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Subsidiary of: Walker Books, UK
Company Location(s): Somerville, MA
Imprints: Templar Books, Candlewick Entertainment, Big Picture Press, Walker Books US, MIT Kids Press, MITeen Press
Number of Employees: 130
Description: In 1992, Candlewick Press opened its doors as an independent children’s publisher, and we remain the world’s leading creatively led independent publisher of books and content for children today.

Candlewick Press arrived on the scene with some of the highest-quality picture books available. Since then, our offerings have grown to encompass all ages, with formats from board books to e-books and content from high-end novelty to cutting-edge fiction. Thousands of awards and accolades later, we are as passionate as ever about producing excellent books that are a joy to hold and read and share.

Lighting the Candle

When a young Englishman named Sebastian Walker set out to publish the best books for children in 1978, he launched his company in the spare bedroom of his London home and convinced a team of brilliant and ambitious people to join him. The company’s message was clear: books and their creators were the stars of Walker Books. His rare commitment went on to inspire Candlewick Press, founded in Massachusetts in 1991, along with Walker Books Australia. Today, Sebastian Walker’s legacy flourishes on three continents, and Candlewick Press is part of a passionate global publishing enterprise with infinite horizons.

Fanning the Flame: Candlewick Press Today

Candlewick Press started out with six employees; today we have over one hundred. We’ve published more than six thousand books, among them the adventures of favorite characters such as Maisy and Waldo, as well as classic picture books like Guess How Much I Love You and Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? Our storied picture-book list grows ever more robust, with titles like the celebrated A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston; the critically acclaimed Jazz Day by Roxane Orgill, illustrated by Francis Vallejo; and the brilliant visual comedy of author-illustrator Chris Haughton. Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen’s hat trilogy, including winner of the Caldecott Medal This Is Not My Hat, is the very definition of a classic in the making.

We’ve created Brand New Readers for those who are just beginning their reading journey and Candlewick Sparks for readers striving to master their skills. We’ve dipped into the great canon of children’s literature and issued the fresh and jubilant My Very First Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, along with stunning graphic interpretations of Beowulf, Shakespeare’s works, and many other classics. As for high-quality nonfiction, our reputation began with the publication of the groundbreaking and standard-setting It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley. We have continued our standard of nonfiction excellence with award-winning titles such as Master of Deceit by Marc Aronson, Beyond Courage by Doreen Rappaport, Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone, and Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin.

For fiction lovers, we continue to expand our list of middle-grade and young adult titles, among them the National Book Award winner The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume One: The Pox Party by M. T. Anderson, as well as Newbery Medal winners The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, Merci Suárez Changes Gearsby Meg Medina, and Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz and Newbery Honor Books A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat and BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford. Popular series such as Judy Moody, Stink, Mercy Watson, Emily Windsnap, the Princess in Black, and Clarice Bean keep younger readers laughing, while books like X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon and October Mourning, Lesléa Newman’s Stonewall Honor Book, provoke and challenge young adults.

When we first set forth, our logo was the original Big Bear, spiriting a candle through the dark. He was later joined by the Candlewick C-flame, highlighting our books for older readers. The company gained more logos as we added eight imprints. The first was Templar Books, originator of the lavish and whimsical novelty adventures known as the ’Ologies as well as many other illustrated titles. Then followed the fascinating art-driven titles of Big Picture Press (highly illustrated books made by and created for the incurably curious), Candlewick Entertainment’s media-inspired list, the child-focused books of Nosy Crow, and Candlewick Studio’s unique, arresting, and beautiful books for book lovers of all ages. Walker Books US launched in 2018 with a focus on fiction, graphic novels, and illustrated books with instant reader appeal. The two most recent imprints, MIT Kids Press and MITeen Press, are the result of a unique partnership between Candlewick Press and MIT Press and will publish books on science and technology.

Feeding the Fire: What about Tomorrow?

When looking to the future of publishing, some turn an eye to technology — and indeed Candlewick Press is one of the few publishers working with digital content-delivery partners to fine-tune the typographic, composition, and design elements that make for the best possible transition from book to e-book. Our electronic publishing program offers more than one thousand titles in electronic format and continues to grow.

But ultimately, we believe that the future of Candlewick Press lies with our authors and illustrators and the extraordinary books they create. One of our biggest thrills is discovering and nurturing new talent and helping to bring it to the world. Some of our book creators have received top accolades on their first books, among them Ekua Holmes, an illustrator awarded a Caldecott Honor for her glorious artwork on Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, and Aaron Becker, an author-illustrator who won a Caldecott Honor for his New York Times best-selling picture book Journey, the first in his innovative wordless trilogy. With artistry such as theirs and that of many more authors and illustrators both known and yet to be discovered, the future looks bright indeed.

Lighting the Way

It’s a challenging new world, with an entirely new generation of storytellers coming of age and wielding new tools. Whatever the future brings, we will remain single-mindedly focused on one simple aspiration: creating and publishing the very best stories for children and young readers on the market.

Our reputation for excellence in creating beautiful, high-quality children’s books is accomplished through a staff of dedicated, focused, and energetic individuals who enjoy an innovative, team-oriented work environment and a generous compensation and benefits package including medical, dental, life, ltd, and supplemental insurance, 401k and flex spending plan participation, very generous paid time off, and so much more!

Type(s) of Publisher: Independent Publishers
Trade Publishing: Children's
Company Website:
Phone: 617-661-3330
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