Bloomsbury USA Announces Children's Books List

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The Bloomsbury publishing house has garnered its biggest industry headlines for signing J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter titles have been published in the U.S. by Scholastic. This week the U.K.-based publisher -- which has a U.S. publishing program distributed by Holtzbrinck -- released its first catalog of 19 children's books to be published in America.

The debut list contains two American originals and several previously published titles that have won awards in the U.K. Among the titles are picture books, board books, first chapter books, middle-grade and YA fiction. A lead picture book title is Five Little Fiends, which was a Smarties Prize medallist in the U.K. (The prize is awarded annually to a work of fiction or poetry for children written in English by a U.K. citizen, and is quite a coup.)

Sarah Odedina, editorial director for children's books worldwide, noted in a prepared statement that "we aim to publish books that will take the reader on a journey, one that other books may be shy of embarking upon. We are a company that produces 'books', not 'product,' and a company that believes there are a legion of readers out there wanting to read books outside the series driven main stream of children's publishing."

The company noted that the fall 2002 list is estimated to be 20 titles total, with releases September 2002 through February 2003. Bloomsbury said it plans to grow the number of American originals being published each season as well as increase the total number of titles published annually.

-- Dan Cullen