODD Executive Editor

T

   raci Todd grew up in a high-rise apartment in downtown Chicago. There was

no walking to the playground or running outside to play. Her most effective escape plan was to get lost between the pages of a favorite book. Today, she still has some of her childhood favorites, worn and faded, shelved at the very top of her bright yellow bookcase. These books—and how much she loved them— are the things she keeps in mind as she shapes the Appleseed list.


Bell

nb yC ece Illu str ati o

Susan Van Metre Senior Vice President & Publisher

S

usan Van Metre is one of four children.

that siblings can be friends!). She still has a soft spot

She grew up in a peripatetic military family.

for family stories, but she is a true omnivore, devouring

She feels these two facts shaped her into a devoted

fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, romance, historical

reader of children’s literature. If you’ve never noticed,

fiction, and magical realism in equal measure. She

she will point out to you that some of the greatest

particulary loves editing middle grade fiction. She

books in the canon feature families with four children:

attended Mount Holyoke College and the Radcliffe

the Narnia Chronicles, Half Magic, Little Women, The

Publishing Course, and began her publishing career

Moffats, Meet the Austins, The Greengage Summer,

at Dutton Children’s Books before moving to Abrams

The Swiss Family Robinson, the Boxcar Children, and

to launch the Amulet Books imprint. She feels very

the Bobbsey Twins (had to be included!). Growing up

lucky that books continue to be part of her everyday

in many places meant that Susan depended on books

life, keeping her company and shaping her in so many

and siblings for friendship (and books to convince her

ways.


Illustration by David Roberts

Chad Beckerman Creative Director

C

had W. Beckerman is an awardwinning designer and creative director at

ABRAMS, where he oversees the design of picture books, novels and graphic novels under the Abrams Appleseed, Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books, and Abrams ComicArts imprints. He is the designer behind such successful children’s series as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Origami Yoda, NERDS Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, Frank Einstein and The Terrible Two. He has been a judge for several illustration competitions such as Society Of Illustrators Annual 53, Communication Arts Illustration Annual 54: 2013, American Illustration 32, 2014 SCBWI New York Show Illustration, and the New York Book Show 2014. He studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Follow him @chadwbecks on Instagram and Twitter.


Illustration by Matthew Cordell

Junior Designer

J

essie Gang has been 4'11 and a ½  s ince the eighth grade. The few pros to her ador-

ably underwhelming stature has been buying

Jessie Gang

movie tickets at the child's admission price, going to NYC playgrounds without accompanying a child, and roaming the children's selection at bookstores without judgement. Over the past 20 plus years, Jessie has read countless YA and middle-school books. Her favorites include The Gammage Cup, the Wind Singer trilogy, the Mysterious Benedict Society series, and of course, the Harry Potter series. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts for graphic design, Jessie has been lucky enough to have found her dream job here at Abrams! She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the narrative process and is ever grateful to the Abrams team. During her time here, Jessie has worked on titles such as In, Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, Explorers: The Hidden Doors, High and Dry, the Mini Myths series, and The Soldier’s Secret paperback edition. Follow Jessie on instagram @littlemissgang.


Illustration by Jen Corace

Associate Art Director

Maria Middleton M

aria T. Middleton left the first day of

York Times award-winning Splintered series by A. G.

kindergarten in tears. She hadn’t, that very

Howard; the Pura Belpré Honor and Sibert Honor

day, learned how to read. Determined, Maria cut her

winner Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh;

teeth on Little Golden books and Dr. Seuss before

and the Internet Girls series by Lauren Myracle. Maria

sinking into classics such as Matilda, Tales of the Fourth

lives in Brooklyn in a studio apartment filled with

Grade Nothing, The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Hobbit. (She was often caught reading library books under her desk during class.) After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Maria began her publishing career at HarperCollins and in 2007 joined the Abrams team. As Associate Art Director for Abrams Kids, Maria has designed a wide range of children’s and young adult titles including the New

books.


Illustration by Nathan Hale

Alyssa nasser

Senior Designer

A

lyssa Nassner is an illustrator and hand letterer from Maryland, now living and working

in New York. She earned her BFA in illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Prior to joining the Abrams team, Alyssa was a textile designer for Target corporate in Minneapolis, MN. In addition to designing for Abrams, Alyssa has illustrated books for the Appleseed Montessori series; and her new illustrated Appleseed book, Lullabies & Kisses Sweet, will be released this spring. She has also illustrated and designed projects for a wide array of clients including JoAnn Fabrics, American Greetings, Galison, McSweeney's, Hallmark, Chronicle Books, and more. Her interests outside of work include eating donuts, napping, playing with dogs, and reading her daily horoscope.


Illustration by Frank Camuso

Senior Designer

Pamela NOTARANTONIO

P

amela Notarantonio is a graphic designer with a love for type and bold color.

She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has worked in publishing since 2005. Since starting at Abrams in the summer of 2014, Pamela has designed a wide range of books including The Age of Selfishness, Just So Happens, Capital Days, Wild Child, and Whose Truck? She designed new series branding for Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef, The Creeps, and The Qwikpick Papers series covers: Poop Fountain! and The Rat with the Human Face. Pamela lives in Astoria and loves to cook, play softball, practice yoga, and watch movies.


Illustration by Alyssa Nasser

Emily Dowdell Marketing and Publicity Assistant

E

mily Dowdell   r ecently moved to New York from Marietta, Georgia, where she spent

most of her childhood curled up in various corners with a book. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and minors in Spanish and Creative Writing, and is also a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course. Before starting as Marketing and Publicity Assistant at Abrams in 2014, she interned with The University of Alabama Press and August House, Inc, an independent publisher based in Atlanta. At Abrams, Emily works with books from all of the children’s imprints, in addition to assisting the rest of the department. She likes to spend her spare time exploring her new city, and is always on the lookout for good biscuits and barbecue in New York.


Illustration by Amy Ignatow

Morgan Dubin Marketing & Publicity Associate

M

organ Dubin moved to New York City in 2010, excited to be part of the book

publishing universe! She graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, with a minor in Marketing. Morgan interned with Westchester magazine, Teen Voices, Eye on Education, and Harvard Common Press; but she has always loved children’s books and is thrilled to be at Abrams Books, where she started as an assistant in April 2012. A few Abrams favorites that she’s had the pleasure of working on include the Popularity Papers series, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, Pluto’s Secret, The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, and My Basmati Bat Mitzvah. In her spare time, Morgan loves to dance; design; travel for delicious food, coffee, and cocktails; and explore New York City. Her heart is full of photography, yoga, baking, roof access, road trips, and deep-bodied Cabernets. Morgan currently resides in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


Nicole Russo

Illustration by Sara Gillingham

Director of Marketing & Publicity

A

s Director of Marketing and Publicity, Nicole Russo spearheads the marketing efforts

for Abrams Appleseed and also works with authors such as Lauren Myracle and Nikki McClure. Nicole was most recently Deputy Director of Publicity at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, where she had worked since 2005. During her tenure at S&S, she managed campaigns for Cassandra Clare’s New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series and helped cultivate the careers of such bestselling authors as Ellen Hopkins, Lisa McMann, Holly Black, Peter Brown, and Mem Fox.  After graduating from the University of Scranton with a degree in Communication, Nicole started her career in publishing at Random House and has also worked in consumer product public relations and marketing. Growing up, Nicole was an avid Nancy Drew reader, and if she wasn’t busy promoting children’s books, she would be off using her super sleuth skills to solve mysteries like Nancy. What Nicole loves most about her job is helping people discover wonderful books.


Illustration by Dan Santat

Jason Wells

Executive Director of Marketing & Publicity

J

ason M. Wells started his career in pub-

cations, he has worked in marketing and/or publicity

lishing at the age of sixteen at reference-book

positions at Penguin, DK Publishing, Hyperion/Disney,

publisher PBC International. While there, he worked

and Simon & Schuster. He joined Abrams in 2002 and

on the book Children’s Book Illustration and Design,

has led Children’s Marketing and Publicity here ever

edited by Julie Cummins, which spurred his interest

since. Jason holds an MA in information science from

in children’s book publishing as a career. Since gradu-

Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and is a regular part of the

ating from SUNY Oneonta with a degree in Communi-

staff of the Columbia Publishing Course.


Illustration by Fiona Robinson

James Armstrong

Managing Editor

J

im Armstrong has worked for a variety of

Park), which he copyedited. He has been at Abrams

book publishers over the years. He began

since 2011 and before that was copy chief at Random

with college textbooks, then moved to adult trade

House, Knopf, and Crown and managing editor at

books, and finally discovered the best kind of books

Clarion. Jim is a graduate of Williams College and also

of all: children’s books. He has overseen the edito-

of the publishing program at New York University. His

rial production of many wonderful books, including

hobbies include traveling by train in remote parts of

Caldecott Medal winners, Newbery Honor Books, and

the world and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

a Newbery Award winner (A Single Shard, by Linda Sue


Illustration by Fiona Robinson

Senior Managing Editor

Jen Graham A

native Floridian, Jen Graham studied

lanced for Abrams beginning in 2009 before being

English and Women’s Studies at the Univer-

hired full-time in 2011. When she’s not revising sched-

sity of Florida and began her book publishing career

ules or debating comma placement at Abrams, she’s

at the University Press of Florida. She moved to New

probably reading a novel, knitting a sweater, riding

York in 2007 to work at Random House’s Potter Craft

her bike, or taking psychological tests for her ther-

imprint as a developmental editor of craft books. Since

apist-in-training boyfriend. She spent her childhood

then, she’s edited test-prep titles at the Princeton

rereading A Little Princess and Anne of Green Gables,

Review and romance novels at Avalon Books, while

and she can’t believe she gets to read books for a

copyediting and proofreading for Simon & Schuster,

living.

Chronicle, Open Road, and Reader’s Digest. She free-

Abrams Kids 2015 yearbook  

Learn more about the amazing people behind the books of Abrams Kids!

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