Want To Publish With Blue Manatee Press? Here's a Guide To Help You Decide If We're The Right Fit!

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?

 
There’s more where that came from! A sampling of blue manatee press’s picture books and board books.

There’s more where that came from! A sampling of blue manatee press’s picture books and board books.

 

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.

 
Want a tip? Make a check-list as you begin to submit your manuscript so you know you haven’t missed any steps!

Want a tip? Make a check-list as you begin to submit your manuscript so you know you haven’t missed any steps!

 

A few immediate questions to ask yourself:

  1. Our board books are 14 pages (17 spreads) with no more than 100 total words. Does your board book fit this criteria?

  2. 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 bluemanateepress@gmail.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!

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5 Ways to Bond With Mom This Mother's Day!

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!

 
My Mama is a Mechanic     written and illustrated  Doug Cenko

My Mama is a Mechanic written and illustrated Doug Cenko

 

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!

 
Hungry Henry     by Marla Osborn

Hungry Henry by Marla Osborn

 

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!

 
Odd Animal ABC’s     written by June Smalls and illustrated by Claire Sedovic

Odd Animal ABC’s written by June Smalls and illustrated by Claire Sedovic

 

4. Cuddle!

Pull up a blanket and spend some quality quiet time with Mom!

 
Blanket   written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Andrea Kang

Blanket written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Andrea Kang

 

5. Read a bedtime story!

After a long day of fun activities, prepare for bedtime and read a book together!

 
Black & White Nighty-Night   written and illustrated by Sarah Jones

Black & White Nighty-Night written and illustrated by Sarah Jones

 

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!

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Here Are Some Fun Facts to Celebrate Earth Day!

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!

 
Sleepy Solar System   written by  Dr. John Hutton  and illustrated by  Doug Cenko

Sleepy Solar System written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Doug Cenko

 

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?

 
Water   written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by  Andrea Kang

Water written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Andrea Kang

 

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?

 
Yard   written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Andrea Kang

Yard written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Andrea Kang

 

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?

 
Sleepy Bee     written by Dr. John Hutton and artwork created by  Sandra Gross

Sleepy Bee written by Dr. John Hutton and artwork created by Sandra Gross

 

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!

Get to Know Illustrator Claire Sedovic!

We recently introduced all of you to June Smalls, author of our upcoming picture book Odd Animal ABC’s! Now, we’d like you to meet the woman behind all the adorable odd animal illustrations, Claire Sedovic!

Who Is Claire Sedovic?

Claire Sedovic is the illustrator of  Odd Animal ABC’s , on sale this spring.

Claire Sedovic is the illustrator of Odd Animal ABC’s, on sale this spring.

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!

 
blue manatee press_odd animal abcs_3.JPG
 

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!)

 
IMG_9706.jpeg
 

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.

 
IMG_9710.jpeg
 

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.

 
blue+manatee+press_odd+animal+abcs_claire+sedovic.jpg
 

“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!


Here Are 5 Ways to Celebrate Health Day!

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!

 
When We Are Quiet     written by Stacy Sims and illustrated by Sharareh Khosravani

When We Are Quiet written by Stacy Sims and illustrated by Sharareh Khosravani

 

2. Learn Something New!

Pick up an instrument for the first time and play a few notes!

 
Alphabet Family Band     written and illustrated by Sarah Jones

Alphabet Family Band written and illustrated by Sarah Jones

 

3. Make a healthy snack!

Eat a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables for that extra boost of energy!

 
Hungry Henry     written and illustrated by Marla Osborn

Hungry Henry written and illustrated by Marla Osborn

 

4. Play with a friend!

Take your friend to the park and enjoy some quality playtime!

 
Play   written by Dr. John Hutton and pictures by Sarah Jones

Play written by Dr. John Hutton and pictures by Sarah Jones

 

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!

 
Sleep Baby Safe and Snug     written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Leah Busch

Sleep Baby Safe and Snug written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Leah Busch

 

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!

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Learn the ABC’s With June Smalls And Her Odd Animals!

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Here Are 5 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Do With Your Baby!

A new year is upon us! With a few days under 2019’s belt, it’s time to put to practice some of those new year’s resolutions! Here are 5 easy-to-follow resolutions for you and your baby to lead a healthy, mindful 2019!

1. Read more books!

Babies are constantly learning by sound! Read to your baby for 15 minutes a day from birth! They may not understand what you’re saying yet, but they sure do love the sound of your voice!

 
I Want To Be a Reader!   written by Mark Powers and illustrated by Maria Montag

I Want To Be a Reader! written by Mark Powers and illustrated by Maria Montag

 

2. Learn a new language!

Learning more than one language is good for baby’s brain, and yours too! Being multilingual improves cognitive and social-emotional development, learning, and the chances for long-term success!

 
In Spring…En Primavera…  written by Susana Madinabeitia Manso and photo-illustration by Emily Hanako Momohara

In Spring…En Primavera…written by Susana Madinabeitia Manso and photo-illustration by Emily Hanako Momohara

 

3. Get involved with nature!

Did you know that 1/3 of the food people and animals eat will only grow if pollinated by bees? There’s so much to learn and to teach yourself and your baby! Get outdoors to learn and play together!

 
Sleepy Bee  , written by John Hutton and art by Sandra Gross

Sleepy Bee, written by John Hutton and art by Sandra Gross

 

4. Eat healthier!

Between 4-6 months of age, your baby is ready to have 1 to 2 tablespoons of plain, strained fruits and vegetables up to twice a day!

 
Allie’s Garden  , written by Sabra Chebby and illustrated by Marla Osborn

Allie’s Garden, written by Sabra Chebby and illustrated by Marla Osborn

 

5. Slow down and embrace mindfulness!

Babies respond to your emotional cues, which makes it so important to self-soothe! Try mindful breathing or simply smiling, and you and your baby will feel more peaceful!

 
When We Are Quiet   written by Stacy Sims and illustrated by Sharareh Khosravani

When We Are Quiet written by Stacy Sims and illustrated by Sharareh Khosravani

 

What are your new year’s resolutions? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to follow blue manatee press on instagram @bluemanateepress for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!