February 29, 2012
Categories: Fun and games
It’s Leap Day! That magical day that comes only once every four years, when we get to make up for the fact that it actually takes the Earth 365 and a quarter days to revolve around the sun by tacking a whole extra day onto the end of February. (Happy birthday, Jerry Gergich!)
In keeping with Leap Day tradition, we here at Workman are celebrating by:
- taking leaps—i.e. doing things we wouldn’t usually do.
- taking leaps—i.e. jumping over one another like frogs.
But—sorry—we’re not about to show you footage of us leap frogging around the office. So instead, check out these champion Leap Froggers! Eric and Ryan Buffet of Aiken, South Carolina, broke the world record for Most Tandem Leap Frogs in 30 Seconds. The previous record, set by two unknown jumpers at Burning Man, was 25. We think Leap Day William would be proud!
To read about more amazing records, pick up a copy of The Record Setter Book of World Records. And to find more records that are just itching to be broken, visit RecordSetter.com.
February 24, 2012
Categories: On blogs around the web
Steal Like An Artist
By Austin Kleon
In Bookstores and Online February 28th
Don’t cry, there are enough copies for everyone.
February 24, 2012
Ten lucky winners will each win a 11×14 framed limited edition print of one of Austin’s newspaper blackout poems (valued at $185, offered exclusively by 20×200.com).
To be eligible to win, just email a copy of your receipt for the purchase of a copy of Austin Kleon’s new book STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST by 11:59pm (pst) February 28, 2012 to email@example.com. Include your full name, address (where print would be shipped), phone number and email address when sending in the receipt. The 10 winners will be selected at random on February 29 and will be notified by March 5, 2012. The winners names will also be posted at austinkleon.com.
February 24, 2012
Categories: Behind the scenes
Extraordinary. Remarkable. Wonderful.
You know when a book comes into your life and it renders you speechless? The kind of book that can only be summed up in exclamations? Wonder, by Workman’s own R.J. Palacio, is just such a book. And the three words above? A sampling of the heaps of praise* it has rightly earned from book critics, grown-ups, and kids alike.
What is this stunning middle grade novel about? I’ll let the cover copy do the talking:
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
Full of heart, this book will make you laugh, cry, and cheer for Auggie. It is, simply, a wonder of a book.
* Select praise for Wonder:
“A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Palacio makes it feel not only effortless but downright graceful, and by the stand-up-and-cheer conclusion, readers will be doing just that, and feeling as if they are part of this troubled but ultimately warm-hearted community.”
–Booklist, starred review
“Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters. Everyone grows and develops as the story progresses, especially the middle school students. This is a fast read and would be a great discussion starter about love, support, and judging people on their appearance. A well-written, thought-provoking book.”
–School Library Journal, starred review
“Few first novels pack more of a punch: it’s a rare story with the power to open eyes–and hearts–to what it’s like to be singled out for a difference you can’t control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd.”
–Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The breakout publishing sensation of 2012 will come courtesy of Palacio [and] is destined to go the way of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and then some.”
–The London Times, “The Top 100 People to Watch in 2012″
“Palacio is a wonderful storyteller and her characters are bright, well-rounded and intensely likable. Wonder is a beautiful book that is full of sorrow and triumph, emotional without being manipulative — highly recommended.”
–Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“Wonder is a rare gem of a novel–beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart.”
–Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, February 2012
February 22, 2012
Today we wish a happy birthday to George Washington, born this day in 1732.This year would mark his 280th birthday! Not only was GW our nation’s first president, he is also the very GQ cover boy of our Presidents Fandex Family Field Guide.
As the first president, Washington set the standards for the American presidency: he selected the first cabinet, oversaw the bill of rights, warned against foreign alliances, and bowed out after 2 terms. Forty-three presidents have followed since then, but most have struggled to live up to Washington’s legacy. Read about them all in the Presidents Fandex–and if you have a minute, send your birthday regards to George!
Presidents from the front and back of the deck join George Washington in celebration.
In addition to the Westminster Dog Show and the Dog Writers Association Awards (what a busy week!), this week also brought the 2012 Toy Fair to New York City. Yes, the Toy Fair is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a big room full of toy-makers, toy-sellers, toy-buyers, and toy-enthusiasts, sharing their products and ideas. There were board games and building blocks and bicycles and even some books—a real wonderland for anyone who likes to have fun.
Workman was there to represent our numerous kids’ books, but the star of the hour was BrainQuest, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! Below are some photo highlights of the event.
The biggest BrainQuest decks ever! Fun to be smart indeed.
Honk if you love BrainQuest!
Me realizing my dream of meeting a LEGO minifigure (or maybe "maxifigure" is more appropriate).
An awesome "Bananagrams" book and calendar display at the Bananagrams booth.
Can you spot Waldo in this enormous mural?
—Avery, who wishes every day was Toy Fair day
February 17, 2012
There are no official statistics on how many people get engaged on Valentine’s Day, but I’m going to guess it’s a whole lot.
This time last year I was planning my March 2011 wedding and working on Mindy Weiss’s newest book THE WEDDING PLANNER & ORGANIZER which was very convenient, because I had no idea what I was doing and Mindy knows everything.
I wouldn’t say that I loved planning a wedding–but Mindy’s guidance made it tolerable. And in the end, it was an awfully romantic evening.
So, all of those newly minted fiancés out there, listen to an old married lady and do yourselves a favor: let Mindy help.
(You can also download Mindy’s e-short, DREAM WEDDING ON A BUDGET, for absolutely free until February 29.)
Congrats you crazy kids.
February 16, 2012
All week New York City has been abuzz with the excitement of the Westminster Dog Show. (Have you seen the ewok that won Best in Show? Adorable!) We here at Workman absolutely love all things canine, so the dog show has been a source of much discussion around the office. But to our minds, the real main event of the week was the Dog Writers Association of America Awards, where The Love That Dog Training Program took home two top prizes!
First, the Dog Writers Association of America awarded The Love That Dog Training Program a Maxwell Award for being the Best Book in the Training and Behavior category. At the same event, the book was recognized by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers for promoting Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.). Co-author Larry Kay was on hand to accept the award on behalf of himself and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, who sadly passed away early last year.
Love That Dog teaches the practice of positive reinforcement training—using love and encouragement, not intimidation and suppression—to raise happy and healthy dogs. We’re so glad to see that this humane (and fun!) method is not only catching on among the general public, but also being recognized and encouraged by professionals in the dog world. Congratulations to Dawn and Larry, and everyone involved in making this book a success!
February 15, 2012
We feel your pain. Valentine’s Day can be full of unwelcome sappiness and anguish. Who are you, fat flying archer baby, to force love upon the lonely, the single, the freshly dumped?
Nevermind those ruddy cheeks. We have an excerpt from the perfect book to cheer you. Dear Old Love: Anonymous Notes to Former Crushes, Sweethearts, Husbands, Wives & Ones That Got Away is here for you to confide in, to let you know that it could have been (much, much) worse, or, if you’re in the throes of romance, to remind you how lucky you are.
Here are some wise words–funny and bittersweet and sad–from those who survived to tell the tale. Get ready to ease that heartache.
The Real Ending
Dear Old Love,
I knew it was over when…
- the back rubs tapered off to one every three years.
- you got back into the car with all that beef jerky.
- you used the recession as an excuse to stop going to the movies.
- you said the secret to a long marriage was freedom.
- you got the call about your father. I’m not good with bad times.
- you started secretly making copies of my recipes.
- you claimed to have outgrown dirty limericks.
- you no longer looked me in the eyes on video chat.
- you quit straining the pulp from my orange juice.
- I saw his silver Audi in front of your place. Good-bye, and thanks for slumming.
- you gave up cunnilingus for Lent.
- your mom yelled at me for not knowing who Rebecca from the Bible was. With the way she was talking I thought this Rebecca was a neighbor of yours.
- you had a second kid. Through marriage and kid #1, I figured I still had a shot.
- you stopped being real and started being polite.
- I started living vicariously through your infidelities.
- you didn’t pay for my dinner. For the two-hundred-and-fiftieth time.
- you stopped hoisting me up onto your shoulders at outdoor concerts.
- you quit wanting to coordinate our Halloween costumes.
- you wept and said you no longer loved me.
Dear Old Love,
I only regret…
- that we turned back before we got to the Grand Canyon
- haranguing you about wearing jeans too often and dresses not often enough. (Still–wear more dresses!)
- my refusal to accept your leaving with dignity and grace, even if pouting and rage have their own grace.
- comparing you to all those main characters in Billy Joel songs.
- balking on our trip to India.
- having an affair when I didn’t even like the other one that much.
- that I made you turn off the lights the last time.
- portioning out sex like you were a dog in need of treats, even if you were a dog in need of treats.
- not mercy-killing our marriage sooner.
- saying “Don’t flatter yourself!” so many times during our breakup.
- not seeing the look on the next sucker’s face when he finds out.
- asking you how you got your burn.
- being too timid to do Ecstasy with you. Now I know–you’re never too old.
- not enjoying your tantrums when I had the chance.
- we were not sixty years older when we met. Our age difference would seem negligible, plus you would not be able to get away so easily.
- turning you on to yoga, and yoga instructors.
- my last five drunken e-mails.
- not ceding control of the remote more often.
- being able to dish it out but not take it.
- not recognizing how ahead of your time you were.
- never letting you see me cry.
Don’t you feel better? Now maybe it’s time to take up archery for yourself.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Last year we celebrated with some adorable babies reading/snuggling with their beloved copies of Sandra Boynton’s book Snuggle Puppy. Now it’s been a year, and those babies are babies no more! Well, yes, they definitely still are—but now they’re mobile! They love to crawl and climb and run and play! And when they’re done bouncing around, they still love to read.
Recently* the Workman office hosted a party for the many kids of Workman employees. The results, as you’ll see below, were incredibly cute. Enjoy these photos from the most recent Workman play date; they’re sure to melt your heart, chocolate or otherwise.
Group publisher Bob Miller serenades Charlotte...
...while Scarlet rocks out on the tambourine...
...and Trey and Lorca break it down on the dance floor!
Levi loves bubbles! (And who doesn't?)
Vallen knows that books can be enjoyed both rightside up AND upside down.
Caleb samples the snacks (and books) on offer...
...while Isabella enjoys storytime with Mom.
Evie's ready for a day at the beach!
Some babies, like Madeleine, were still a little young to join the action...
...but that doesn't mean that they, like Serenity here, didn't enjoy watching as much as we adults did!
*Okay, you caught me: This event was actually a few months ago. (No, we don’t wear shorts and sandals in February around here…) But the pictures just seemed so right—so sweet and cute and fun—for Valentine’s Day that we couldn’t resist sharing them today.