BookExpo America (BEA 2013) Overview with Recommended Photo-Related Titles

I had a great day yesterday at the BookExpo America (BEA 2013) in New York City. I generally cover photo- and art-related trade shows and news, and this one had quite a bit to offer in those areas. The show ends today (Sat. 6/1/2013), and 6/1/2013 is the only day of the show in which non-industry professionals can attend the show. The cost to attend today is $49, and details can be found here:


The entrance to main trade show exhibits at BookExpo America 2013 at the Javits Center in New York City. Photograph © Andrew Darlow

Even if you don’t attend the show, virtually all of the products I mention below can be found either online or in stores. Here are just a few of the booths I visited in which I saw things that really impressed me (the first four are photo-related, and the last four offer educational resources for children, which is a major category of the show). I think that educators and anyone who enjoys books will find the show fascinating.

If you’d like to see a full list of all the exhibitors, visit this page (just click on any company name for a link to their website).

1. Abbeville Press (Booth #1206): The art books on display in this booth are incredible. Two in particular caught my eye were: Southern Light: Images from Antarctica by David Nelson, and Celestial Realm: The Yellow Mountains of China by Wang Wusheng. The reproduction and image quality of both books is truly incredible. I also browsed through Photojournalism: 1855 to the Present (published in 2009) and thought that it was very well written. It is illustrated with many striking (and in some cases, upsetting) photographs, and is presented in a way that highlights the work of 54 different photographers. At the booth, you can also pick up a free poster highlighting 80 years of Best Picture Winners from the Oscars.

2. O’Reilly Media Inc. (Booth #1269 ): O’Reilly is known for their technical books, but the company also distributes books from photo book publisher Rocky Nook. Two books on display absolutely blew me away: The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum, and Photographic Visions. Photographic Visions is a collection of images and tips from many different photographers.  An image is presented beautifully, and it is then deconstructed on subsequent pages so that the reader can truly understand what went into creating it. You can also get a “sneak peek” at an upcoming book entitled Beautiful Lego that showcases a lot of truly incredible artwork created using Lego-brand products.

3. Parragon Publishing (Booth #1846 and #1847): I was amazed at the photo quality of the following four books from this publisher: BIRDS, WOLVES, WILDCATS and HORSES. I also enjoyed browsing through the beautifully designed book: The Complete Guitar Encyclopedia, and the books: Then and Now: A world history of how people lived from ancient times to the present, 100 Cities of the World, and 100 Wonders of the World. There are also many innovative products on display from this publisher that combine products with books. One example is “Make Your Own Ice Pops,” which includes ice pop molds and a recipe book (perfect for the 95 degree weather we’re having in the Northeast!)

4. Browntrout Publishers (Booth #C1183): This booth is worth a visit just to browse through the many outstanding calendars that they produce (many featuring photography, including the work of photographer Dan Borris, who created the very popular “Yoga Dogs” and “Yoga Cats” books).

Even though I generally don’t cover children’s books for my website, because I have a young son, I’m always on the lookout for good books and apps for children, and I’ve purchased and read hundreds of titles over the last few years. Here are three companies who produce educational materials for children that really stood out in my mind:

5. Beaver Books (Booth #1167): This company produces many educational titles for children. One group of books that particularly impressed me were a series of books, each of which contains large posters and 100 stickers with the names of specific animals, dog breeds, etc. clearly typed out under each sticker. The four titles I saw were: My Favourite Playful Puppies, My Favourite Cuddly Kittens, My Favourite Baby Animals and My Favourite Farmyard Friends. Another product that truly amazed me is a series of books that uses a pen filled with water to bring out colors from specially-treated paper. They call them: “Palette Pages Painting Books.” The colors are quite vivid, and when the paper dries, the books can be used again, which is pure genius. What’s also nice is that there is quite a bit of text on each page that challenges kids to find things “hidden” inside the pages.

6. Nina Charles Publishing (Pumpkinheads) (Booth #C1182): Pumpkinheads has published five children’s board books to date, and they have some great-looking apps that look incredible on tablets. The author of all the books is Karen Kilpatrick (she is also one of the illustrators). You can learn about the company’s products, view and listen to a great read-along story, play online games and more on the company’s outstanding website: www.pumpkinheads.com.

7. AZ Books (Booth #1703): This company’s pop-up books with music are truly amazing. They also have many other educational materials for young people.

8. Publications International (Booth #2538 and Booth #2539): This company has a dizzying selection of products for children, as well as books for all audiences. My son loves one of their Disney book collections that comes with multiple books and a standalone reading device that resembles a smartphone. The audio is very clear, and it makes reading a lot of fun while imparting the many benefits that come with listening to a book being read as a child follows along with a story. They even offer books with embedded piano keyboards.