Posts Tagged ‘children’s books’

Authors We Like: Ransom Riggs

Monday, October 28th, 2013’s introduction to Ransom Riggs was kind of an accident. During our last year of Summer Reading roundups, we found ourselves with a complete list for high school…until weRansom Riggs noticed that one of our picks wasn’t going to be released until November. With only about a week to go before we the list went live, we summarily dispatched an editor (i.e., me) to the nearest Barnes and Noble, armed with Amazon’s top-ten for teens that year. The book I came back with? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

At, we strive to make our content friendly and inviting for all kinds of kids, so we try to stick to happy stuff. However, there’s a small contingent of kids out there who actually like to be scared, and go largely underserved every month of the year that isn’t October. I was definitely one of those kids – I always loved the thrill and suspense of ghost stories; of creeping mysteries and tales of the supernatural. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, or Miss P as it’s often abbreviated, helped me reconnect with the kid in me that loved listening to scary stories under a blanket at sleepovers; that slightly woozy sensation of suspense that I still chase to this day. Honestly, I often wonder if Riggs even wrote Miss P with kids in mind: I likely would have never known it was intended for tweens if I hadn’t first seen that eerie cover in the children’s section of my local used bookstore. Still, the fact that it is strictly known as a children’s book is what made Miss P that much more refreshing: It’s scary, but not insulting. It doesn’t assault kids with horrific imagery, but it doesn’t attempt to shield them from scenarios that others might automatically proclaim “too scary” for kids’ delicate sensibilities.


Freelancer Spotlight: Brian Chang, Illustrator

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

While the Redwood City office is our official HQ, also employs a large team of freelance writers, designers, artists and photographers from all over the country. In our Freelancer Spotlight series, we pay tribute to our many beloved freelancers. 

Brian Chang

Brian Chang‘s name is known far and wide around the offices. Brian started out adding his vivid, pop-off-the-page illustrations to our worksheets, but when we began production on Brainzy, his addition to the art team there was a — pardon the pun — no-brainer. Brian’s illustrations are almost tangible: bright and beautiful and filled with fantasy, but always with a whiff of the very real past.

Name: Brian Chang

I’m a: freelance illustrator hoping to have my own series of children’s books one day.

I live in: I am originally from San Carlos, California, but am currently living in Cleveland with my wonderful wife.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a (fill in the blank) when I grew up. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional baseball player. Unfortunately my best baseball days peaked in Little League. I knew it was time to hang up the cleats when I managed to hit four batters in one game!