Toucan Blog

Women Our Story UK Cover

At Toucan, we are having an extra special celebration for International Women's Day because the book we did for Dorling Kindersley, Women: Our Story, is out now. The foreword is by historian Lucy Worsley who says, "I think every book needs a section, like this one has, entitled "notable women pirates". This book is a wonderful survey of women's history and in addition to those notable pirates, you'll find artists and astronauts, doctors and divas, snipers and suffragettes, and details of the lives of ordinary women across the world and the centuries. To quote Worsley again, "No longer buried in the footnotes, it's time for history's women to step into the centre of the stage." Amen to that!

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This year, we are toasting Valentine's Day with Brockmans Gin. We were chosen by the folks at Brockmans to create a book for them: The Black Book of Gin Cocktails came out in October, just in time for their 10th anniversary. Working on the book was great fun and we even got to try a few cocktails. 

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This magical artwork is from Basher Science: A to Z of Science. It shows the senses as only Basher can and provides a great taster of this visual dictionary for curious scientists. 

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This year, the characters from our Basher books have leapt off the page and into Target with the help of our friends at Mattel. It’s been an amazing journey from working with Mattel to create the toys, card game, and playsets to seeing them as prototypes to finding them in Targets across the U.S. 

By now, the toys and card games have been in Target for nearly a year and I am still thrilled every time I go into a Target store and see them there. Simon Basher and I have also gotten a big kick out seeing the unwrapping videos that so many kids have posted on…

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They say every journey starts with a single step. This book started with a single conversation at Frankfurt in 2006 with Kevin Mulroy, then Editorial Director at National Geographic. We hatched a plan for a killer travel book and one year later, Journeys of a Lifetime was published. That year, it was Barnes & Noble’s Number One Christmas gift book. Ten years on, the journey hasn’t ended and Journeys of a Lifetime is still going strong. It has reprinted many times and been published in 18 languages. Bill Gates even gave it to someone as a Secret Santa gift providing some fantastic publicity when news of his gift went viral! May the journey continue.

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President Obama opened the National Museum of African American History & Culture on September 24, 2016 so the museum is one year old this month. Toucan was very proud to produce the four launch books for the Museum.

Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit the Museum and was both thrilled and moved. It was amazing to see the building and exhibits come to life after months of looking at photos and poring over floor plans during the making of the book.

The books were written and created as the museum was being constructed which presented challenges for all of us.