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Founded in 1991 by British publisher Walker Books, Somerville’s Candlewick is now a critical and financial success story among children’s publishers. Last month, its “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” won the esteemed Newbery Medal, while seven other Candlewick titles were also honored during the American Library Association’s ceremony.
“They don’t just slap on a cover, they don’t just slap on end pages, they don’t just automatically have a funky design,” says Cathryn Mercier, director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College. “Everything they do is about what serves the artistic vision of a particular book. There’s something about Candlewick that says, ‘We’re looking at the specific book that comes to us and we want to design it in the best way we can.’ ”