Little Bee’s US division is rapidly expanding its list:
Though Little Bee’s 2015 list was primarily comprised of children’s books that were originated by Bonnier’s U.K. divisions, including Templar, Studio Press, and Autumn Publishing, in 2016 the American editorial team began to develop its own titles. “It takes time to build a list, but from the start we knew we wanted to create originals and do something different in the board book, picture book, and nonfiction categories,” explained Sonali Fry, publisher of Little Bee as well as its sister imprint, Sizzle Books, which is devoted to licensed properties, media tie-in books, and pop-culture titles. The books of both imprints are distributed by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and Canada.
Little Bee’s original publishing program has expanded quickly. In spring 2016, Little Bee’s first list of books originating in this country contained 10 titles. Just one year later, Little Bee’s spring 2017 list offers 28 new releases, and the publisher expects to issue some 50 books in spring 2018. “Our list of originals has been growing by leaps and bounds, and we decided that moving into chapter books was a natural progression for us,” Fry said.
Little Bee Chapter Books launches this season with two very different series. Tales of Sasha, which debuted in January with The Big Secret and Journey Beyond the Trees, relays the story of a horse that sprouts wings and discovers a land of similarly magical flying horses. The series is written by Alexa Pearl and illustrated by Paco Sordo. Ella and Owen, which introduces two mischievous dragon twins, starts up on March 7 with The Cave of Aaaaah! Doom! and Attack of the Stinky Fish Monster! by Jaden Kent, illustrated by Iryna Bodnaruk. The novels will be published simultaneously in jacketed hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions, and each series will add two additional titles in summer and fall 2017.