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Our Process for Creating Collections

If you had told us at the beginning of 2020 that our curation process wouldn’t involve any book fairs, or meetings with publishers, or even physical samples of the books we’d be reviewing, we wouldn’t have believed you. But looking back a year and a half later, that’s exactly what happened. 

The curation process has a cyclical nature. It typically begins when we attend book fairs, such as La Feria Internacional del Libro (La FIL) in Guadalajara, MX. There, we get the chance to discover publishers, build relationships with them, and see all of the amazing books they have to offer. We usually bring five extra suitcases for the sole purpose of bringing back as many samples as we can get our hands on. 

Over the past year, we met new publishers through virtual book fairs and established relationships “face-to-face” via Zoom. Zoom enabled us to open several accounts with small, independent publishers. We relied almost exclusively on digital catalogs and samples. A few publishers opted to mail us physical copies of samples, and those had to be sent to our homes since we were working remotely. While we hated not being able to hold the books and feel their pages, we’re extremely grateful to the publishers who were willing to share their precious digital copies with us (and no, we won’t be sharing! 😜​​).

Reviewing, leveling and grouping the titles is a process in and of itself. Being that Rob and Marie were based out of Paris for the majority of 2020 and first half of 2021 (welcome back!), and Sofi is working from our home base of Decatur, GA, the digital samples turned out to be a great alternative. Physical samples, on the other hand, required a transatlantic zoom call. 

What You Can Expect in Our Upcoming Collections

A Special Spotlight on Diversity
While curating our upcoming Read Aloud collections, one of our priorities was diversity. We wanted to include books that represented children of all different races, cultures, socioeconomic statuses, and so on. The result? An entirely new Spanish diversity collection featuring 70 titles and four themes: 
French Books on the Menu - Finally!
Marie took advantage of being in France to create several different collections in French: 
  • A Classroom Library collection of book bundles, with 20 books per reading level A through P.
  • An Authentic collection including 60 titles, levels E through P. 
  • A Diversity collection of 50 leveled books G through P.
  • A Read Aloud collection for grades Pre-K through 2 featuring 100 stellar titles grouped into 16 themes.
  • A Book Clubs selection of 80 titles grouped into 15 genres and themes for grades 3-6.    
Expanded Pre-K and K Selection
We went from 70 titles each for Pre-K and K to over 120 titles each!!! We also added many more themes, including more social emotional.  
English Social Emotional Read Alouds

Most of our customers know us for Spanish and French books, but you’ll LOVE our social emotional collection in English. It includes 45 titles representing a wide variety of characters.  We’ve already sold several dozen sets, and we look forward to sharing this collection with more schools. These social emotional read alouds are fantastic for Pre-K through second grade. They’re a great complement to our Spanish social emotional read alouds. Check out our last Conversations with the Curator blog post to learn more about our new SEL collection and why it’s so important. 

As we transition from product development to the creation of our new catalog, we can’t help but feel giddy at the thought of sharing our new read aloud collections with you. We put our hearts and our minds into the selection of every one of these titles as well as the curation of each set, and we hope you love them just as much as we do!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see more of our recommended titles!

Sofi Rice and Marie Bouteillon, Curators at Hexagramm Books

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