What is Ruby Tuesday Books?
Ruby Tuesday is a nonfiction children’s publisher owned and run by best friends and business partners Ruth Owen and Shan White. At Ruby Tuesday our mission is simple – to publish beautiful and informative books that spark a love of reading and discovery.
Read on to learn more about Ruby Tuesday books!
Tell us how Ruby Tuesday Books started?
It was almost by accident! I had been writing and producing books for other publishers, and one of the US companies I was working with said, “Why don’t you publish your own books?” It felt like a huge step to take, but they convinced me that I could produce good books and that I could do it. With my best friend Shan onboard (who had worked in many areas of publishing including children’s), I found that I really enjoyed making all the decisions (with Shan) and that I could write the books I wanted to write in the way I wanted to write them.
The other question we get asked a lot is why nonfiction? When I was six years old, the first book I ever chose for myself from a school book club magazine was a nonfiction title. The book, Gorilla Baby: The Story of Patty Cake (Pearl Wolf, Scholastic Book Services), still sits on the office bookshelf today. It has inspired a life-long love of nonfiction reading and a passion for animals, nature, and science. When deciding what type of books Ruby Tuesday would publish, the choice was easy: beautiful books to help children discover that real life and facts can be every bit as exciting and engrossing as fiction.
How would you describe your publishing vision?
We publish on a number of topics, but the majority of our titles focus on nature, science, and conservation. Understanding the science behind the natural world has never been more important. If you don’t understand the water cycle, you can’t understand why it’s important to save water. If you don’t know about pollination, you won’t realize how vital bees and other insects are to life on Earth.
The care we bring to checking facts, getting experts on board, and going the extra mile for every book really shows. Even though this is a business, even in our busiest times, on our hardest deadlines, we never let it stop us pouring our hearts into every book. We want to show that a good nonfiction book that has been produced with care and passion is as good as the latest big novel by a famous author!
A book is a long-term, solid form of information. The internet is a great thing, but there’s an element of seeing something one day and it being gone the next. The information in a book is always there, and a reader can come back to it over and over again, feeling the excitement all over again. When we see a child pick up a book and go running to show an adult a photograph or fact they’re enjoying, it really warms our hearts – especially if it’s a book that our company has produced!
Ruth always says: I love nonfiction because I love learning new things and am never embarrassed to say “I don’t know” because “finding out” is one of the most fun things in life.
Any upcoming projects you’re particularly excited about?
Probably like most publishers, it’s always hard to have a favorite, but we are very excited about our Fall 2023 list. Our habitats series “Nature’s Neighborhoods” (see image above!) has been a strong favorite with schools in the US and UK and has won awards.
Our third conservation-related picture book The Day Little Mouse Got Stuck holds a special place in our hearts as we are all passionate litter-pickers, and Ruth worked with her sister Emma Bowring, an award-winning wildlife artist, to create the title.
Ruth and Emma are both lucky enough to live in beautiful rural areas. But every day, they see food packaging, plastic bags, masks, and even dirty diapers littering the narrow lanes and hedgerows where they live. Last summer, after picking up someone else’s trash, tossed from a car into a Cornish hedgerow, they decided to turn this depressing situation into a children’s picture book.
When Little Mouse – a harvest mouse who lives in a hedgerow with her babies – becomes trapped in a plastic bottle thrown from a car, the story has a happy ending thanks to some hikers. But every day thousands of animals are not so lucky, dying horrible deaths trapped in garbage.
Ruth and Emma realized that recruiting the children in the back of the car to their cause could be the way to give wildlife a brighter future. “We wanted to create a story that would inspire children to shout – Don’t throw that garbage from the car!”
Earth’s Insects Need You! – There couldn’t really be a more important topic to talk about right now with insect numbers seriously in decline. Our human world can’t survive without insects, and this book empowers kids by giving them the facts they can share with others and the solutions they can implement to help protect insects in their immediate area, town, city, and country.
And finally, Spiders: We’re Not Scary, We’re Amazing is a book that we wanted to publish for a very long time. Much maligned and misunderstood, spiders are fascinating creatures that really aren’t out to harm humans and, just like insects, are essential for our world. If we can turn just one reader from a spider hater into a spider lover with our book, we will be thrilled!
For 2024, we’re very excited about our “Money and You!” series. More and more it’s becoming apparent that many young people lack financial skills and confidence. These books will give kids all the information and tools they need to budget and manage their money wisely today, and to be ready for bill paying, mortgages, taxes, and other financial issues they will experience in the future.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We are a small, very hardworking company with big dreams to build and build our list with books that will help our world. Every book is precious to us, and every sale we make is so appreciated and enjoyed. To any librarian, teacher, or bookseller out there who has purchased a Ruby Tuesday title, we’d like to say a BIG thank you.
And to those that haven’t yet tried a Ruby Tuesday book, please buy one. We promise you’ll love it!
Praise for Ruby Tuesday Books…
To learn more about Ruby Tuesday Books, download helpful teaching resources, and browse Ruby Tuesday’s beautiful nonfiction offerings, head over to lernerbooks.com!