I’m an East Sussex gal. I live snugly tucked between Brighton and Lewes and I soak up the best of the children’s literature joy they can offer. Lewes has the beautiful Bags of Books, with knowledgeable and friendly staff and regular author and illustrator events. It also has delicious cafés! Brighton has the Jubilee Library and the Dome Theatre with lots of children’s events and book adaptations, plus brilliant shops for gender-stereotype-free mooching.
I’m lucky to live in an area that cherishes and supports independent businesses and I’m proud to be able to support them too. So imagine my joy when I found two local independent children’s publishers – Ivy Press in Lewes and The Salariya Book Company in Brighton. I really do live in the best place in the world!
I’ll tell you all about Ivy Press next, but first… Salariya!
The Salariya Book Company is tucked in by the Pavilion and close to prime-mooching location, the North Laines. They are also neighbour to a favourite pub of mine which has a gorgeous and unique theatre upstairs. I don’t know how they ever get any work done, but they obviously manage because they are producing some great stuff.
They have three imprints: Scribblers, for babies and pre-schoolers; Book House, aimed more at 5-14 year olds; and Scribo, concentrating on quality fiction for children and young adults.
The thing I really love about Salariya is their respect. Their respect for their reader and real passion for what they do, means they are dedicated to publishing books with real child appeal, using innovative concepts, high-quality illustrations, informative writing and, above all, humour to captivate the minds of young people. They also work with a respect for the environment, and all of their books are printed on paper from sustainable forests.
I am particularly drawn to the Scribblers imprint as it fits so well with the age I am reviewing for. They have recently reprinted Jane Hissey (also an East Sussex local) Old Bear books and I am having a delicious time stroking the pages and soaking up the incredible textures in the illustrations. How does she do that so well?
Scribblers is also publishing some exciting augmented reality books where you can hold the last page up to a webcam and really see the characters come to life on your computer screen. Or what about the exciting Ring for Rescue series – books about lost pets where children can read the numbers on the pets’ collars and call their owners with the removable cardboard phone! I want to play!!
Their Book House imprint is producing some excellent non fiction titles perfect and gruesome enough for key stage 2.
Check out their Danger Zone or You Wouldn’t Want to be a… Series.
I’m excited about the future of Salariya. They are experimenting and learning and trying to create something new for their readers. They are embracing the digital age and looking at mixing film and book with QR codes. I will definitely be watching!
When I spoke to Salariya about what makes them tick, they said:
“In one of our Book House titles, Brighton: A Very Peculiar History, it says: ‘In fact, (and don’t you dare tell them this), sometimes Brighton feels like a place for grown-ups who haven’t quite grown up at all.’ I think you could say that about Salariya too – we’re a bunch of ‘grown ups’ who just can’t get enough of children’s books!”
Sound familiar? What’s not to love?