I met Grace Maccarone, editor at Holiday House, at the Santa Barbara Mission retreat in 2011. She was one of my first-page editors. I was struck by her kindess, humor and insight. I am so pleased that Grace agreed to be interviewed for the blog.
When and why did you become a children’s book editor?
Because I love, love, love kids’ books and kids. I began my career in magazines, then shifted over to books. That happened in the mid-eighties.
What can authors do to help their house promote their book?
Work with your editor and/or publicist. You want to make sure your timing is optimal and your message is appropriate and in synch with your publisher’s plan for the book.
Can you name some of your favorite Kidlit books?
My favorite books are Madeline, The Sailor Dog, Curious George, The Story of Ferdinand, The Little Red Lighthouse, The Little Engine That Could, and The Happy Day.
What are you working on now?
Now I’m working on some fabulous picture books that can be read by the newest readers: Boy, Bird, and Dog, by David McPhail; Dinosaurs Don’t, Dinosaurs Do, by Steve Bjorkman, The Lion and the Mice, by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley; and See Me Run, by Paul Meisel.
What are you looking for in a manuscript?
I’m looking for a manuscript that’s so good I want to share it with my daughter.
What is your favorite dessert and why?
I love chocolate covered peanuts—crunchy, salty, and chocolatey!
Grace Maccarone is currently executive editor at Holiday House, where she acquires 25 titles a year. Upcoming titles include In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb, written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully, and The Little Plant Doctor: A Story About George Washington Carver, written by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max. Both are picture books.
Grace was at Scholastic for thirty years, where she acquired and developed the I Spy series by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick, with 36 million books in print. She acquired trade picture books, easy readers, and mass market books in various formats, including board books, pop-up books, and novelty books.
She has worked with talented authors and illustrators such as Tedd Arnold, Norman Bridwell, Marcia Brown, David Catrow, Robert Coles, Bill Cosby, Steven Kellogg , Betsy Lewin, Ted Lewin, Jean Marzollo, Emily Arnold McCully, Faith McNulty, Kate McMullan, Jim McMullan, David McPhail, Brian Pinkney, Ted Rand, Melissa Sweet, and Walter Wick. She also worked with celebrities such as civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, and prima ballerina Violette Verdy.
Her titles have received the following awards: Theodor Geisel Honor, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, The New York Times Best Illustrated, American Library Association Notable Children’s Books, NCTE Orbus Pictus Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, Publishers’ Weekly Best Books of the Year, Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, Carter G. Woodson Book Award, Parents’ Choice Gold Award.
Grace has also published more than 60 titles as an author.