Christopher Myers to Launch Make Me a World Imprint With Random House Children’s Books
New York, NY — Christopher Myers, award-winning author and artist, and son of the late acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers, will launch his own imprint with Random House Children’s Books, MAKE ME A WORLD, it was announced today by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher. Jenny Brown, Vice President, Publisher, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, will oversee the imprint.
The name MAKE ME A WORLD reflects Myers’s vision: to publish a selection of books that open up new worlds, possibilities, and pathways for young readers of all ages. Myers is focused on bringing voices of diverse thinkers and artists from all walks of life to his list—including filmmakers, musicians, playwrights, painters, writers, astronomers, architects, and more, and individuals who have redrawn the boundaries of their own lives and forged new paths.
The imprint will debut its first list in 2018 with Child of the Universe by astronomer Ray Jayawardhana, a lyrical piece unfolding as a conversation in which a father shows how the entire universe has conspired over billions of years to bring his child into his life; Mama Mable’s All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza! by Annie Sieg, a picture book that tells the inspiring story of female musicians like the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, who played a critical role in the evolution of jazz after World War II; and Walk Toward the Rising Sun by Ger Duany, an inspirational memoir for young adults about a pivotal time in the life of a boy from South Sudan, who escapes dire and desperate circumstances, war and famine, through the gift of one constant friend.
Myers cites the influence of his father on the core mission of the new imprint: “I am excited to embark on this endeavor with Random House to launch MAKE ME A WORLD. Every day in the newspapers we see how much stories matter, the stories we tell each other and ourselves, and for too long many stories have been neglected, many storytellers ignored. Each of these untold stories represents a world that has been erased. My father built worlds for countless children in his stories. He wanted to make sure no child felt erased as he had, growing up poor and Black in Harlem in the 1940s, where brown, bright faces like his own were nowhere to be found in the pages of books. MAKE ME A WORLD will continue that work, recognizing storytellers from all walks of life that can build for contemporary children a sense that they too have the ability in their creative hands, in their hearts, to build their own worlds.”
“I have long been an admirer of Christopher Myers’s way of thinking about literature and art, and believe that his talent and perspectives uniquely position him to create an imprint focused on celebrating diversity of every kind, and the power of books to transform lives,” says Marcus. “We are eager to watch Chris develop his future lists, and for children, teens, and families to experience the stories that his authors and artists will tell.”
Christopher Myers is a widely acclaimed author and illustrator living in New York. In addition to illustrating his own titles, he has worked with numerous authors, including E. E. Cummings, Zora Neale Hurston, and his father, Walter Dean Myers. The two worked together on the Caldecott Honor winner Harlem, as well as the Coretta Scott King Honor winners Black Cat and H.O.R.S.E. Most recently he collaborated with dancer Misty Copeland on the picture book Firebird. Myers is a versatile artist, working with photos, gouache, woodcuts, collage, and other artistic media. His fine arts have been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai, the Prospect Biennial in New Orleans, and currently at the Cooper Gallery at Harvard. Myers also codirected the documentary film Am I Going Too Fast? with Hank Willis Thomas, and recently designed a translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead into a performance called Go Forth, directed by Kaneza Schaal. He has written several notable essays, among them “Young Dreamers,” an eloquent reflection on Trayvon Martin and Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day, as well as the much-discussed “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” published in the New York Times in 2014.
Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.