With over 30 years of success in educational publishing, Rourke Educational Media is an industry leader in meeting our customer's growing needs for educational technology including eBook nonfiction and fiction resources, print, software and ELL instructional programs, available through customized distribution solutions. Rourke targets mainly the Pre K – 8 levels, however, they also offer many books targeting Early Childhood and English Language Learners.
Big Universe had the chance to sit down with Ashley Morgan from Rourke Educational Media as our first Publisher Spotlight of 2013.
Big Universe: What are some of the most popular items that you’ve published in the last three years?
Ashley Morgan: We have done really well with our Early Childhood materials. Our Early Childhood Dual Language program, Happy Reading, Happy Learning has been a huge success for us in the past few years. Featuring, Dr. Jean Feldman and Dr. Holly Karapetkova the program features 30 sing along titles that both teachers and students can enjoy.
Also, our line of “Little Birdie Board Books” has continued to be very popular. Being brightly colored and simply written, they have been the perfect books to get little minds to begin reading and learning. These are perfect for any young child from 4 months old to 4 years old.
Big Universe: In looking at the current front list and the upcoming season, are there any specific themes that you’ve focused on in the catalog?
Ashley Morgan: Here at Rourke, we are continuing to focus on what we know - which is producing strong instructional curriculum that engages and motivates students.
Big Universe: Do you have a personal favorite from the current catalog that isn’t getting lots of “buzz”? What is it about that book that sets it apart for you?
I personally love our fiction books. They feature fun, brightly colored illustrations to grab children’s attention and are always a pleasant read. My favorite is “Buff Ducks” by Precious McKenzie. The writing and illustrations go perfectly together and it always gives me a good laugh!
Big Universe: What is the book that has been the biggest surprise to you?
Ashley Morgan: We were unsure as to how our current addition to our President’s Encyclopedia, The President’s Yearbook, would take off. So far we have been showing a dynamic pre-sale for which we are very excited and thankful.
Big Universe: What’s next for your company? Are there changes coming in the following year? Do you have any new series or product lines that you’d like to share with us?
Ashley Morgan: The sky is the limit for Rourke! We are extremely positive about 2013 and the new ideas we are beginning to implement. At the moment, our main focus is continued growth in technology, which is seemingly the future of education. We are excited to begin building upon our popular interactive eBook collection. Soon, we will be offering an additional 143 NEW eBooks - including 36 from our new Sound Adventures series, which offers a fresh approach to traditional phonics readers. I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a good year for us.