#tbt: The Little Pea by Éric Battut

In today’s #throwbackthursday post, Sky Pony’s Editorial Director, Julie Matysik, has a tale to tell from way back in 2011 when Sky Pony was just starting out:

In September 2011, Sky Pony Press launched its inaugural list. On that list was one very special picture book—the first that Sky Pony ever published. The Little Pea, written and illustrated by Éric Battut, is a story about embracing differences, about wanting to be an individual, and about celebrating all that makes each of us unique.

Detail from The Little Pea

I was grateful to be introduced to The Little Pea by an agent at The French Publishers’ Agency, who sent me a sample copy in the hopes that we might want to acquire English translation rights for our first list. I remember opening up the package and falling immediately in love with Battut’s simple yet poignant story and his elegant, minimalist illustrations.

The poor little pea is laughed at by the other peas for being different.

After showing the book to both our creative director and our publisher, we quickly decided to acquire it for the list. Working with translator Sophie Pauze, we got the text in order and our production editor readied the book for the printer. The creative director and I decided to spec out the jacket, opting for a matte finish with spot gloss and a slight emboss on the title and image of the pea holding a peacock feather that graces the front cover.

Waiting for the books to reach out office felt like an eternity, but when that first advance copy arrived, I could hardly contain my excitement. For it wasn’t just a new book off press—that is always exciting—but rather publication of The Little Pea marked the beginning of a wonderful journey in publishing children’s books under the Sky Pony Press imprint. It’s a journey that has led to our publishing close to one hundred picture books over the last five years.

An advance copy of Sky Pony Press’s first picture book, The Little Pea!

And it all started with just one little pea who made a difference by standing out from the crowd.

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