In response to overwhelming advance orders, TOON Books was taken by surprise and has had to go back to press for all three of its spring debut titles. Benny and Penny by Geoffrey Hayes is already out of stock with its distributor, Diamond Book Distributors, before its April 7 pub-date, and the same fate is imminent for Agnès Rosenstiehl’s Silly Lilly and Frank Cammuso and Jay Lynch’s Otto’s Orange Day.
“We were in the middle of preparing for our launch,” says Editorial Director Françoise Mouly, also the Art Editor of The New Yorker, “but I couldn’t imagine a more welcome distraction.” Self-published by Mouly under her RAW Junior, LLC imprint, and edited by Mouly with Series Advisor Art Spiegelman (Maus, In the Shadow of No Towers), the TOON Books are the first collection of high-quality hardcover comics for early readers. Heavily vetted by educators, the books “fill such a need in children’s publishing,” says Laura Lutz, Children’s Materials Specialist at the Queens Library.
The TOON Books have already received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, review attention in Kirkus, Shelf Awareness, and School Library Journal, and feature attention in The New York Times, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, Time Out New York Kids, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Miami Herald and PrINT magazine, among many other venues.The three books’ simultaneous publication date is April 7, 2008.
A full schedule of author events in NYC is planned to mark the debut of the line:
Friday, 11 april, 6 – 7.30pm
• BORDERS BOOkS AND MuSIC, Columbus Circle @ 59th Street
Geoffrey Hayes, Agnès Rosenstiehl, Frank Cammuso & Jay Lynch, introduced by Françoise
Mouly and Art Spiegelman