Patricia Aldana, founder and former publisher of Groundwood Books, has entered into a collaboration with China Children’s Press and Publications Group (CCPPG) to spearhead a new imprint, which will publish international children’s books in China and help position CCPPG, China’s largest state-owned children’s publisher, on the international market.
Aldana is no stranger to international publishing for children, having served as president of the International Board on Books for Young People between 2006 and 2010. She currently serves as the president of the IBBY Foundation.
The collaboration with CCPPG comes after what Aldana describes in an email to Q&Q as “years of meetings that fed my conviction that they are really interested in expanding the books available to kids in China.” She also praises CCPPG’s “desire to be a part of world publishing.”
The partnership will not see Aldana relocate. She will remain in Toronto, and “go to China sometimes.”
A press release quotes CCPPG president Li Xueqian as saying, “The purpose of the cooperation between us is to take CCPPG to the international market and introduce the world to Chinese kids.”
Asked whether she has any concerns about political influence from a state-run publisher, Aldana says no, thanks to “a very tight agreement” that is in place.
“Just as publishing for the U.S. requires all sorts of accommodations,” she says, “there are things to be mindful of. But they want high-quality books from all over the world that deal with all kinds of subjects, so I am comfortable. And I believe their own publishing is evolving and changing rapidly. On the other hand, I’m not naive.”