Today is the first official day of summer! What better way to celebrate the longest day of the year than to read your favorite book in the sun?? Here are 5 of our favorite summertime reading spots!Read More
Christina Brown wants to help kids find their confidence with her new board book Gritty Kitty! Get to know the illustrator here!Read More
Father’s Day is coming up, and we want to help you make it special for the Father figure in your life! Here are 5 ways to bond with Dad this Father’s Day!Read More
School’s out for the summer, so we’re getting creative at home!Read More
Congratulations! You’ve finished a manuscript!
That is no easy task, and you should be proud of yourself! Now you’re ready to submit that manuscript to publishers in hopes that they will choose your story!
Thinking about submitting to blue manatee press? There are only a few publishers who still accept unsolicited manuscripts, but before you hit that “send” button, make sure we’re the right home for you! Here are a few things to know about blue manatee press!
Who is blue manatee press?
If this is your first time with us, blue manatee press is an independent children’s book publisher of original board books and picture books with an emphasis on building readers from infancy. Our founder Dr. John Hutton emphasizes baby literacy by encouraging adults to read to children for at least 15 minutes a day as early as infancy.
Another major point of focus for blue manatee press is screen-free playtime—that means getting creative! Many of our titles support creative play, including the Baby Unplugged series and our ROYGBaby series, our rainbow-colored concept book series!
I’m ready to submit my manuscript. What do I do?
Submitting to the press is the easy part! But first, make sure we’re the right fit for your manuscript by reading and downloading our submission guidelines.
A few immediate questions to ask yourself:
Our board books are 14 pages (17 spreads) with no more than 100 total words. Does your board book fit this criteria?
Our picture books are no longer than 40 pages (20 spreads) and on average are no more than 1,000 total words. Does your picture book fit this criteria?
Once you’ve read our submission guidelines and you think your manuscript qualifies, send your completed book proposal as an email attachment to email@example.com with one of two subject lines: “Board Book New Submission” or “Picture Book New Submission.” If we are interested in your project, we will contact you within two to three months of submission.
I’m not sure my manuscript fits the criteria, so I’m nervous to submit to the press.
We’re a small (but mighty) team, which means we are unable to answer personal queries regarding our submission guidelines or if your manuscript fits the criteria.
So we say—submit your manuscript anyway! If we think your story has potential but will need some more work, that won’t turn us away from it! We’re happy to work with manuscripts that we see have a bright future with our editorial team!
If we are interested in your submission, then you will hear back from us within 3 months of when you submitted. We understand the excitement and anticipation it comes with creative work, so we appreciate your patience in us reading through all of the submissions we receive!
We hope this helps! Be sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress to stay up to date with the latest from blue manatee press!
Get a behind-the-scenes look with a Q&A with Marketing and Sales Associate Nicole Smith!Read More
It’s graduation season—the end of one chapter and the start of a new one! This reminded us of baby development, and we wanted to help you celebrate your baby’s changes!Read More
Mother’s Day is just a little over one week away! It’s the perfect opportunity to show all the Moms in the world how much we appreciate them, so let’s get creative! Here are 5 ways to bond with Mom this Mother’s Day!
1. Play pretend!
Be a surgeon, an architect, or a mechanic! There’s nobody better to play pretend with than Mama!
2. Make a healthy snack!
We know we’re not supposed to play with our food, but if it’s with Mom, we know it’ll still be healthy!
3. Learn something new together!
Did you know that an Elephant’s closest relative is a Rock Hyrax? Maybe you and Mom can learn about some odd animals together!
Pull up a blanket and spend some quality quiet time with Mom!
5. Read a bedtime story!
After a long day of fun activities, prepare for bedtime and read a book together!
How do you plan on celebrating Mom this Mother’s Day? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
Independent Bookstore Day is a day-long celebration of all local bookstores! Here’s how to support your local independent bookstore all year long!Read More
Did you know that this Monday is Earth Day? We love celebrating the planet we call home! How much do you know about Earth? Let’s learn some new things about our planet together, and maybe you can share something you already know!
Earth is one of nine planets in our solar system!
From the sun (which is a big star!) it goes: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and the dwarf planet Pluto!
Did you know how much of the Earth is made up of water?
71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered! Of that 71 percent, 96.5 percent comes from the oceans!
But that’s not all! Water also exists in the air as water vapor, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers, in the soil moisture, and even in you and me!
Then that means how much of the Earth is made of land?
29% of the Earth’s surface is covered by land! Deserts make up one-third of that number, but don’t worry—there’s still plenty of land for you to run around and play on!
One important flying bug helps keep our Earth happy and healthy! Do you know which bug that is?
Bees! They may seem scary, but bees are natural pollinators! Flowers provide the nectar and pollen resources that bees feed on. About one-third of the food we eat every single day relies on pollination, which means we rely on bees, as well as other pollinators like birds and bats!
What’s a fun fact about Earth you can share for Earth Day? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
Claire studied graphic design and minored in printmaking at Drake University, where she says she “developed an understanding of the interplay between text and imagery.” But by the age of six, she already knew she wanted to be an illustrator.
“Everyday experiences, such as childhood dance classes, working in the garden with my mother, and cooking dinner with my sister, have provided inspiration for the words and pictures that fill my sketchbooks.” — Claire Sedovic on what inspires her
After graduating, Claire started to work more consistently with watercolor, and ultimately left her corporate graphic design job to pursue her dream of becoming a published illustrator.
Odd Animal ABC’s!
One thing that Claire hopes readers get out of Odd Animal ABC’s is understanding how diverse the animal kingdom is. “Of course I hope they laugh along with all the wonderful, and often weird critters as they travel from A to Z,” she says, “but on a deeper level, I also hope that it sparks new curiosity about the natural world and a desire preserve and protect it for future generations.”
The Artist’s Process!
In her own words, this is Claire’s artistic process:
I work primarily with traditional media: paper, pencil, watercolor, and brush. I begin by lightly sketching my illustrations (and always keep an eraser close by!)
When I am satisfied with the pencil drawing, I fill it in with watercolor. I especially love to add a little more life to my creations with a light touch of the magenta on cheeks, noses, and chins. After the watercolor is dry, I retrace the pencil with a softer lead for added detail and contrast.
Once I’m happy with the finished illustration, I scan it so I have a high-resolution digital file that matches the color of the original work as closely as possible. From here, I take that file into Photoshop, drop out the white paper background, and clean up the edges. Finally, I take the edited illustration and add it as a layer to the storybook spread.
Her Favorite Odd Animal!
With so many fun animals to choose from, we were curious which was Claire’s favorite. “I fell in love with the Tree Kangaroo!” she says. “They look more like cuddly teddy bears than they do kangaroos, and I enjoyed mixing the paint for their reddish fur and pale pink noses.
“The animal that gave me the most difficulty was the leaf-tailed gecko,” she adds. “These amazing amphibians look more like a piece of dried foliage than they do a living animal!”
Advice For Young Artists!
Claire has simple but important advice for children who show an interest in art: Make art, and lots of it! “The old adage of practice makes perfect really is true,” she says. “The more you practice your craft, the more you will improve your skills and build confidence in your own abilities.
“And most importantly, draw what you know, what you love, and what you’re curious about,” she adds. “If you’re not first and foremost making art for yourself, then what’s the point of making it at all? We make time for the things we love, so if you want to keep yourself coming back to the drawing board, make art you are passionate about. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Every doodle, every scratch and scrawl of your pencil is mark closer to becoming the illustrator you wish to be.”
Do you have any young artists in your family? Share their work in the comments below, and make sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
This Sunday is Health Day! Here at blue manatee press, we strive to live happy and healthy lives every single day! We want to help you do the same! Here are 5 ways you and your family can celebrate Health Day!
1. Begin with mindfulness!
Mindful breathing is one of the fastest ways to find inner calm. Start your morning by closing your eyes and taking 3-5 slow breaths!
2. Learn Something New!
Pick up an instrument for the first time and play a few notes!
3. Make a healthy snack!
Eat a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables for that extra boost of energy!
4. Play with a friend!
Take your friend to the park and enjoy some quality playtime!
5. Get a good night’s sleep!
After a long, healthy day, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep to make every day Health Day!
How do you plan on celebrating Health Day? Tell us in the comments below, and make sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for your for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
Mark Powers wants to teach children all about reading, music, and more! Get to know the blue manatee author here!Read More
Spring is upon us! With warmer weather comes more opportunities to play outside! Here are 5 unplugged activities for you and your family this spring!Read More
June Smalls loves letters and odd animals, and she’s written the perfect picture book that combines the two!Read More
Bedtime is a common struggle for parents! Here are 3 bedtime stories sure to put you and your little one at ease!Read More
Sarah Jones teaches us important concepts through her beautifully illustrated ROYGBaby series!Read More
Dialogic reading gets the grown-up and the child to actively analyze books as you read them! Learn more about dialogic reading and see what books we have to help practice this skill!Read More
Get to know one of blue manatee press’s authors and illustrators, Doug Cenko!Read More
Tell your baby “I love you” in a special way this Valentine’s Day! Here are 4 special ways to say “I love you”!Read More