#NNFN – Books that open eyes to a world of wonder

1. logo WIDE_EYED_EDITIONS_SPINE100National Non-Fiction November continues today with a guest post from the publisher, Rachel Williams about starting a new non-fiction imprint, Wide Eyed Editions. This new imprint is perfectly aligned with our ’30 days of Adventure in the Real World’: Wide Eyed Editions “believe that books should encourage curiosity about the world we live in, inspiring readers to set out on their own journey of discovery.

So what’s the thinking behind starting a new non-fiction imprint for children? What could and should it aim for? Here’s what Rachel had to tell us:

Books that open eyes to a world of wonder

“I’ve always loved the idea that a book can transport you to another world – from the comfort of a chair or the breakfast table. But perhaps even more satisfying than this are books take you to this world – that’s right, Planet Earth – offering a fresh perspective on the place we call home.

Wide Eyed Editions began with the knowledge that our world is endlessly fascinating place, and families should get every opportunity to explore it through the medium of beautiful, intelligent books. It is also founded on the simple idea that many of us are visual learners – even before we can read we learn by looking at pictures – so why not make the illustrations of a non-fiction book just as interesting and surprising as the text?

This is not a new idea by any means – my dad used to recount the things he learnt pouring over artworks in Books of Wonder Books for Boys in the 1950s, and series like Golden Books in the 60s and Look and Learn did a very similar thing. But, when forming this list for our parent company, the Quarto Publishing Group UK, it felt that we could create something new and vibrant in this area that would speak to modern-day families.

Rachel Williams and Jenny Broom

Rachel Williams and Jenny Broom

Wide Eyed Editions is a collaboration between myself and Jenny Broom – our Senior Commissioning Editor – and the incredible foreign rights, production, creative, sales and marketing teams at Quarto, alongside the artists and authors creating our books. We are a small team working within one of the most vibrant and creative cities in the world, where illustration talent is exploding and interesting thinkers and authors abound. We aim to make books that will be picked up and read once, and then read again ­ – packed full of things to discover every time you look at the page. Our books are made in simple, quality formats that draw on the ‘science’ of design: the truth that our brains are drawn to beautiful objects, whatever age we are.

As Lance Hosey wrote in the NY Times last year about brain scan studies: ‘Beauty literally moves us. The sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand movement. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things.

Atlas of Adventures_CVR600

We hope you will reach out and enjoy our first book this National Non-Fiction November: An Atlas of Adventures, which is a taster of things to come before March, when the list launches officially. This book celebrates the great diversity of our planet, and follows two young adventurers as they embark on the journey of a lifetime.

‘Til soon!”


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This guest post was provided by Rachel Williams of Wide Eyed Editions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. You can find out more about Wide Eyed Editions at their website, www.wideeyededitions.com, on Twitter @wideeyeded, or by using the hashtag #wideeyeded.

Lucy Letherland, the illustrator of Atlas of Adventures, and publisher Rachel Williams are taking part in the special one-day Non-Fiction festival hosted by Ipswich CBG on 8th November. You can find details of this event here: http://www.fcbg.org.uk/ipswich-childrens-book-group/

One response to “#NNFN – Books that open eyes to a world of wonder”

  1. Jayne Gould says:

    Really looking forward to hearing Rachel and Lucy in conversation at the festival on 8th November! Tickets are still available, so do book your place now.