Kate DePalma

Kate DePalma

A native of the South, Managing Editor Kate DePalma moved north in 2010 to join the Barefoot Books team. Since then, she has had the pleasure of helping to create hit titles like Lola’s Fandango, The Snow Queen and The Shape Song Swingalong. She likes reading, writing, teaching, traveling, hip-hop and fixing big Sunday dinners. Kate is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and The University of Texas at Austin, and was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Art by Sara M. Lyons (www.saramlyons.com)

We Barefoot editors refer to our book projects as our babies. So you can imagine how proud I am to have just brought a trio of beautiful book babies into the world! I had the privilege of working with an incredible team—storytellers Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden, illustrator Carole Hénaff, and editor-in-chief Tessa Strickland—to create our brand-new Greek Myths series. Want to learn a little bit more about how we brought these ancient myths to life for a young audience? Read on for some fun behind-the-scenes tidbits.

Photo from http://letsgorideabike.com/blog/2010/03/first-bud-of-spring/

The Iranian origins of our first new book for 2013, The Girl with a Brave Heart, have set the Barefoot Books offices abuzz about all things Iranian. This is a special time of year for the Iranian peoples. Nowruz, the Persian New Year, will fall on 20 March 2013. This date marks the first day of spring and the first day of the Iranian calendar. The holiday has been celebrated for over three thousand years, and is now observed in many countries all over the world.

The Girl with a Brave Heart

When a new baby arrives, we fall in love with all of their perfect little details. We count their tiny fingers and toes, coo over their perfect little lashes, and smooch the chubby rolls of baby fat on their arms and legs. It’s no different when our book babies first arrive in the Barefoot Books offices!

Next month, our Barefoot World Atlas app turns one year old. What a year it has been! The app has received phenomenal acclaim from children, adults, and mainstream media alike. It’s now available in English, Spanish, Catalan and French with more languages available soon. We have won a whole passel of awards and recognition, including Time Magazine’s Top 25 Apps for Kids, Apple® Editor’s Choice, and even Apple® App of the Week. Wired calls it “tactile, responsive, immersive, and educational.” And we couldn’t agree more!

Owl-eyed Group Managing Editor Kate DePalma poured all of her love and enthusiasm for Homer’s Iliad into The Adventures of Achilles, a new addition to the Barefoot Books collection. Read on about Kate’s epic journey into the world of the mighty Achilles!

Global Sales Associate Taylor Coley and I recently took a trip to sunny Anaheim, California to attend the 2012 American Library Association Annual Conference. It was too great an adventure to embark on alone. So we brought Cleo the Cat along for the ride!

As an editor, I have been asked to give talks about my job and the editorial process for a variety of organizations. I’ve spoken for critique groups, conferences, and classrooms of all types — from graduate seminars in publishing to first-grade Career Days. I love being asked to speak about my job to anyone who wants to listen. Making books is such a strange and satisfying process, and it’s fun giving folks a peek behind the scenes of their favorite titles.

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of traveling to the bayous of Houma, Louisiana to give a talk at the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference to a group of aspiring children’s book authors and illustrators. Being a Southern girl to the bone and a former resident of that sweaty, wonderful part of the country, I could not wait to get back to Louisiana to run my mouth about my favorite subject: picture books!