Editors at the Top! 7 Sentences with Anne Schwartz

The second in a four-part series interviewing editors that run their own imprints.

Anne Schwartz is an editor extraordinaire! In her distinguished 35-year career, she has
worked for many top publishers. Anne was publisher of Apple Soup Books at Random House, spent a decade at Simon & anne-schwartz-2Schuster, where she started her first imprint, Anne Schwartz Books. In 2005, she returned to Random House with her partner, Lee Wade. Currently, Anne Schwartz is VP and Publisher of Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. She has worked with such acclaimed authors and illustrators as Ian Falconer, Patricia C. McKissack, Chris Raschka, Candace Fleming, Deborah Hopkinson, Jonah Winter, Jenny Offill, Paul O. Zelinsky, and Sophie Blackall. The picture books she has edited have received many awards, including the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal, and have appeared on bestseller lists around the country. You know Olivia? Yes, of course, that Olivia! Those are the kind of picture book classics that Anne Schwartz finds, believes in and shepherds.

Picture books are all about distilling a story to its very essence—not one word more, not one word less. No one in the industry understands that process more than Anne, so I thought I’d ask her to complete seven sentences about editing picture books with just a word or two (OK, maybe three, four or five, but still, you get the idea.) Anne’s short, sometimes surprising answers are in red.

1. I love picture books because…

they are all-enveloping. They transport me to a different place.

2. Picture books need an editor to…

approach each manuscript, each sketch, with a fresh eye, and treat it as the unique creation that it is.

3. The hardest part of the picture book to get right is…

understanding an author’s and/or illustrator’s intention, and helping them fully realize it.

4. I’m drawn to picture book manuscripts that…

are revolutionary in some way, big or small, different than anything I’ve read before.

5. I never want to see another picture book that…

copies Dr. Seuss.

6. The picture book I wish I’d edited (but didn’t) is…

Where the Wild Things Are.

7. A few upcoming picture books I’m most excited about releasing are…

41tqnbwk6gl-_sy439_bo1204203200_A GREYHOUND, A GROUNDHOG by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Chris Appelhans (January, 2017)



9780375870880_p0_v1_s580x700LET’S CLAP, JUMP, SING & SHOUT; DANCE, SPIN & TURN IT OUT Games Songs and Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (January, 2017)




A LETTER TO MY TEACHER by Deborah51a9t3p4tgl-_sy411_bo1204203200_ Hopkinson, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (April, 2017)




Thanks to Anne for filling in the blanks and teaching us a thing or two about the kinds of picture books she loves to build.

P.S. Many thanks to Schwartz & Wade for publishing one of my favorite novels for children, May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. “Maybe” if I read it enough times (I’m on at least my sixth time through) it will someday teach me how to write a novel of my own.

Barb Rosenstock

Barb Rosenstock loves true stories best. She’s the author of award-winning nonfiction and historical fiction picture books including the 2015 Caldecott Honor book THE NOISY PAINT BOX, illustrated by Mary Grandpré. 2018 titles include: BLUE GRASS BOY with Edwin Fotheringham, THE SECRET KINGDOM with Claire Nivola, OTIS & WILL DISCOVER THE DEEP with Katherine Roy and THROUGH THE WINDOW with Mary Grandpré.


  1. I like this editor series! Lovely books to look forward to!

  2. Thanks for the insights. More new books to check out!

  3. Looking forward to reading these lovely books. Thanks.

  4. These books sound wonderful. I really like this editor series. Thanks for doing this.

  5. Thanks, Barb, for this interesting series. Thanks, Anne, for giving us insights into what you enjoy and look for in picture books.

  6. Thanks for the insights I’m gaining from this series.

  7. Ditto from me. I love this series too!
    Thanks so much!

  8. Schwartz & Wade books are delightful!

  9. Thanks, Anne!! I love Schwartz & Wade books too!

  10. What a great new series! Thanks, Barb.

  11. Thank you for these posts. Very informative and fun.

  12. Hi Anne, I’m having trouble with my email, would you contact me at [email protected]. I have a ms I would like to send you

    Julie Cummins

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