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Meet the Cats of Nosy Crow🐈‍⬛

Who says cats and crows don’t get along? October 29 is National Cat Day, so these crows are celebrating their feline companions—because there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and a fluffy cat. Meet the cats of Nosy Crow!

Meet Martin
Dearest Martin became a member of our family in the autumn of 2017, emerging victorious from an arduous adoption journey on the incredibly prestigious pure-bred agora of Facebook Marketplace. Originally given the name of Martha, we found it best to arrange an alternate title upon becoming more acquainted with the young fellow. At the learned age of six, Martin has stood down many a foe in his path. Conquered is the skunk who deployed munitions week after week against him, until one fateful discharge directly into the countenance of our hero. Defeated is the fox after only months, their nightly skirmishes drawing to a close upon injury to Martin’s paw, inflicted by the ferocious orange fiend. As ever, he was undaunted, and too proud to admit to pain, such that he tried to refuse treatment by striking the veterinarian in the hip, where she had, consequently, just had surgery. Martin resides peacefully, having secured the surrounding wood through years of trial and tribulation. He rests under his own vine and fig tree, knowing hardship only as a distant memory.

Martin owns Avery Cook, Associate Marketing Manager.

Meet Nox and Fury
After a tragic early life that was filled with regular milk, adult wet cat food, and kitty flatulence, Nox moved into his furever home in the spring of 2013, where he was promptly put on a better diet. He quickly grew into the handsome and surly fellow you see before you. He is very good at napping, sitting on laps, and going far away from his owners only to call out to them to see if they will search for him. His owners have spent an inordinate amount of time researching his background, as they think he is part Siamese cat. Furiosa (or Fury) arrived at her furever home in the summer of 2016. Unlike Nox, her early life was soft and cozy and spent with her litter, of which she was the runt. This sweet girl does not like being held, but she loves to cuddle. However, don’t be fooled by this tiny lady. As indicated by her name, she is pure terror when she darts around the house with 10 AM zoomies, eats from her brother’s food bowl first and her own bowl second, and attempts to scratch any/all new carpet.

Nox and Fury own Ally Russell, Marketing Manager.

Meet Cinder
This is Cinder. She likes sitting on your keyboard while you work, screaming for treats, and demanding cuddles right when you are about to stand up. About twice a year she rediscovers her tail, runs to the bathtub to contain it, and then chases it in a circle. Obviously, we adore her!

Cinder owns Allison Hunter Hill, Editor.

Meet The Baby and Salem
The Baby is our little cat who was my pandemic project. He was about three months old in September 2020 and completely on his own when we spotted him streaking through our backyard. I put food out for him, but he was completely feral and would not let me get anywhere near him. There was a cold snap at the end of October and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him outside, so I got a trap from the local shelter and put sardines in it. Less than five minutes later he was caught, and very, very angry, hissing and spitting in an adorable way. He spent a few days at the shelter getting checked out and they let me know they weren’t sure if he could be made tame. Today he is the chattiest and cuddliest of our three cats, and I taught him to sit and catch treats with his paws. Here he is with Salem, one of our other cats, his best bud and the Batman to his Robin. (The Baby is the one meowing.)

The Baby and Salem own Jennifer Greene, Freelance Editor.

Meet Teller
Teller (as in Penn & Teller) is a 7-year-old short-haired tabby who loves long naps, lots of snuggles, and being petty. In his spare time, you can find him on a sunny windowsill, balled up on a warm lap, playing with his favorite tennis ball, or throwing his food all over the ground for immediate attention.

Teller owns Monique Sterling, Freelance Designer.

Meet Hawley
Hawley, aka “Little Kitty” joined our family in the fall of 2021.  She was born underneath a barn on a small, falling-down farm in Hawley, Massachusetts. She has brought our family much joy during the first two years of her life.  I am a very proud Kitty Daddy to this quirky little soul.

Hawley owns John Mendelson, President.

 

Q&A with Tom Adams 🛸

Have you ever had something strange happen to you? In honor of Friday the 13th, we spoke with Tom Adams, author of The Big Book of Mysteries, about some eerie topics! Read the Q&A and decide if you’re a believer or a skeptic.

Question: Have you visited any of the places in The Big Book of Mysteries?
Answer: I’ve visited quite a few of the places mentioned in The Big Book of Mysteries. My earliest mystery encounter was to Loch Ness when I was only around 5 or 6. I remember on a holiday in Scotland clambering out of the back of our big old Landrover and scrabbling down to the edge of the lake with my brothers and sister. I was excited because the drive there had been filled with stories of sea serpents and Nessie sightings and by the time we arrived I was certain we were going to see a great monster bobbing about as clear as day. Of course, it wasn’t quite like that!

My brothers, my sister, and I lined the shore of the lake and stared…and stared…and stared. Nothing. After a couple of minutes of staring I’m sure we probably threw a few skimmers, perhaps hoping the splashes might raise Nessie from her slumber. Then Mum got the packed lunch out, and we sat in a row munching on doorstop sandwiches, all the while staring across the water. One of my brothers claimed he saw something out of the corner of his eye, but I’m not convinced he did. For me, that was a definite “no show” from Nessie.

Other places I’ve been lucky enough to visit include trekking in the Himalayas (no sign of the Yeti), a trip into the Australian Outback (no sign of the Yowie), Bodmin Moor (no sign of the Beast), and Tintagel, thought, by some, to have been the birthplace of King Arthur. If it wasn’t, it really should have been. The landscape is so dramatic, so beautiful, it’s the perfect place for the birth of a legend.

Question: What do you think of the recent world news about UFOs and aliens?
Answer: Anyone who has looked out across a night sky and seen the trillions of stars twinkling back at them through the blackness can’t help but wonder if we are alone in the universe. As Scully from the X-Files used to continually remind us, “the truth is out there.” So we are always going to be interested in UFOs and aliens and it’s no surprise they’re back in the news again.

I think it’s great that the Pentagon is now more open about their UFO investigations or UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena, as they’re now known). Any kind of secrecy over alien investigations is only going to encourage conspiracy theories, so why not be open about it? Of the 500 or so UAP reports released by the Pentagon recently, many were dismissed as drones, balloons, birds, or bits of rubbish sent airborne by the wind. However, I love the fact that 171 sightings remained “uncharacterized and unattributed” and that some of these were able to fly in certain ways or at speeds that left the Pentagon experts scratching their heads. Are they alien craft passing by? I doubt it, but it’s great fun trying to find out!

Question: Which mystery from the book do you want to know the truth about?

Answer: Any number of them, but I really like the codes and ciphers stories. I think the Phaistos Disk is fascinating. Here’s a clay disk, some six inches in diameter, made by someone on the island of Crete over 3,000 years ago, that has flummoxed academics across the globe to this day. It’s a window into the past that reveals how much we still have to discover about us and about our world, and that’s even before we try to figure out what it says. We thought the printing press began in 1450 with the Gutenberg press, but this disk was created with moveable metal dies, and so is the earliest example ever of moveable type. Making the metal shapes involved no small degree of work so it seems incredible that whoever made the disk didn’t use those dies to “print” other things. So where are they? Why haven’t we found other examples? Then, of course, the other question is, “what does the disk say?” We don’t even know what language it is in. This simple ancient artefact throws up all kinds of mysteries.

Question: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
Answer: Hmmm…that depends on where and when you’re asking me. Midday, on a busy high street, surrounded by people, of course not. Close to midnight, on my own in a graveyard, with a failing flashlight battery, I might reconsider.

Actually, that’s not really true. I don’t believe in ghosts but that doesn’t stop me from getting spooked by things that go bump in the night. I then have to force myself to be rational about things and convince myself that the noise I just heard was the house settling, or the wind, or foxes going through the trash cans, and not a headless lost soul forced to drag his ball and chain around my house for eternity. If I am rational about it, I realize it’s more likely to be the foxes.

I was afraid of the dark as a child and preferred to go to sleep with the door ajar so I could see the light in the hallway beyond. I built my own rules on how to stay safe from whatever lurked in the dark. For example, there was most likely something unpleasant under my bed, but so long as I didn’t dangle my arm out the side of the bed, so whatever lived there couldn’t grab it, I would be safe. It wouldn’t ever crawl out from under the bed and get me. And going to the bathroom, which was across the landing, down a corridor and a set of stairs, could be quite hairy. Again, I was safe in my room and strangely, the bathroom too (thank goodness) but I was fair game for ghosts or anything else when moving between bathroom and bedroom. I had to cross this “no-man’s land” as quickly as possible before the undead got to me. Thankfully, I managed it every time.

What all this makes me think, though, is that while I don’t think ghosts exist as physical objects in our world, they certainly do in our minds. And that means they’re just as real. Right?

Question: Is there an intriguing mystery that you researched but didn’t include in the book?
Answer: Yes…Gobekli Tepe, the oldest monuments ever discovered. This amazing site in Turkey consists of great stone pillars arranged in a series of circles. Some of the stone pillars weigh up to 10 tons and have carvings on them, of foxes, scorpions, or lions. This extraordinary structure is around 11,000 years old. As a comparison, the great sarsen stones at Stonehenge were most likely raised around 4,500 years ago. It means Gobekli Tepe was built at a time when humans were hunter-gatherers, using stone tools to make things. We hadn’t even figured out how to make pottery at this point.

Some may see Gobekli Tepe as evidence of an as-yet undiscovered ancient civilization on Earth but I don’t think that’s the mystery. It was made by our hunter-gatherer ancestors, not aliens or a super-race, but it has rewritten history. Until Gobekli Tepe was discovered, we didn’t think these pre-Neolithic people could come together and create something like this. But they did, and the mystery is how and why? This is the very first temple in the world. What drove our ancestors to choose this spot and to build this structure? What did they do that was so important they needed this collection of circles and stones to do it in, and what was it for? It’s a proper mystery.

Bonus Question: Has anything spooky ever happened to you?
Answer: Sadly, not really. I’ve never seen a ghost or had messages from beyond the grave, and much as I’d love to, I’ve never seen a UFO. If I felt a shiver down my spine in a deserted house, I’d assume it was because I wasn’t wearing a vest rather than there being a “presence.” The one thing I have had, is auditory hallucinations. Hallucinations are when you see things that aren’t there. Auditory hallucinations are when you hear things that aren’t there. I remember one time as a teenager, living at home, I woke up to hear a tractor engine. A big, noisy, spluttery tractor right outside my bedroom window. We lived up a small road that only led to our house so there was no reason a tractor would be passing, especially not at two in the morning, so it made no sense. I lay there listening for a good minute or so, wondering what the tractor was doing there until I eventually got out of bed to look out of the window. There was nothing there, and as I looked, the sound of the tractor seemed to just fizzle out. It was gone. I remember standing at the window in my pajamas totally and utterly confused by not seeing anything, and craning my neck to see if I could spot any tractor lights down the road. Why a tractor? I have absolutely no idea, but sadly there was no ghostly farmer driving a phantom tractor off into the distance.


About the Creator
Tom Adams is a children’s author who juggles his time between writing books and making television programs. He was born in Yorkshire but now lives in Kent with his wife and their three teenage sons. When he’s not at his desk writing, he’s often scribbling ideas for books and TV shows down in his notebook. He likes lots of sports, cooking, walking and playing the guitar but is slowly realizing that his children are better than him at most of these things. He dislikes weeding the garden but does it anyway.

Banned Books Week is October 1-7

At Nosy Crow, we strive to create books that inspire children to read for pleasure and, ultimately, to become lifelong readers. We endeavor to create books by, about, and for a diverse population. And we will do everything we can to ensure our books —and all books — are widely available to readers.

Efforts to censor library materials are at an all-time high since data collection began over 20 years ago, according to the American Library Association. Book banners disproportionately target books by and about people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.

At Nosy Crow, we defend books from censorship by publishing books we believe in and supporting the authors and illustrators who create them. Last spring, we dedicated resources to supporting the release of Everything Possible and debut author and LGBTQ+ ally Fred Small as he toured New England to promote the book’s message of love and inclusion.

We also defend books by using our platform to amplify efforts to protect the freedom to read, through donations to Little Free Libraries, and through our everyday individual efforts to confront attacks on access to books. As we are a startup publisher, we will always strive to support the educators, library staff, and booksellers who make books available for people to read.

Banned Books Week is October 1-7 and Let Freedom Read Day is October 7. Please join us by doing your part to take action, and use the hashtags #LetFreedomReadDay and #BannedBooksWeek on social media. How can you protect everyone’s freedom to read? Here’s a checklist of  things you can do to help.


John Mendelson is the President of Nosy Crow Inc. He cares deeply about helping children become lifelong readers and is committed to publishing books that kids want to stay up late reading. 

Celebrate Windrush Day

June 22, 2023, marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush. Today, we celebrate a generation of African Caribbeans who sailed across the Atlantic to call a new country home.

From multi-award-winning author Patrice Lawrence and debut gifted illustrator Camilla Sucre, Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush is a heart-warming tale that readers of all ages will cherish.

Ava must dress up as an inspirational figure for her school assembly, but who should she choose? When Granny shares the story of how she came to England on the Empire Windrush many years ago, Ava realizes that there is a hero very close to home…


Listen to an audio sample of Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush on Stories Aloud!

Read the STARRED Kirkus review in full!


 10 Picture Books for Caribbean American Heritage Month and Beyond
5 Picture Books That Rewrite the Immigrant Story

About the Creators


Patrice Lawrence
is an award-winning writer. Her debut YA novel, Orangeboy, won the Bookseller YA Prize and the Waterstones Prize for Older Children’s Fiction and was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award. Her subsequent novels have been much acclaimed and frequent visitors to prize lists. Patrice was born in Brighton, raised in an Italian-Trinidadian family in mid-Sussex, and now lives on the South Coast. Patrice was awarded an MBE for Services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honors 2021.


Camilla Sucre
, a Trinidadian-American artist who resides in Baltimore, has found a different kind of home in narrative illustration. Interested in illustration since she was a child, her dreams are finally coming true as she loves to explore new avenues of artmaking and illustration and new stories to tell. Camilla also has a passion for film and a natural love of movies and hopes she can one day express that in her work. Her favorite film is currently ‘The Red Shoes’, an old movie  — which is very fitting because she loves old things!

Gold Stars and Good Picture Books

As any schoolchild will tell you, getting a gold star isn’t an easy task. It’s a rewarding experience, and when you get a gold star—or a blue one!—you should parade around your home or school or library or the Internet. So, we’re delighted to share with you these starred reviews for some of our inaugural picture books. As our books make their way to store shelves, library carts, and into your hands, we hope you will give them stars too!

When Ava finds a mysterious old suitcase, her Granny shares her own history and how she came to England on the Empire Windrush many years ago. In a heart-warming picture book from multi-award-winning author Patrice Lawrence, with warm illustrations by Camilla Sucre, readers are introduced to the struggles and achievements of a generation of African Caribbeans who traveled across the Atlantic to call a new country home. Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush— out now!

“A loving family story that pays tribute to the often unseen but no less powerful moments of courage.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

If you don’t know how to count to ONE, then Caspar Salmon and Matt Hunt have the perfect picture book for you! There’s just one rule: You must ONLY ever count to ONE. You must not even THINK about bigger numbers. You’ll be tempted to count the whales, baboons, rainbows, and pyramids . . . but DON’T. OK?! You can buy ONE (OR TWO OR THREE) copy of How to Count to ONE: (And Don’t Even Think About Bigger Numbers!) when it makes its way to bookstores and libraries in early June!

“This delightfully silly counting book is sure to leave children laughing wherever it is read aloud.” — Booklist (starred review)

“Catnip for teachers or anyone leading a storytime and sure to tickle kids.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Written in memory of her father, whose favorite bird was the kingfisher, Anna Wilson takes readers on a lyrical journey though a year in the life of a kingfisher family. Sarah Massini’s stunning illustrations bring the riverbank to life in all its glory. If you’re looking for a story about the powerful, intergenerational bond between grandparent and grandchild, as well as a positive story about life, death, and being a part of the natural world, look no further than Grandpa and the Kingfisher. Coming August 2023!

“A lovely intergenerational appreciation of nature and life.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

We Love You, Librarians!

By Fred Small, Author of Everything Possible


From the moment I learned to read, I’ve loved libraries.

For me, as for many, my neighborhood public library has always been holy ground, a secular sanctuary, a source of security and refuge.

When I was a child, the ancient wooden card catalogs, weighty bound copies of Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, and gigantic microfilm readers beckoned me into unknown worlds. (Rotating that microfilm crank by hand was like accelerating down a steep hill on my bicycle, my heart pumping, the wind in my hair—oops, I overshot the page I was looking for! Back up! Back up!)

While the technology of libraries has evolved, their mission of public service remains the same: to encourage reading, to be a reliable source of information, to open the mind and heart to new horizons.

Who could have imagined that this mission would become controversial in the United States of America?

In today’s war on truth, librarians are easy targets. They endure obscene and often misogynistic abuse, doxing, death threats, and termination.

For doing their job.

For acknowledging and representing the reality of LGBTQ existence, librarians are denounced as “groomers”—child abusers!—when they’re actually protecting children, sometimes literally saving their lives, from the abuse of ignorance and bigotry.

The demonization of librarians is appalling. It’s horrifying. It’s infuriating.

Librarians didn’t sign up for public vilification. They became librarians to share their love of reading, their passion for research, and their dedication to the public good.

Who could blame them if they became discouraged or demoralized or simply exhausted by the vitriol? If they chose to resign one step ahead of the pitchforks-and-torches mob?

It’s so wrong. It’s so unfair.

It breaks my heart.

So, I want every librarian to know:

WE LOVE YOU!

We see you. We admire you. We care about you. We support you.

You are the patriots—not the censors, the shouters, the book-banners.

By the ordinary things you do day in and day out, you keep alive the sacred flame of truth, verifiable information, and intellectual, emotional, and spiritual exploration.

While some want to privatize everything from schools to drinking water, you steward a free public resource open to all without discrimination.

While some traffic in disinformation and bizarre conspiracy theories, you teach research skills that lead to facts.

While some demand to dictate the cultural, political, and religious messages available to young people, you open the world to them.

This makes you dangerous to some—and heroes to me.

If you’re a librarian, thank you for all you do.

If you’re not a librarian, why not thank the next one you meet?

And the one after that.

And the one after that.

It’s easy, really. You go into a library, find the nearest librarian, and say something like this:

“I just want to thank you for being a librarian and for all the good you do in the world. I know it can be hard these days. You’re facing pressures unheard of in years past. Being a librarian takes courage and fortitude. I just want you to know how much I appreciate you.”

It might make their day. Or their year.

It might lift their spirits at just the moment they were flagging.

If librarians are under attack in your community, defend them.

Shield them from slander and harassment. Honor them as guardians of literacy and the freedom of speech, thought, and inquiry essential to democracy. Surround them with love.

Librarians, we love you. We need you. We thank you.

Love,

Fred


Fred Small is the author of Everything Possible. He is a singer-songwriter, activist and Unitarian Universalist minister. He originally trained as a lawyer but left his job to pursue a career in music. In 1983, Fred wrote his classic song “Everything Possible”. Recorded and made famous by the iconic gay male a cappella group the Flirtations, the song has travelled around the world. Fred is a passionate advocate for equality, inclusion and environmental justice. He and his family live near Boston in the USA.