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The Shluffyland Express Press emphasizes greater accessibility to timeless ideas.

We at The Shluffyland Express Press are excited to announce Patti Stren’s latest labor of love, an expansion of one of her most beloved books, HUG ME, making it more accessible to more children in North America and around the world. Starring Elliot Kravitz, the little porcupine who yearns for a hug and simply won’t take no for an answer, the whimsically funny picture book will now appear in English, French, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Ukrainian translations, and in bilingual Ukrainian-English and English-French versions.

To increase accessibility to children with visual impairment, a braille version of a simplified HUG ME MORE Story and Coloring Book, featuring Patti’s drawings modified to suit raised tactile line art is coming soon. Patti is deliriously happy about The Shluffyland Express Press and her own collaboration with Tactile Vision Graphics, in Windsor, New Brunswick, Canada, a company with a strong commitment to helping people who are visually impaired learn through high-quality physical access to books and other materials.

The HUG ME SERIES of children’s books, complete with audios, also features the soon to be published GOOD NIGHT MIMI, I LOVE YOU SWEETIE introducing Elliot’s best bird buddy, Mimi, the feistiest and most irreverent of canaries.

The HUG ME SERIES is available on Amazon Kindle.

BACKGROUND: Internationally known, Canadian born children’s book author and illustrator, Patti Stren has a heartfelt connection to The Shluffyland Express Press, which was named in memory of David Stren, Patti’s brother and first publisher. In 1973, David published the story book and coloring book titled, I NEVER MET A MONSTER I DIDN’T LIKE, melding Rosemary Allison’s story and Patti’s Monsters!! and continued on to publish Yaaaay Crickets! later the same year.

At the beginning of Patti’s career, it was her brother David who not only encouraged her and believed in her, but when Patti wanted to go to the School of Visual Arts in New York City to study with her hero, r. o. Blechman, it was David who said, “okay kid.” He found the pied-a-terre with a terrace overlooking the East River so she could be inspired. Moved her into the studio saying “Kid, all you need to do is be a good artist! Don’t worry about the rest, I’ll take care of it!” For Stren, her brother not only pushed her out of the nest, he celebrated each success, when she was discovered by Elizabeth Gordon at Harper & Row and taken up by Emily McLeod at E. P. Dutton and Andrea Cascardi at Random House, then Hyperion. He continued to make sure that Patti had all the art supplies she’d dreamt of, even technical pens with, as Patti says, “the tiniest of nibs”. And when Patti constantly worried that she couldn’t make “good enough” drawings, it was David who told her, over and over, “Just be yourself!” When Patti was nervous about printing, it was David who flew in from Toronto, and stood behind her as she talked to the printers. Patti always looked back at him when she thought she might need him. David would nod, which meant ‘you can do it kid’, and she would feel brave. Just before David passed, one of the last conversations she had with him was about officially forming a publishing house. And so began the creation of The Shluffyland Express Press, benefiting from an international team of designers, translators, editors, narrators and computer wizards. The dream was to publish books for children all over the world in many languages –with the theme, Imagine the World Full of Hugs.

David will always be Patti’s “Theo Van Gogh” and even more! Knowing she had a kind and brilliant brother who would be there whenever she needed him allows her to create from a place of love.

When Patti and David were very little, they would say, Go Shluffy. The word “Shluffy” is a very loving word in Yiddish that tells little ones “Go to sleep.” Patti was inspired to name the publishing company Shluffyland in memory of her beloved brother, because David was always encouraging her and loving her, making it easy for his kid sister to drift to sleep thinking of tomorrow’s big dreams.

In addition to US publishers mentioned above, Patti’ Stren’s work has been published by Canadian companies including: Fitzhenry & Whiteside under Sharon Fitzhenry; SCHOLASTIC CANADA, under Dianne Kerner; Scholastic Français; Éditions SCHOLASTIC; Clarke, Irwin & Company; and by KAWAI Publishing in Japan.