Bearport Publishing believes that books with good writing and amazing photos are irresistible to kids. They also believe that providing kids with books they want to read is one of the surest ways to foster reading achievement. These two principles guide the development of all our curriculum-aligned nonfiction titles for children in grades PreK-8.
The high-interest nonfiction books from Bearport help get kids excited about reading, even if they are struggling or reluctant readers. They are focused on topics that appeal to young readers, such as animals, sports heroes, and scary places. With every book, Bearport pays close attention to text length, vocabulary, and picture-text match.
We sat down with Valerie Yaw, Associate Marketing Manager at Bearport Publishing, for the latest in our Publisher Spotlight series.
Big Universe: We'd love to hear about what you're doing at your company. What are some of the most popular items that you've published in the last three years?
Valerie Yaw: Last year, we introduced Science Slam, an early science literacy program for PreK-3. The six series in this program encourage real scientific inquiry through activities, experiments, and critical-thinking questions.
Science Slam has been well received, with recommendations from School Library Journal, Booklist, and the National Science Teachers Association. It’s been very popular with educators—I think a lot of teachers and librarians are looking for books that cover these important curriculum topics in a way that’s fun and engaging for kids.
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?
Valerie Yaw: The Common Core State Standards are a major shift in education, so we’ve been focusing on the needs of teachers and librarians as they implement the new standards. Bearport’s high-quality nonfiction is a natural fit with the standards’ emphasis on informational text.
We’ve also expanded our digital offerings. Bearport has introduced unlimited-access ebooks for schools and libraries, as well as multi-touch ebooks available through Apple’s iBookstore. We’re also delighted to work with Big Universe, which is such a wonderful resource for students and teachers.
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?
Valerie Yaw: I love our new America’s Hidden Animal Treasures series, which features some rarely seen animals like ringtails and roseate spoonbills. The books highlight real scientists working in the field, and it really shows kids how cool science can be.
Big Universe: What is the book that has been the biggest surprise to you (can be a sleeper, new series that has gone like wildfire, a book that was the cover but not as popular as others, etc.)?
Valerie Yaw: Our bestsellers are usually on high-interest topics like dogs and football, so I was excited that a series on plants was our bestseller from the fall season. Plant-ology is a great series that brings a fresh, lively approach to a familiar topic—and with titles like Meat-Eating Plants and Freaky Plant Facts, you can see that it has a lot of kid appeal!
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?
Valerie Yaw: I'm excited about the new series we have planned for the fall. We’ll have three new animal series in the Science Slam program. Another series that I can’t wait to see is We Work! Animals with Jobs—all about animals helping people!