News & Media

Celebrating 20 Years of Calkins Creek

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Calkins Creek, the ABFYR imprint which introduces children to the many people, places, and events that shaped our country’s history. Calkins Creek’s picture books, chapter books, and novels—nonfiction and historical fiction for ages seven and up—combine original and extensive research with creative, energetic writing. History is key at Calkins Creek—front and center. Calkins Creek authors transport their readers back in time to recognizable places with living and breathing people.

We asked Calkins Creek Editorial Director, Carolyn P. Yoder, to reflect on how the imprint has grown over the last 20 years.

When I started Calkins Creek twenty years ago, I really didn’t know much about children’s book publishing—having spent my career in academic publishing, children’s magazines, and museum work—but I did know American history and the value of research. So, when I put together a mission statement for the imprint, I knew I wanted to publish stories of America’s past that were not only extensively researched, and therefore fair and accurate, but exciting and original. That you could see the author and artist IN.  No dry facts and figures for me. That mission has never changed. It’s rewarding to work with editors, designers, authors, and illustrators who are also dedicated to that vision. To get the story right and to make it shine. 

In the imprint’s early years, we published titles on little-known individuals who needed to be better known. We were determined that kids be exposed to a more inclusive past. That, too, has never changed but we have widened our focus because the past keeps changing—rich stories are being uncovered and more information is being interpreted and discovered. The past is like the ocean—deep and ever changing. 

I think Calkins Creek started with about 3-4 titles per year and now we publish about 15 or more per year. As a result, our subject areas, which also have never changed, have grown to hundreds of award- winning titles on social justice, civil rights, women’s history, African American history; science (space; invention; natural history, and the environment). To the many diverse people who make up our country! 

Calkins Creek is still growing—we’re only 20! —and we will keep to our mission. Young readers deserve that.