Beyond the Book: Catherine Bailey on Hypnosis

Hypnosis Harry author, Catherine Bailey, is an expert on the subject of hypnosis. She wrote a book on it, after all. Catherine has put together some activities for you to take hypnosis to the classroom or bring it into your own home. Check out the discussion questions, coloring sheets, and activity page below!


BEYOND THE BOOK:

IDEAS FOR USING HYPNOSIS HARRY IN THE CLASSROOM AND AT HOME

Thank you for allowing me to write a guest post for your blog, Sky Pony. Oh sure technically I hypnotized you into letting me do it, but thanks all the same.

I am excited to share some fun ways to expand on Hypnosis Harry—either at school in the classroom, or at home in your playroom. So look deep into your screen, and read on.

Discussion Questions

Right versus wrong, consequences both good and bad, the ins and outs of dealing with family—Hypnosis Harry addresses all of these concepts. Young readers can be encouraged to explore these ideas through the following discussion questions.

(1) What are some things that Harry’s parents say no to, before they are hypnotized?

(2) Why do they say no to these things?

(3) Why do you think Harry thinks they are saying no?

HH poster spot art Harry

(4) What are some things your parents say no to?

(5) If your parents had to say yes/could not say no, what kinds of things would you do?

(6) What makes Harry change his mind and undo the hypnosis?

(7) Do you think Harry’s parents will be mad at him when they stop being hypnotized?

(8) What do you think Harry’s sister will do/ is doing with the watch?

HH poster spot art robot

(9) If you could hypnotize anyone, who would it be?

(10) Do you think Harry will hypnotize anyone again?

Hypnosis Harry coloring sheet:

Hypnosis Harry coloring sheet:

Hypnosis Harry activity sheet:


 

Hypnosis Harry by Catherine Bailey, illustrated by Sarita Rich

9781634501712-frontcoverNo pajamas at the park. No toys in the toaster. Harry’s parents say no to everything! That is, until Harry learns about hypnosis.

With a little practice, and Grandpa’s watch, Harry puts his parents in a trance and envisions a future full of fun and yes’s!

Comic books by the crate, night-vision goggles for his teddy bear, a pet monkey (or two)—no request is too big or too bizarre. Harry loves his new freedom and, not to mention, all that bacon. So what if his robot goes rogue and playmates are hard to find? But when his ninja moves result in a playground pile-up, Harry starts to wonder if he really wants his every wish granted.

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Sky Pony Presents: Shadow Puppets

In honor of the release of My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Sara Sanchez assistant managing editor, Sam Levitz, and editorial assistant, Kylie Brien,  decided to learn how to make some shadow puppets. Check out their attempts below!


My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Sara Sanchez

9781634501781-frontcoverInside, outside, climbing up the stairs, or jumping into bed, your shadow may be following you! He may even be one step ahead as you run down the street! Complete with a cast of the whole family, a cat, a dog, and a teddy, this story is for everyone. Little ones who are just discovering their shadows for the first time will find inspiration between these pages, while older, more experienced kids are sure to learn new ways to play with their shadows. Get ready to laugh and giggle and then find the nearest light source and try out some shadows of your own!

Sara Sanchez has created soft and inviting illustrations to creatively interpret Robert Louis Stevenson’s original lines from the poem “My Shadow,” which was originally published in his classic for children, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Sanchez’s pictures are filled with humor and help propel this timeless poem into the twenty-first century. My Shadow is sure to become a bedtime favorite for the whole family.

For children ages 3 to 6, this is a wonderful read aloud as well as a quiet bedtime story. Parents and teacher will love exposing children to one of the classic authors in children’s literature through this simple and often humorous poem. The first time this poem has been illustrated since the 1990s.

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Sky Pony Books for March!

Here’s a list of the Sky Pony titles you can look forward to this month!


 

March 1, 2016:

Hypnosis Harry by Catherine Bailey, illustrated by Sarita Rich

9781634501712-frontcoverNo pajamas at the park. No toys in the toaster. Harry’s parents say no to everything! That is, until Harry learns about hypnosis.

With a little practice, and Grandpa’s watch, Harry puts his parents in a trance and envisions a future full of fun and yes’s!

Comic books by the crate, night-vision goggles for his teddy bear, a pet monkey (or two)—no request is too big or too bizarre. Harry loves his new freedom and, not to mention, all that bacon. So what if his robot goes rogue and playmates are hard to find? But when his ninja moves result in a playground pile-up, Harry starts to wonder if he really wants his every wish granted.

Hypnosis Harry is a wildly funny, sweetly silly look at the real meaning of the word no. Children will delight as little Harry answers the delicious question: What would you do if you could do anything? This charming romp is perfectly captured in the lively, layered illustrations of Sarita Rich. Each read reveals clever new details, making this the perfect reread for parent and child.

Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

9781634506441-frontcoverAlien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.

When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

Hacks for Minecrafters: Mods by Megan Miller

9781510705937-frontcoverMinecraft was designed to allow other people to modify it. And while there are several successful game guides on the market already, this book is the first unofficial “hacker’s” super-guide dedicated to adding mods (modifications) to your Minecraft game.

Mods add content to the game to alter gameplay, changing the creative feel of the game or giving the players more options for how they interact within the Minecraft world. Mods can make your game run faster, they can add new mobs, mechanics, and quests, and even entirely new dimensions to play in. Change the rules of your world with each mod you add—anything is fair game! This book explores today’s range of modded Minecraft play, from the must-haves to the fanciful—from utilities like Inventory Tweaks and JourneyMap, to full-fledged gameplay extensions and modpacks, like Thaumcraft, Twilight Forest, and Agrarian Skies.

Written for seven- to twelve-year-old Minecrafters this is the ultimate guide on Minecraft mods—keep your game new and exciting with all these expert tips and tricks.

The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters: Old Testament by Garett Romines and Christopher Miko

9781510702257-frontcoverMinecraft has swept the world by storm. More than one hundred million games have been sold. Parents of children who play Minecraft will love this fun, educational collection of Bible stories. With the world of Minecraft as a backdrop using vivid, full-color screenshots, children will experience the Bible as never before.

Authors Garrett Romines and Christopher Miko are teachers who have used Minecraft to create imaginative worlds in their classrooms. Now, they have created Bible stories with virtual blocks to produce vibrant, 3-D worlds filled with adventure and astonishing imagination.

 

 

March 8, 2016:

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

9781510701717-frontcoverSeventeen-year-old Riven comes from a world parallel to Earth, a world that has been ravaged by a devastating android war. As a Legion General, she is the right hand of Prince Cale, the young Prince of Neospes. In her world, she’s had everything: rank, responsibility, and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to rescue his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Armed with the mindset of a soldier and racing against time to bring Caden home, Riven must learn how to blend in as a girl in a realm that is the opposite of all she’s ever known. Will she be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

 

Welcome to Camp Pikachu by Alex Polan

Welcome to Camp Pikachu_coverWelcome to Camp Pikachu, where kids can act out adventures from their favorite Pokémon games and cartoons, battling other teams to earn points ans badges and, if they’re lucky, make it into the Summer Camp Hall of Fame! During their first week at Camp Pikachu, Marco and his friends on Team Treecko find the perfect secret base: a tree house straight out of Fortree City. They proudly post their team flag out front. But during a game of capture the flag, someone vandalizes their base. Who did it?

Marco thinks he knows: Team Fennekin, led by Stella and her brother, Sam. Sam is always up to no good. And his big sister is as mean as Meowth, the cat that prowls the camp. During the next round of capture the flag, Team Treecko bands together and tries every Pokémon trick they know. Logan makes mud balls and Pitfall Mats. Nisha creates a catapult inspired by Clemont. And Maddy? Well, she’d help, too, if she weren’t so busy making Poké Puffs.

Just as Pokémon can Mega Evolve with Mega Stones, can a bully change his ways? Team Treecko is about to find out!

Zombie Invasion by Winter Morgan

9781510705944-frontcoverOne fateful day, Lucy is invited to study at the prestigious Overworld Academy. The Academy offers her the opportunity to learn all of the secrets of the Overworld—and it’s an opportunity she can’t miss. She’s sad to leave behind her friends Henry and Max, but it’s time for her to have an adventure on her own. At Overworld Academy, she meets two new friends, Jane and Phoebe. Jane is an expert fighter, and Phoebe is a talented alchemist. With Lucy’s own knack for treasure hunting, the trio makes an incredible team. And when the school is attacked by zombies, the three girls are going to have their skills put to the test.

Together they prove that they can take on almost anything, but when Lucy overhears the school headmaster conspiring to take over the Overworld, Jane and Phoebe don’t believe her. As a newbie at the academy, Lucy hasn’t gained their trust yet. Her new friends turn against her and she gets kicked out of school. When she goes back home to get help from Henry and Max, she’s shocked at what she finds waiting for her in town. Will Lucy and her friends be able to work together to fight the evil rising in their world?

This is the first book in a new three-book series spin-off of the original Unofficial Gamer’s Adventure series with its bestselling book, Quest for the Diamond Sword. Fans of Minecraft won’t want to miss this new adventure.

The Phantom Virus by Mark Cheverton

9781510706835-frontcoverHerobrine, the artificially intelligent virus, was deleted. The computer it resided in was completely destroyed. Without their leader, the few survivors of its evil army were cast away into the shadows. It looked as if there would finally be peace and happiness throughout the servers of Minecraft.

But suddenly, and mysteriously, software began misbehaving. Sheep fell from the sky. Snowballs appeared out of nowhere. What seemed at first like harmless glitches quickly became dangerous. Pigs begin walking backwards, it starts to snow in the middle of the desert, and sheep are falling from the sky.

Gameknight999, the User-that-is-not-a-user, has no choice but to investigate. But the odd yet harmless pranks are turning deadly, and it’s not long before entire villages are completely destroyed. Examining the arrogant clues, Gameknight is no longer so sure that Herobrine was destroyed after all. Is it possible he escaped? Everything points towards a deadly trap far worse than anything that Minecraft has seen before. Will Gameknight solve the puzzle before the Overworld is destroyed?

 

March 15, 2016:

My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Sara Sanchez

9781634501781-frontcoverInside, outside, climbing up the stairs, or jumping into bed, your shadow may be following you! He may even be one step ahead as you run down the street! Complete with a cast of the whole family, a cat, a dog, and a teddy, this story is for everyone. Little ones who are just discovering their shadows for the first time will find inspiration between these pages, while older, more experienced kids are sure to learn new ways to play with their shadows. Get ready to laugh and giggle and then find the nearest light source and try out some shadows of your own!

Sara Sanchez has created soft and inviting illustrations to creatively interpret Robert Louis Stevenson’s original lines from the poem “My Shadow,” which was originally published in his classic for children, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Sanchez’s pictures are filled with humor and help propel this timeless poem into the twenty-first century. My Shadow is sure to become a bedtime favorite for the whole family.

Hattie Peck by Emma Levy

9781634501705-frontcoverPoor Hattie Peck simply loves eggs, but she has only ever laid one egg—and it never hatched. Eggs are all she thinks about, all she dreams about. No egg is too big; no egg is too small. So if she can’t lay another egg, she’s going to have to go out into the world to find one.

Hattie embarks on a journey in search of all the abandoned eggs. She dives to the deepest depths of vast oceans. She soars over gigantic cities and climbs up mountains towering above the clouds. Through gloomy dark caves, deep below the ground, Hattie searches. And she doesn’t find just one egg. There are so many abandoned eggs, just waiting for her to find them!

With her newly gathered eggs in tow, Hattie Peck returns home. Sitting on so many eggs at once is quite the task, but Hattie doesn’t mind. Days and weeks pass, until one day, finally, there’s a Crack! Scratch! Tap! But what will happen when all those eggs hatch together?

Divah by Susannah Appelbaum

Divah 9781634506748Seventeen-year-old Itzy Nash is spending the summer at the exclusive Carlyle hotel in New York City. But the hotel harbors more than the rich and privileged; it is host to a gorgeous fallen angel, reclusive movie stars, and—Itzy soon learns—demons of the worst sort. When the Queen of the Damned checks in, all Hell breaks loose. Itzy is called upon to save herself—and all of humanity—from the ravages of the Underworld. There’s only one problem: Itzy’s possessed.

Part gothic thriller, part historical fiction, the novel straddles the Upper East Side and the lush trappings of the Carlyle hotel, and Paris during the Reign of Terror in 1789. Marie Antoinette is the Queen of the Damned. Marilyn Monroe is an expert demon hunter. To kill a demon, Hermès scarves, Evian water, and a guillotine are the weapons of choice.

For anyone who loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this has an epic battle between angels and demons with a doomed love story at its core. But it’s also darkly funny, for fans of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and more than anything it’s something original—dark, funny, clever, and glamorous.

The ORVIS Kids’ Guide to Fly Fishing by Tyler Befus

9781634503389-frontcoverKids can fly fish, too! Fifteen-year-old Tyler Befus loves to fly fish. He has won awards and traveled all over the world to fish in different places. In this guide, Tyler shows that any kid can learn to fly fish. Discover fascinating information about where fish live and what fish eat, and learn tips about what equipment you’ll need, casting techniques, and much, much more to get you started on your own fly-fishing adventure. Fly fishing is an awesome way to spend time outdoors with your family, and with this book, any kid can become an expert!

The ORVIS Kids’ Guide to Beginning Fly Fishing is filled with a personal collection of photos and drawings done by Tyler himself. Because it has been written by an actual kid, this fully revised and updated book is a one-of-a-kind guide that kids can understand and easily learn from. Filled with all kinds of great tips and tricks, this is a valuable resource for any kid who wants to know more about fishing. After all, fly fishing isn’t just for the adults!

For fishing enthusiasts ages 8 and up, this is the perfect first stop shop for learning all you can about fly fishing. The pefect gift for those who love to fish and want to teach younger kids the skills behind fly fishing or for that kid who just loves reading about the outdoors.

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Ged Adamson

It’s no secret around this blog how much we love our mascot, Winston Sparkles. Winston pranced into existence from the imagination of author/illustrator, Ged Adamson and straight into our hearts.

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However, Winston Sparkles isn’t the only illustration Ged Adamson has to share with the world. You can check out his website to see what else Ged has running around his imagination. 

You can also check out two books that Ged wrote and illustrated for Sky Pony below.


Elsie Clarke and the Vampire Hairdresser

9781620879832-frontcover

Elsie hates getting her haircut. There’s absolutely nothing more terrifying for her. “They squirt you and they pull and they snip!” she cries in her most horribly loud voice. “I’m never going again. EVER!”

But after some coercion from her parents, Elsie reluctantly tries a new hairdresser named Boris Lazzario. Almost immediately, Boris is eager to cut her hair, but then learns of her fear. Reassuringly, Boris explains that his father, Count Lazzario, also dreads haircuts and is unhappy by Boris’s profession Boris. When confronted with the mean Count Lazzario, Elsie learns that she must be brave, in the end, both she and the count learn that haircuts are not so scary after all.

Meet the McKaws

9781629146188-frontcover

Captain Stan and Tiny McKaw are rough-and-tumble pirates. Whether it’s searching for treasure or battling on the high seas, this adventurous duo is up for anything. But then Tiny’s parents come to visit. Suddenly, the big pirate ship starts to feel very small. Mrs. McKaw is always nagging—even in her sleep! Mr. McKaw insists on telling endless stories. And they both make the cook cry when they insult his food! After they stick Tiny in a very un-pirate-like suit and tie, Captain Stan has had enough. “Get off my ship!” he orders. Only moments later, though, a massive storm envelops the boat. Will the McKaws forgive Stan’s outburst and help to save the ship and crew?

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New Picture Books for February!

Looking for a new and fun read? Need a new book for story time? Do you enjoy jumping in puddles and/or silly takes on classic nursery rhymes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, take a look at two new Sky Pony picture books published this month!

Puddle Jumpers by Anne Margaret Lewis, illustrated by Nancy Cote 

puddle_cover

It’s a rainy day in the month of May and Sam spots a rainbow, and then a puddle. A perfect spring puddle. His mother warns, “No! No jumping in puddles! You must keep clean today!” but Sam can’t stop himself from testing the water with his galoshes. And then the puddle invites him to play. The puddle whispers, “Jump, Puddle Jumper, jump!” and with that very first jump, Sam is off on an adventure of the imagination. He’ll be a frog in a pond, with a hat and some spots and a magic wand. He’ll be a crocodile with pink polka dots and teeth like blades, and a polar bear with purple polar hair. He’s going to jump, leap, dance, plunge, swim, and jump again. Sam is having so much fun in his puddle that even Mom can’t resist. With a leap and a thwump, she’s jumping too, cheering, “Jump, Puddle Jumper, jump!”

This happy picture book celebrates the simple, pure joy of jumping in a rain puddle. Nancy Cote’s cheerful illustrations are full of kid appeal, a perfect match to a story that captures the magic of being a child. Let your imagination take you on your own adventure the next time you encounter an irresistible puddle.

Aimed for children ages 3 to 6, this is a charming book about letting your imagination run wild and also about the joys children can find in even just a simple rain puddle. Encouraging kids to explore their outside world provides important developmental play for kids and parents will find the mom’s reluctance and then acquiescence a good reminder that adults need to enter the world of children in order to allow them to explore their world and to learn from it.

About the author and illustrator:

Anne Margaret Lewis is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than ten children’s books. She enjoys working with fun fictional characters and carefully weaving important lessons into her stories. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she lives with her husband and four children in Michigan.

Nancy Cote is a children’s book author and illustrator whose playful style has garnered her international attention. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, the AGA “Pick of the Lists,” the Smithsonian Notable Book for Children, and the Society of School Librarians International Honor Book. She is the author and illustrator of Watch the Cookie!, published by Sky Pony Press.

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Skink by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Ana Bermejo 

There Was An Old Lady Who Gobbled a Skink cover

There was an old lady who gobbled a skink (a type of newt). And a worm and a pail and a line and an oar and much more in this hilarious book about a crazy fisherwoman who swallows all the essentials for a successful fishing trip. With the ever looming threat of “perhaps she’ll sink,” readers will hold their breath in anticipation as she gobbles her way through the tackle box and then the boat! With an already impressively full stomach, she reaches for just one last bite . . . but to find out how the story ends, you have to read the book!

A wonderfully humorous take on a classic nursery rhyme by Tamera Will Wissinger, accompanied by Ana Bermejo’s fun-filled illustrations, this story will delight children, adults, and all those who like fishing. It’s perfect for reading aloud and sure to be read (and perhaps even sung) again and again.

Intended for preschool-aged children, this silly story is sure to be a fun read-aloud both at home or at school/daycare. It’s also the ideal gift for kids whose parents or grandparents love to fish or to explore the outdoors and might even inspire a few to try fishing at some point (hopefully without gobbling any of the tackle!).

About the author and illustrator:

Tamera Will Wissinger is an up-and-coming poet and children’s author. Wissinger has a master’s degree in writing and is the author of two books for young people: Gone Fishing (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children) and This Old Band (Sky Pony Press). Wissinger lives with her husband in Vero Beach, Florida.

Ana Bermejo grew up in the north of Spain. She studied art in Valencia—home of paella—and particularly enjoyed drawing goats, unicorns, and deer during her five years of university. She continued her art education at Saint Martin’s in London. She currently lives in west London, England, where there aren’t any goats, deer, or unicorns, but there are plenty of squirrels—and they are nice to draw, too.

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#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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The Sky Pony Express: Meet the Ponies!

Welcome to skyponypressblog.com!

Also known as The Sky Pony Express. During our work days we spend a lot of time talking about books: our authors’ books, our favorite books from childhood, books we’d love to see published, and more. We really like books here, and after some careful thought, some more book discussions, and a lot of coffee, we came to the conclusion that we want to bring the book talk to our readers and our authors. We want to create a space online to connect with all of you and for you to get to know us, our authors, and our books!

Some things you will see on The Sky Pony Express:

  • Giveaways!
  • Author Q&A’s
  • A peek at upcoming books
  • Flashbacks to backlist Sky Pony titles
  • Author guest posts
  • Much, much more!

Meet the Sky Pony Team:

It takes a team of hardworking individuals to bring Sky Pony books to the hands of young readers—individuals who are still children at heart and have a silly sense of humor, of course. Luckily, the Sky Pony team is full of editors, publicists, designers, and children’s literature enthusiasts who love what they do and don’t have any plans to grow up in the foreseeable future.

Julie Matysik, Children’s and Education Editorial Director

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Julie Matysik hails from Madison, Wisconsin, and earned her BA in English from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She began her publishing career as an editorial assistant at Skyhorse Publishing in 2009 and helped launch Sky Pony Press in fall 2011. She now oversees the imprint as editorial director, working with a fabulous team who love publishing children’s and young adult books. Julie’s favorite picture book from childhood is The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin, simply because it made her laugh after each page turn.

Weird fact: Julie was featured in a segment on her local news TV station as a two-year-old, caught singing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” a cappella.

Alison Weiss, Editor

Editing for Blog

Growing up steeped in the legends and stories of Sleepy Hollow, New York, Alison Weiss learned to keep an eye out for the Headless Horseman before she even learned to read. As a kid, it was not unusual to find her huddled under the covers on a Saturday morning with a stack of books, rather than downstairs watching cartoons. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English, and interned at Random House, where she fell in love with editing for children and teens. After six-and-a-half years at Egmont USA, she joined Sky Pony in 2015 as an editor, focusing on chapter books, middle grade, and YA. Alison’s favorite books growing up included Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Eloise, Anne of Green Gables, and Paddington. As a grownup, her favorite book is Barkbelly.

Weird fact: On a second-grade school trip to a bank, she was locked in a bank vault. (Okay, they didn’t actually lock the door, but it felt that way.)

Adrienne Szpyrka, Assistant Editor

Adrienne

Adrienne Szpyrka has been with Sky Pony since the beginning of 2014. She’s Canadian, grew up in Michigan, and came to New York most recently from Boston, where she did a master’s in Publishing and worked at The Harvard Coop bookstore. She reads mostly middle grade and YA in her spare time, but her walls at home are covered in picture book art. If she had to recommend one book she loves, it would be Letters to Anyone and Everyone.

Weird fact: Adrienne once had a hedgehog named Snuffles who used to escape at night and explore. She still isn’t sure how he got down the stairs, but thinks there might be a story there.

Rachel Stark, Assistant Editor

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Rachel Stark grew up in a rural Maryland county known for being home to more horses than the entire state of Texas. When her dreams of becoming a jockey—inspired by Joanna Campbell’s Thoroughbred series—fell through (alas, she is 5’10”), she attended Goucher College in Baltimore and studied English, creative writing, and photography. She realized early on that she liked working with books more than writing them, so she began her career in children’s publishing in 2010 with a role in marketing. She joined the Sky Pony team as an Assistant Editor in 2015 and loves helping authors bring great books into the world.

Weird fact: The parents of Rachel’s kindergarten classmates used to fight over her at play-date scheduling time because her incredibly active imagination would keep their kids busy(and quiet) for hours at a time. She is still coming to terms with the fact that she may never be that popular again.

Kylie Brien, Editorial Assistant

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Kylie Brien spends her days in New York City, her nights in Connecticut (where she’s lived for most of her life), and her weekends in New Jersey. All the commuting on the train affords her plenty of reading time. She never leaves the house without at least two books on her and a notebook to jot down any creative ideas she may have. She received a B.F.A in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in 2014 and joined the Sky Pony Press team in June 2015. Kylie has great aspirations to travel to Wonderland, Oz, and Hogwarts before settling down in Neverland (most likely she’ll be a pirate).

Weird fact: Kylie’s favorite toy when she was younger was a life-size Pink Power Ranger doll that she dragged around with her for years. Correspondingly, before deciding on a career in publishing, Kylie wanted to be the Pink Power Ranger when she grew up.

Cheryl Lew, Associate Publicist

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Cheryl Lew is a California native (San Francisco and Los Angeles) and New York resident. After deciding that the film industry wasn’t quite right for her, she moved to New York City to pursue a Master’s in Publishing from NYU. She is currently an Associate Publicist for Skyhorse, working with mostly Sky Pony books but also handling Skyhorse’s parenting and education titles. Cheryl’s favorite picture book from childhood is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd—a classic! She’d always have her parents read it during bedtime despite the piles of other books she owned.

Weird Fact: Cheryl never had any furry pets growing up… but she did have a lizard and several goldfish!

Joshua Barnaby, Production Editor

jbarnaby

Joshua L. Barnaby is a New Yorker who has been working at Skyhorse Publishing since the tail end of 2014. He earned a B.F.A in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA where he focused on writing drama, studying British literature and learning the applications used in print publishing. With a strong love for reading comic books and YA novels, Joshua takes great pride in typesetting and designing the interiors for Sky Pony Press as the Production editor for all Sky Pony Press titles. He loves stories about the development and performance of personal identity and explorations into mythology, psychological, fantasy, and science fiction.

Weird fact: Joshua’s mutant powers is to perfectly recall facts and scenes from the cartoon shows he watched growing up.

Winston Sparkles, Imprint Mascot

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Winston Sparkles was created by Sky Pony illustrator, Ged Adamson. After prancing out of Ged’s imagination, Winston lived in the Forest of Dreams where he received his BFA in Mascoting until he ultimately decided to make his home on the Sky Pony Express blog.

Weird fact: Winston is fluent in horse, human, and duck but duck is his first language.

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