Sometimes things in this business are really hard. They're full of obstacles and complications, difficult decisions and frustrating turns.

Sometimes, they're so simple and easy that every step is a pleasure.

The latter was the case with Calista Brill and TUGBOAT BILL (which happens to rhyme).

Calista, who is a senior editor at First Second, the graphic novel imprint at Macmillan, reached out to me in the spring, seeking an agent. It just so happened that she did so during a week when I was visiting New York for meetings. It just so happened that I would be in the Flatiron, where her office is, the next day, and it just so happened that I had an unexpected opening in my schedule, and she was free during that time.

So we got together, and we hit it off, and before I headed home to Arizona, we'd shaken hands via email and decided to be a team.

Calista had an adorable picture book about a tugboat named Bill and his best friend Mabel (a barge), who ply the waters of the Hudson, and what happens when a kitten falls into those freezing waters. She had shared it with a former colleague, Nancy Inteli, at Harper; they had worked together previously at Disney. It just so happened that I had lunch scheduled with Nancy that very week that I was in New York, on my last day, and Nancy expressed her enthusiasm for the picture book.

Needless to say, the deal wrapped up quickly after that. But we waited to share the news until there was an illustrator on board, too, and so I am very pleased to share the word that the superfantabulous Tad Carpenter, whose most recent books are ZOOM! ZOOM! and NINJA, NINJA, NEVER STOP!, is officially official as the illustrator of TUGBOAT BILL, which is scheduled to release in summer 2016--the same time as the first of six books in Calista's recently announced LITTLE WING series, also at Harper, releases. She's about to get a whole lot busier! Congratulations, Calista!

—Erin

Few communities are as passionate and generous as those in the children's book industry. That's why today we're celebrating the accomplishments of our wonderful clients and the organizations that work hard to get books out there connecting with readers! Here are a few new recognitions received by EMLA clients this year:


For Chris Barton:
           SHARK VS. TRAIN
                      "Building a Home Library" recommendation (ALA, CBC, ALSC)
                      2014 ALA Summer Reading List

           THE DAY-GLO BROTHERS
                      2014 ALA Summer Reading List

For Kelly Bennett:

          VAMPIRE BABY
                      2014 Bank Street College of Education's Best Book of the Year

For Phil Bildner:

           THE SOCCER FENCE
                      A Parents Choice Award Silver Honor to THE SOCCER FENCE!

For Penny Blubaugh:

          SERENDIPITY MARKET
                      2014 Illinois Reads List

For J. Anderson Coats:

         THE WICKED AND THE JUST
                      2014 Taysha's High School Reading Top Ten List
                      2013 Maine State's Cream of the Crop List

For Melanie Crowder:

            PARCHED
                      2014 Bank Street College of Education's Best Book of the Year

For Lynda Mullaly Hunt:
            ONE FOR THE MURPHYS
                     2014 Ohio State Reading List
                     Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award 2015 master list
                     South Carolina's 2014-2015 National Book Award Nominee
                     2013 Maine State's Cream of the Crop List

For Robin LaFevers:
            GRAVE MERCY
                    South Carolina's 2014-2015 National Book Award Nominee
                    2013 Maine State's Cream of the Crop List

            DARK TRIUMPH
                    2014 Indies Choice Book of the Year Honor Award
                    2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list from YALSA
                    School Library Journal's Best Books of 2013

For Tara Lazar:
             THE MONSTORE
                     2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Shortlist
                     2014 Bank Street College of Education's Best Book of the Year

For Natalie Lorenzi

            FLYING THE DRAGON

                       2015 Massachusetts Children's Book Award Master List

                       2014 Sakura Medal

                       

For Susan Meyer:

             BLACK RADISHES
                     Morning Calm Award Finalist

For Pat Zietlow Miller:
             SOPHIE'S SQUASH

                    Ezra Jack Keats New Author Honor Book

                    2014 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
                    Utah's 2014-2015 Beehive Book Award Master List
                    2013 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Picture Book Winner in the Midwest
                    2014 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text
                    2014 Bank Street College of Education's Best Book of the Year
                    2014 Washington D.C. Capitol Choices Pick
                    2014 Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book
                    2014 Maine State's Cream of the Crop List
                    2013 Cybil's Finalist

For Jeannie Mobley:
            KATERINA'S WISH

                    2014-2015 William Allen White Award Master List
                    2013 Colorado Book Award Winner
                    2013 Library of Congress Center for the Book 52 Great Reads List
                    2013 Maine State's Cream of the Crop List


For Jennifer Nielsen:
          THE FALSE PRINCE
                   2014 Ohio State Reading List
                   2014-2015 California Young Reader's Medal Nominee
                   Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award 2015 master list
                   South Carolina's 2014-2015 National Book Award Nominee
                   2013 Maine State's Cream of the Crop List

          THE RUNAWAY KING
                   Utah's 2014-2015 Beehive Book Award Master List
                   2014 Whitney Award
                   2014 Maine State's Cream of the Crop List

          THE SHADOW THRONE
                   2014 Spring Indies Next List

For A. J. Paquette:
          RULES FOR GHOSTING
                   2014 Bank Street College of Education's Best Book of the Year

          PARADOX
                   2014 Bank Street College of Education's Best Book of the Year

For Mary Lyn Ray:

          DEER DANCER

                   2014 Summer Kids' Indie Next List

          STARS
                   "Building a Home Library" recommendation (ALA, CBC, ALSC)

For Jean Reidy:
          ALL THROUGH MY TOWN
                    2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Shortlist

          TIME OUT FOR MONSTERS
                    2013 Colorado Book Award Winner

For Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango:
           QUEEN OF WATER
                     Morning Calm Award Finalist
                     "Building a Home Library" recommendation (ALA, CBC, ALSC)

For Joanne Rocklin:
           THE FIVE LIVES OF OUR CAT ZOOK
                     Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award 2015 master list
                     2013 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Fiction
                     2014-2015 Missouri School Librarian Assoc. Mark Twain Reader Award Finalist
                     2014-2015 Kansas Children's Choice Awards Master List
                     2012 Parents' Choice Gold Award

           ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET

                     2015 Massachusetts Children's Book Award Master List

For Liz Garton Scanlon:
          GOOD PIE PARTY
                     2014 Spring Indies Next List

           HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUNNY
                     2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Shortlist

For Deborah Underwood:
           HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT
                      Indies List Bestseller in March and April 2014
                      10 Best Books of Spring 2014 by grandparents.org
                      Amazon's Best Books of February 2014

                     New York Times Bestseller List for May 2014

For Audrey Vernick:
           BROTHERS AT BAT: THE TRUE STORY OF AN AMAZING ALL-BROTHERS TEAM
                       2014 Ohio State Reading List
                       2014-2015 California Young Reader's Medal Nominee


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