Lee & Low Books

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Lee & Low Books
Leeandlowbookslogo.jpg
Founded 1991
Founder Philip Lee and Tom Low
Country of origin Flag of the United States.svg United States
Headquarters location New York City
Key people Tom Low (President)
Jason Low (Vice President, Publisher)
Craig Low (Vice President, Publisher of Bebop Books)
Publication types Books
Official website www.leeandlow.com

Lee & Low Books is an independent children's book publisher focusing on diversity.

History[edit]

Lee & Low was founded in 1991 by Chinese Americans Tom Low and Philip Lee as a children's book publisher specializing in books featuring people of color and one of the few minority-owned publishing companies in the United States.[1] Low says, "There was a void in children's books. Most of the books were targeted to Caucasians or contained animals or fairy tales. There was nothing dealing with contemporary issues and people of color.".[2] Lee & Low published its first list in 1993 and immediately gained attention when its first book, Baseball Saved Us was given a full-page review in The New York Times Book Review.[3]

In 1997, founder Tom Low's sons, Jason Low and Craig Low, joined Lee & Low, and in 2004, founder Philip Lee retired.[4]

Lee & Low Books publishes primarily picture books, but in recent years has also published a small number of middle grade and young adult titles.

In January 2012, Lee & Low Books acquired the backlist titles of the now-defunct non-profit publisher, Children's Book Press, as well as the latter's existing contracts with authors and illustrators, with the name itself being revived as an imprint of Lee & Low Books.[5]

Arcoiris: Books in Spanish[edit]

In 1994, Lee & Low began to publish Spanish/English bilingual books and Spanish translations of many of their English titles.[1] The name Arcoiris, Spanish for rainbow, was chosen to reflect the diversity of the books and subject matter.[6]

Bebop Books[edit]

Founded in 2000, Bebop Books is an educational imprint of Lee & Low. Bebop Books prints leveled books for early readers in English and Spanish.[7]

Tu Books[edit]

Tu Books is an imprint of Lee & Low. Tu Books publishes middle grade and young adult science fiction, fantasy, and mystery featuring people of color or set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture.[8]

Tu Books was originally founded as Tu Publishing in 2009 by Stacy Whitman, a freelance children's book editor. In March 2010, Whitman joined Lee & Low as editorial director of the new imprint.[9]

New Voices Award[edit]

In 2000, Lee & Low Books established the New Voices Award to encourage writers of color. The award is open to any United State resident of color who has not had a children's picture book published previously. A winner receives $1000 and a standard publication contract, while an Honor Award winner receives $500. While Honor Award winners are not guaranteed publication, several honor books have been published.[10]

New Voices Award Recipients

Year Author Book Citation Published
2009 Tiare Williams Solorzano Little Fish Honor
2008 Hayan Charara The Three Lucys Honor
2007 Pamela M. Tuck A Fly in a Bowl of Milk Winner 2012
2007 Katie Yamasaki Edwin's Lucky Thirteen Honor
2006 Gloria Armand Sheppard Love Twelve Miles Long Winner 2011
2006 Janet Costa Bates Seaside Dream Honor 2010
2005 Don Tate It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw Honor 2012
2005 Zetta Elliott Bird Honor 2008
2004 Carmen Bogan Fit Like Frankie Honor
2003 Paula Yoo Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story Winner 2005
2003 Lisette Norman My Feet are Laughing Honor 2006 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
2002 Adrienne Lorraine Bayton Dance, Nishi, Dance Honor
2001 Patricia Smith Janna and the Kings Winner 2003
2001 Denise Vega Superhombre Honor
2000 Linda Boyden The Blue Roses Winner 2002
2000 Stanley Todd Terasaki Ghosts for Breakfast Honor 2002
2000 Therese On Louie Raymond's Perfect Present Honor 2002

Major Awards[edit]

Books published by Lee & Low have received several major awards, including some given by the American Library Association,[11][12][13] the International Reading Association (IRA),[14] and the New York Public Library.[15]

Major Awards Won by Lee & Low Books

Award Citation Year Creator Book
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award Winner 2011 G. Neri Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty
Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner 1974 Sharon Bell Mathis Ray Charles
Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor 1976 Eloise Greenfield Paul Robeson
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner 1998 Javaka Steptoe In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner 1974 George Ford (illustrator) Ray Charles
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor 1997 R. Gregory Christie The Palm of my Heart: Poetry by African American Children
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor 2006 R. Gregory Christie Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Illustrator Award Winner 2009 Shadra Strickland Bird
Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award Winner 2009 Shadra Strickland Bird
Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Winner 1999 Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen Elizabeti's Doll
Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Winner 1999 Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen Elizabeti's Doll
Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor 2013 Don Tate It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw
IRA Children's Book Award Winner 2003 Nancy Andrews-Goebel The Pot that Juan Built
IRA Children's Book Award Notable 2006 Mary Williams Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan
IRA Children's Book Award Notable 2006 Paula Yoo Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story
IRA Children's Book Award Notable 2005 EdNah New Rider Weber Rattlesnake Mesa
IRA Children's Book Award Notable 2005 Debbie A. Taylor Sweet Music in Harlem
IRA Children's Book Award Notable 2004 Patricia Smith Janna and the Kings
Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor 2010 John Parra Gracias • Thanks
Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor 2006 Lulu Delacre Arrorró, mi niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games
Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor 2004 Robert Casilla First Day in Grapes
Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor 2004 David Diaz The Pot that Juan Built

Notable Authors and Illustrators[edit]

Authors and illustrators with work published by Lee & Low Books include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Descubriendo el sabor: Spanish Bilingual Book Publishing and Cultural Authenticity," Multicultural Review, Winter 2007
  2. ^ "Trailblazers: A Storybook Tale," Audrey / The Asian American Women's Lifestyle Magazine, June/July 2007.
  3. ^ Children's Books: Baseball Saved Us, The New York Times Book Review Accessed April 2, 2009
  4. ^ About Us Accessed April 1, 2009
  5. ^ [1] Accessed March 2, 2012
  6. ^ Arcoiris: Books in Spanish, accessed March 19, 2009
  7. ^ Bebop Books, accessed March 19, 2009
  8. ^ Tu Books Submission Guidelines, accessed October 27, 2010
  9. ^ Press Release: Lee & Low Books Acquires Tu Publishing, Brings Diversity to Fantasy and Science Fiction, accessed March 15, 2010
  10. ^ New Voices Award, accessed April 1, 2009
  11. ^ Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipients: Current and Past, Accessed April 7, 2009
  12. ^ John Steptoe New Talent Award, Accessed April 7, 2009
  13. ^ The Pura Belpré Winners, Accessed April 7, 2009
  14. ^ IRA Children's and Young Adult's Book Awards, Accessed April 7, 2009
  15. ^ The Ezra Jack Keats and New York Public Library New Writer and New Illustrator Award for Children's Books, Accessed April 7, 2009

External links[edit]