Little Picnic Press
Little Picnic Press is an independent publisher dedicated to creating thoughtfully written and well designed books that promote cultural diversity, food, and travel. With each book, the vision is to help children open up their palates and minds, developing an appetite for accepting different tastes and cultures.
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Cheryl Chepusova is a designer, writer, publisher, and children's book author. As a Hong Kong native and city dweller, she has traveled around Asia and also lived and worked in Toronto, New York, and San Francisco. She has a background in graphic design and an MFA in design criticism. In 2018, she started Little Picnic Press and co-created the board book series, Big Cities Little Foodies, as a gift for her daughter's first birthday, and to introduce young children to lesser known foods from around the world. She has since published other books that promote cultural diversity, food, travel, and bilingual reading. Cheryl currently lives in the Bay Area and enjoys picnics with her husband and two children, teaching them to speak multiple languages, and trying new things together.
What inspired you to create a book?
When I became a new mom, I was living away from my family and support system in a country that was foreign to me and I didn't know how I would introduce my culture to my child. I was disappointed that there was very little representation of our heritage in English children's books, and even fewer that didn't over generalize Asian culture. I wished there were books that distinguished between and celebrated the diverse cultures within Asia. So I decided to create those books myself.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
I first came up with Big Cities Little Foodies when my daughter was a few months old. I wanted to create my own book that could teach her about something dear to me: the place where I grew up. The theme of travel and food followed naturally, as we love both as a family and food is a huge part of teaching about every culture and heritage. When she became a toddler, we introduced her to Lunar New Year customs at home and I wanted to teach her about different customs for holiday, so I wrote Tastes of Lunar New Year to explore the diversity of the holiday. My younger son takes after me and loves eating noodles more than anything, and that inspired the book, Noodles, Please!
When do you work on Little Picnic Press?
Mostly when my children sleep. This small business developed over naps and after bedtime, which is when I find the most time to focus and work quietly. I draw clear boundaries around not working when my children are awake, so that I can spend time with them instead. It means it takes longer for me to develop each title, but it also means the process is not stressful or impeding on my family life. It works for me.
Do you want to be a full-time author and publisher?
Nope. Little Picnic Press is a fun creative outlet for me outside of normal working hours. I absolutely love being a product designer and couldn't see myself doing anything else full-time.
Do you publish books for other authors?
At the moment, no.
Can you hire me as an illustrator?
We're always keeping an eye out for illustrators that may be a good fit for future projects, but don't take applications. The best way to get on our radar is to follow us on Instagram.
Can you offer me advice on publishing my own books? Can you share any of your business experience with me?
With two young kids and a few upcoming books in development, I'm not taking any additional consulting work right now. I'll revisit my availability in 2023.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Isabel Foo is a graphic designer and the illustrator for the Big Cities Little Foodies travel series. Born in Toronto, Canada, she moved to Hong Kong for adventures and good food. As a graphic designer, she helped create art books, magazines, and cookbooks. Her illustration work has appeared in publications including Monocle, Vogue HK, and The Globe and Mail. Outside work hours, she enjoys combining her design and illustration skills with her love of food to create early learning content for children. Isabel currently resides in Toronto with her husband and toddler son.
Mori Chiang is a visual storyteller based in Taipei, Taiwan. He is the illustrator for the book Tastes of Lunar New Year. His illustrations have been selected for World Illustration Awards (UK), 3x3 Illustration Show (US), Adobe Design Achievement Awards (US), Hiii Illustration Awards (CN) and Cheltenham Illustration Awards (UK). By creating picture books, he wants to provide doors for readers to go on imaginative adventures.
Rebecca Hollingsworth is an illustrator and designer based in the UK. Born and raised in Nottingham, she studied art throughout school and college before heading to Leeds Arts University where she attained a degree in Illustration. She works from home sharing her workspace with her cat Maddie who’s never far from her side. For the past few years Rebecca has mostly worked as a greetings designer doing seasonal designs, however illustrating food has always been her passion. Rebecca is the illustrator for Noodles, Please!