Library, press coverage of children's book sales

Author available for interviews - info@ premiopublishing .com



MIDVALE, Utah - Karl Beckstrand’s 22nd book, “It Came from under the High Chair: A Mystery,” almost never got published. “I thought the concept of a monster made of spilled food might be too disgusting,” he said. “Then I saw all these best-selling bathroom humor books and figured the world was ready for my 20-year-old idea.” he said.

A media professor at a state college, Beckstrand always sneaks some education into his stories. “I think kids don’t mind learning if they are being entertained,” he said. This funny children’s picture book teaches prepositions in Spanish and English. It includes a bilingual pronunciation guide, dyslexic-friendly font and online secrets. The English version debuted in April at #1 in its category on Amazon.

Beckstrand, who speaks Spanish and is learning German, has taught English as a second language as a volunteer for more than a decade. “It Came from under the High Chair” is his seventh bilingual book and the fifth in his Mini-mysteries for Minors series (others in the series: “Sounds in the House,” “Crumbs on the Stairs,” “She Doesn’t Want the Worms” and “Why Juan Can’t Sleep”).

Most of Beckstrand’s titles have online extras and surprise endings. In 2016 he won an International Book Award for his western novel “To Swallow the Earth.” His work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Horn Book’s blog and School Library Journal. During the past six months two of his titles have spent weeks at number one in more than one Amazon category. 

As a kid, Beckstrand wanted to be a rock star — not a writer. Before being published he worked in human resources, hospitality and public policy. His first publisher died the day his book was to print. Even after getting a master’s degree in international organizations, Beckstrand feels his most valuable education has come from running a business and living abroad. “I did get to sing professionally — in a wedding band,” he said. So his bucket list is mostly complete.

This new Spanish book includes a wanna-be superhero, finding/counting activity, a mysterious visitor and vivid illustrations by Jeremy Higginbotham (for kids ages 4 and up, including dual language/ESL/ELL students). 

“It Came from under the High Chair,” features Filipino and Polynesian children in a mixed-race family and is available in English, en español, hard, soft and ebook versions. It is published by multicultural book publisher Premio Publishing & Gozo Books and can be found via Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Brodart, EBSCO, Follett, Gardners, iBooks, Ingram, Library Direct,, and

Multicultural Publisher Creates Ten Products from One Title
           Award-winning author shows how delivery  formats  can multiply product offerings and earnings

SALT LAKE CITY,  Utah - When author Karl Beckstrand wrote “Great Cape  o’ Colors – Capa de  colores,” he didn’t plan on it becoming a model of multiplying products that  any manufacturer or goods producer could  emulate. “I just wanted a bilingual  picture book to teach colors in  Spanish or English,” he said.

“Great Cape o’ Colors” is Beckstrand’s 20th book  and  sixth bilingual title. Because some buyers (parents, educators) prefer single language kid’s books to teach children a foreign language, “I  also created Spanish-only and English-only versions, as I’ve done with  my other  bilingual books,” he said. Each version comes with a language  pronunciation  guide.

Since  librarians and teachers prefer children’s books  that last, Beckstrand made all  three language versions available in  hard cover as well as the more affordable  soft cover format. “So the  three language versions in hard and soft cover — along  with ebook  versions of each — make a total of nine formats,” he said.

John  Collado, the illustrator, liked Beckstrand’s idea  of making a coloring book  version (it is about colors after all) using  John’s original line art. Of  course, there is no hardback or ebook  version of the coloring book. 

“So,  from one story, I have ten versions of the book,”  said Beckstrand. While ten  versions of the story didn’t need to be  written, there were other commercial product  design steps beyond  writing and editing it in Spanish, namely cover creation  for the  various iterations. All versions of the new book were released this year.

“If  it weren’t a picture book, I could do an audio  version which would make an 11th  incarnation,” said Beckstrand. He is  in the process of making his award-winning  western novel, “To Swallow  the Earth” into an audio book.

“Great  Cape o’ Colors” is also the fourth book in  Beckstrand’s Careers for Kids series.  Product bundling or “a series is  another excellent way to increase a product’s reach,”  he said. Other  titles in this jobs/money book series are: “Ma MacDonald Flees the Farm” (about a woman-owned business), “Bright Star Night Star” (for aspiring astronomers), and “The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on  How to  Earn a Living” — which was selected by the State of Vermont for  financial  literacy curriculum. Utah’s Granite School District has  ordered a large  quantity of Great Cape o’ Colors. All four  multicultural children’s books link  to a site with job and business  ideas plus money management tips for kids and  teens:

“A  12th incarnation of the book could be a film or  animated version,” adds  Beckstrand, who also mentioned internet,  television, game and toy options. Whether  someone creates children’s   products or  does product development for adults or corporations,  Beckstrand’s ideas may inspire creative ways for manufacturers to  multiply product offerings. “Never  let a good product go  underutilized,” he said.

Besides  language learning, cultures and career ideas, kids can enjoy activities like  coloring or trying on the costumes portrayed  in Great Cape o’ Colors (which has black and Hispanic superheroes and  is free for Kindle Unlimited readers) available through, Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes &  Noble/Nook,  Brodart, Ingram, Follett, iBooks, and Beckstrand may be found on Goodreads, Bookbub, Youtube, Smashwords, FB, Pinterest, Google, Instagram, and Twitter (search Multicultural Children’s Books by  Premio  Publishing). ISBN: 978-1732069619. See the book trailer here: 

Jobs Good for Kids Says  Former Silicon Valley Recruiter
Author  says kids benefit from early business experience

           MIDVALE, Utah -  When Karl Beckstrand wrote his 20th book, “Great Cape o’ Colors –  Capa de colores,”  he didn’t plan on it being about careers. “I just wanted a   Spanish-English picture book to teach colors to language learners,” he  said.

“I came up with  different costumes that include capes —  costumes kids might try at home,” said  Beckstrand, whose books have  diverse characters and language pronunciation  guides. But after getting  the artwork from the illustrator, he realized this  was also a book  about jobs for kids — and it fit nicely with three of his other  books  on careers for kids. 

A former Silicon  Valley recruiter, Beckstrand wanted to  spark imaginations to discover skills  and interests. “I especially want  kids to learn that our best ideas and skills  are born while solving  problems and helping others — and this can  happen at almost any age,”  he said. 

Beckstrand, who  speaks Spanish and is learning German,  has taught English as a second language  as a volunteer for more than a  decade. He also teaches digital media at  Mountainland Technical College  in Lehi, Utah. His children’s books share insights  he gained while  working from a young age.

Besides “Great  Cape o’ Colors,” the Careers for Kids series includes “Ma MacDonald Flees the  Farm” (about a woman-owned business), “Bright Star Night Star” (for aspiring  astronomers) and “The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a  Living”  — selected by the State of Vermont for primary school financial   literacy curriculum. Each book links to a site with job and business  ideas for  graduates plus money management tips:

In 2016  Beckstrand won an International Book Award for his western novel “To Swallow  the Earth.”  He’s also been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Horn Book’s  blog  and School Library Journal. “This is a magic cape!” begins Beckstrand’s   newest title. “I feel like one of the superheroes inside,” he said.

Great Cape o’  Colors”  features a black girl and a Hispanic boy. It is illustrated by John   Collado, free on Instafreebie and Kindle Unlimited and available in hard  cover,  paper, ebook (en español/single language or bilingual) and soon  as a coloring  book from Premio Publishing & Gozo Books, Amazon,  Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble/Nook,  Brodart, Follett, Ingram  and A book trailer is available on  YouTube.

Former Silicon Valley Recruiter Says Some Schools not Preparing Students to Earn a Living

Doing things for free may not sound like a great recipe  for earning; but a new picture book by a former Silicon Valley recruiter  shows how providing free service can build skills, ideas and a  reputation — all of which can bring income.

“Some people graduate from high school or college and expect to be paid  right out of the gate,” said author Karl Beckstrand. “Most employers  want experience,” he said. “Seeing problems and providing solutions — even without pay — can give job seekers the edge.”

The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living”  (for ages 5 and up) came to Beckstrand after he had visited many  schools, observing almost no curriculum on earning money. The State of  Vermont now uses the picture book and its online resources in its financial literacy curriculum for primary schools.

Beckstrand’s 18th book (number one in three Amazon categories) shows how  a child with an eye for solving problems helps some hungry fish and  finds a treasure. This illustrated Asian folk tale comes with ideas for  businesses, finding customers and managing finances.

“I hope it helps bridge the gap,” Beckstrand said, “between what kids  aren’t being taught and what they need to know in order to make a  living. Money shouldn’t mystify.”

Beckstrand, winner of a 2016 International Book Award, says that earners  start young — with no expectation of reward. “Doing something for  nothing not only helps you feel good,” he said, “it gives you  experience, a good reputation and, sometimes, money-making ideas.”

“Many children and adults lack confidence that only comes through  experience,” said Beckstrand. “We get experience by finding and filling  needs, solving problems.”

While he wanted to be a rock star, Beckstrand’s first job out of college  was as a technical recruiter in Silicon Valley. “I got that job because  I had worked some summers and semesters doing grunt work as a human  resources assistant.”

Some of the people Beckstrand recruited had great ability and egos, some  had no ability and great egos, but some had an idea of what they didn’t  know,” he said. “The latter group had the best chances because they  wanted to learn how to bring value.”

Beckstrand worked in high tech, sales and public policy before  publishing his first book. “I did get to sing professionally,” he said,  “even if our band was basically a wedding band. The point is, by trying  lots of things I learned what I like and developed skills that help in  any industry.”

“Maybe you don’t get that Fortune 500 job,” Beckstrand said, “maybe,  while you’re serving someone in need, you get an idea that turns into  the next Uber or Amazon — only it’s your company.”

After a couple of books through other publishers, Beckstrand now runs  Premio Publishing in Midvale, Utah. They specialize in multicultural  mysteries, biographies and language books for families. “They’re not  about race or ethnicity,” said Beckstrand. “They simply happen to have  characters of color.” They have received awards and raves from national  publications like School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book’s  blog and ForeWord Reviews.

Even after getting a master’s degree, Beckstrand noted that none of his  courses taught earning or managing money. He says his most valuable  education has come from running a business and living abroad. He has  included tips he has learned in “The Bridge of the Golden Wood,” written  in dyslexic-friendly font and available in hard cover, soft cover and  ebook  via major distributors.

STEM Books Pick up Steam

MIDVALE, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 – Three multicultural books  teach astronomy, entomology, zoology (and Spanish) — but kids would  never know it from the mysteries, activities and giggles.

Cover contest winner “Butterfly Blink: A Book Without Words” is a new  picture book fantasy that helps children (ages 2 – 6) cement vocabulary  as they describe the monarch from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.  Blink — and they multiply! The e-book version is free this month and  includes habitat conservation information for all ages.

“Bright Star, Night Star: An Astronomy Story” (also a cover design  winner) is a children’s book that accompanies an American Indian child  in finding constellations, stars and other heavenly bodies. It exposes  children (4 - 8) to the starry skies, Monument Valley, and a little  space science. It is available in hard or soft cover — or as an e-book.

“She Doesn’t Want the Worms – Ella no quiere los gusanos: A Mystery” was  named in the top 10 best books of 2011 by “ForeWord Reviews Magazine.”  It is an educational activity book about a bi-racial girl who responds  to some unusual animal gifts — that happen to be alive — and includes  full text and a pronunciation guide in both English and Spanish. Kids (3  and up) or language learners can find and count insects, reptiles, a  cat, and a bat. Get in Spanish-only, English-only, or bilingual versions  as an e-book or in paperback.

The best-selling author of these nature books, Karl Beckstrand, has 17  multicultural books and more than 45 e-book titles – all family  friendly. Beckstrand finds that Science, Technology, Engineering and  Math (STEM) books can entertain while they educate (STEAM books include  the arts). Beckstrand will present on publishing entertaining literature  Tues. Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Weber County Library 2039 W. 4000  South, Roy, Utah and Sat. Nov. 5 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Viridian Center  8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan, Utah.

Award-winning Premio Publishing & Gozo Books’ STEM books capture  attention, create repeat readers and are nationally lauded (ForeWord  Reviews, Horn Book blog, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews). Not  about ethnic or racial diversity, they simply feature black, white,  Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and mixed-race characters. 


108 Years in the Making,  Manuscript wins International Award

MIDVALE, Utah, June 24, 2016 – After being named a finalist —   but not winning — the Laramie Award (western novel) and, after getting  Literary  Classics’ seal of approval, but no award, Karl Beckstrand was  beginning to  doubt there would be any recognition of his hard work.  Last month he learned  that his thriller, “To Swallow the Earth,” had  indeed won a 2016 International  Book Award.

Beckstrand, who grew up in San Jose, California, has won   other literary awards, but this one is special. “It’s really my  grandfather’s  story,” Beckstrand said. “I just reworked it so the  characters were developed  and the action flowed.” Beckstrand’s  grandfather grew up ranching, hunting and  fishing around the Sierra  Nevada Mountains a hundred years ago and used that  setting for a  western mystery set in the Nevada silver rush.

“My grandfather explored the mountains on horseback, so he   knew the country well,” Beckstrand said. “My challenge was to tighten  his story  while preserving the plot’s action, suspense and earthy  vernacular.”

“The main character is an outcast, half-Mexican, raised by   Indians,” Beckstrand said. “But he’s fearless and loyal to his friends  and  family.” In addition to a tough, dark hero, there’s a gutsy heroine  who is  unintimidated in the worst kinds of opposition.

“What if you came home after a journey and your family was   no longer there?” Beckstrand summarizes. What if someone else was  living in  your house, running what you used to manage—and trying to  kill you? Could a  beautiful woman be behind it? Wade Forester must stay  in the shadows. His  father has disappeared, and his sister won’t speak  to anyone. Patricia Laughlin  is searching for her family as well. Few  people gain her trust or approval.  Wade must decide if risking his life  to help Patricia means aiding the enemy.  And Patricia must choose a  killer to trust with her life.

Beckstrand, who has a bachelor’s in journalism from BYU   and a master’s from APU, will present with a  panel of authors on  Monday, June 27 at the Hunter Library at 7 p.m. and on July  26 at the  Kearns Library. 

Beckstrand’s fifteenth book may be found via all major  distributors and here. A book trailer is here

More info: What if you came home after a journey and your  family was no longer there? What if someone else was living in your  house and running what you used to manage? What if they tried to kill  you when you showed up? Wade Forester must stay in the shadows because,  it seems, everyone has reason to shoot him. His father has disappeared,  and his sister won’t speak a word to anyone. Beautiful Patricia Laughlin  is searching for her family as well. Few people gain her trust or  approval, though powerful landowner Bridger Calhoun just might be the  man to do it. After a clash throws them to opposite sides, Wade must  decide if risking his life to help Patricia is worth the trouble.  Bridger must win Patricia’s heart, and Patricia must learn which killer  to trust with her life.

Set in Nevada’s silver rush, and reminiscent of Twain, the writing  comes from intimate knowledge of the era and area. Having lived off the  land, Wilcox depended on his wit, grit, and strength—and that of his  animals—for survival, just as these characters do. Wilcox and Beckstrand  weave authentic detail and care for the land and its creatures into a  mystery that will make your heart pound and fill your lungs with the  “rarefied air” of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Of his grandfather Beckstrand said, “His family ranched and  hunted in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Once, when the hunter became the  prey -- of a charging wild boar -- my grandfather stuck a pole he was  carrying into the ground and climbed straight up to safety.” On another  occasion, Beckstrand’s grandfather was saved from a deadly boar by the  family dog, an Australian shepherd named Blue. When Blue was later  injured in an unrelated accident, Beckstrand’s grandfather was able to  turn the tables and save the dog with an emergency amputation. “That  three-legged mountain dog was kind of a celebrity after that,”  Beckstrand said.

Comes with additional short story. Family safe (ages 14 & up),  diverse characters, 54,000 words, 210 pages, 5.25”x8” paperback,  simultaneously published as A Sky So Big (also a paperback and audiobook, YA western suspense/romance). Premio  Publishing (worldwide rights 2015), Baker &  Taylor, BN, EBSCO, Follett, Ingram, Mackin, Quality Books,  Kindle/, Sony, iTunes, Kobo, Diesel, and select retailers.  Written by Ransom Wilcox & Karl Beckstrand

Dancing Flamingos

MIDVALE, Utah, Sept.  9, 2015 -- The world is pink. Pink with  flamingos reveling on an imaginary  lake—the creation of award-winning  author Karl Beckstrand. Vivid images for the  picture book “The Dancing Flamingos of Lake Chimichanga” were created by  illustrator Ashley Sanborn.

“The story is  filled with frenetic flamingos diving,  dancing and dipping,” Beckstrand said. “I  think it will make anyone  smile. Kids can count the birds, dances and foods.”

“Diving, dipping, drinking, dripping, flying, falling,   flailing, flipping. Strutting, swaying, swooping, sunning, synchronized   swimming—they shimmy. It’s stunning.” 

The 24-page,  8.5-inch square soft cover picture book and  ebook is for ages 3 – 7 (350 words  for preschool to second grade) and  has online extras. Beckstrand has 15  multicultural books and more than  40 online titles, many of which feature  characters of color. Most end  with a twist. His nationally lauded books can be  found at  Amazon/Kindle, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble/Nook, Brodart,   EBSCO, Flipkart, Follett, Gardners, iBooks, Ingram, Inktera, Kobo,  Library  Direct, Mackin, OverDrive, Quality, SCRIBD, txtr, and select retailers.

Read a Book with No Words?

MIDVALE, Utah, Nov. 28, 2014 -- Want to help kids cement their  vocabulary skills? A new book—without words—can do just that.  "Polar  Bear Bowler: A Story Without Words" is designed to help children create  their own narration to engaging, funny images. It is Karl Beckstrand’s  eleventh book.

Illustrated by Ashley Sanborn of Lehi, UT, the story is about a Polar  Bear that hitches a ride to Antarctica. He has never seen penguins  before; to him they look like something fun to play with. So, the romp  begins. The new title has been translated into more than twenty  languages and  is available in paperback and ebook versions.

What would you do if Old MacDonald’s animals ruined your catering  business? Ma MacDonald’s response is pretty clever in Beckstrand’s  twelfth book: “Ma MacDonald Flees the Farm.” Activities include finding  and naming animals and foods (for ages 3 - 8). The 32-page, soft cover  and ebook was  illustrated by Alycia Mark of Providence, UT.

True to its multicultural tradition, Premio Publishing’s books  feature learning activities and characters of color. Premio's mystery  and language books, non-fiction, ebooks and app are nationally-lauded,  invite family learning and together time, and often end with surprises.  Premio is celebrating its tenth year. 

Blink, and You Could Miss 'Em 

“Butterfly Blink: A Book Without Words” is a picture book fantasy that  helps children cement vocabulary as they describe the monarch from  caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. Blink — and they multiply. Blink —  and they’re gone! (Stories Without Words series, Ages 2 – 6), 24-page,  8"x 10", wordless picture book on habitat conservation with Hispanic  child, ISBN: 978-0692648599.


New Astronomy Book  Exposes Kids to Science

MIDVALE,  UT, March 09, 2014 - Want to expose kids to the night sky? A new picture book,  Bright Star, Night Star: An Astronomy Story, opens the starry skies to  youngsters.

 This week  Bright Star, Night Star hit No. 2 on Amazon's Hot New Children's Books list. It  opened mid-Feb. at No. 5.

The  children's astronomy book has activities for finding stars,  constellations,  planets and other heavenly bodies. Rich illustrations  by Spanish artist Luis F.  Sanz help identify objects and online secrets  add depth and details. The  vocabulary is suitable for children ages 5 -  9.

Bilingual  author Karl Beckstrand hopes the story and  activities spark children's interest  in all things stellar. This is  Beckstrand's tenth book. He likes to weave  language, counting or other  learning concepts through his stories. He even  wrote a free geography ebook for kids: It Ain't Flat: A Memorizable Book of  Countries.

Beckstrand  will be signing books Saturday 22 at the  Discovery Space Center in Pleasant  Grove, UT (886 W. 2600 North) from  11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

True to  its multicultural tradition, Premio Publishing  & Gozo Books features  characters of color in its astronomy book for  kids. Premio's activity and  language books, ebooks and app are  nationally-lauded, invite family learning  and together time and often  end with surprises.

The soft  cover bedtime story and ebook can be found via,  Baker &  Taylor, Brodart,,, iTunes,  Follett Library  Resources/Title Wave, Ingram, Mackin, and select  booksellers. Customers may  pre-order in hard cover from the publisher.

Horse & Dog Adventures in Early California 

Sept.  2, 2013, MIDVALE, UT, USA – Animal lovers can get a peek at  life in rural  California in the early twentieth century when animals  played a critical role  in human survival. Author Ransom Wilcox knows—he  lived it.

Wilcox’s  family moved to the Sacramento Valley from  Canada in 1907. They farmed, tended  livestock, and sometimes got by via  hunting and fishing. Once, when the hunter  became the prey—of a  charging wild boar—Wilcox stuck a pole he was carrying  into the ground  and climbed up! 

Wilcox’s  new book, Horse and Dog Adventures in  Early California,  tells of his great love for a beautiful filly and how he  depended on  horses in ranching and hunting. He also writes about the devotion  of a  special dog that saved his life—and how he was later able to return the   favor, performing emergency surgery on the injured canine. “Doc”  Wilcox, as his  friends called him, was a chiropractor by profession,  and grateful for his  medical training when his rescuer needed help.

Wilcox’s  love of animals and the great outdoors is  evident in his nature-themed stories  (for young and old). They convey  courage, devotion, and perseverance with  warmth and sincerity.

Also  new from Premio Publishing: No Offense:  Communication Guaranteed Not to Offend by Karl Beckstrand (also from  California). In his ninth book,  Beckstrand captures with simplicity and wit the  essence of  non-offensive, politically correct communication. Funny--and free of   degrading bits--this is safe, entertaining reading for the whole family.   Beckstrand encourages (in a clever way) the expression of important  ideas and  respectful dialogue—which often lead to serendipitous  solutions that neither  side would have arrived at without the other. He  makes a strong statement about  the problems with political  correctness—especially unconstitutional limits on  free speech.

Multicultural Publisher Donates Language and Activity Books to Libraries Across the West
   Nationally lauded Spanish/bilingual books, activity mysteries and  ebooks featuring black, white, Hispanic and Asian children are now  available at multiple libraries and web sites.

May 2013, MIDVALE, UT, USA - Parents and teachers seeking more  racially-diverse educational books for children have new options—and  more places to find them. This month Premio Publishing & Gozo Books  has made its multicultural activity and language books available at more  than 75 libraries and bookmobiles in the West.

Hundreds of the nationally-lauded English and Spanish books (with  pronunciation guide), activity mysteries, ebooks and non-fiction books  on immigrants have also been donated around the world. The books feature  children of black, white, Asian, Hispanic and mixed races, and come  with finding or counting activities, online secrets and even recipes.  Surprise twists, vivid images and humor hold student attention and make  them repeat readers.

The publisher has also increased the number of web sites that  offer its diverse books and ebooks internationally--including Amazon,  Barnes & Noble, Nook, Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Smashwords  and Etsy. offers a free geography ebook: It Ain’t Flat:  A Memorizable Book of Countries meant to be read aloud. They plan to  release interactive book apps later this year.

Premio Publishing’s multicultural books have been praised by  School Library Journal, the Horn Book blog, ForeWord Reviews and others.  While their educational children’s books may be ordered via Baker &  Taylor, Brodart, Follett Library Resources/BWI Title Wave, Ingram,  Amazon and others, the publisher will continue to donate books to US  libraries and charities. Libraries that did not receive a free bilingual  book with pronunciation guide may contact the publisher while  quantities last.

Premio's publisher, Karl Beckstrand, will be presenting on  Creating & Publishing Children’s Books for Broadest Reach (including  ebooks and Print-On-Demand) at the LDStorymakers Conference Friday, May  10 at 10:40 a.m. at the Provo, Utah, Marriott Hotel, USA.

Mini-mysteries for Minors

Oct. 2012 - Not  that anyone needs a comprehensive list of what keeps people awake at night, but  a new mystery book Why Juan Can’t Sleep chronicles--with hilarity--every  possible cause for insomnia. From  wild dreams to noisy critters and neighbors,  to too much Chinese food,  author Karl Beckstrand makes sure adults and kids are  entertained at  bedtime. 

The  fourth in his Mini-mysteries for Minors series, this  interactive book has  finding activities and striking illustrations by  Spanish artist Luis Sanz that  grab readers and aid comprehension. It’s  really a list of what has interrupted  Beckstrand’s sleep—with a great  reaction from Juan and a twist at the end.

This  summer, two of Beckstrand's mysteries were  highlighted among the "best of  the best" on Barnes & Noble's site.  Other praise for Beckstrand has  come from the Horn Book blog, ForeWord  Reviews, and School Library Journal.   Beckstrand's books have Latino flair, minority characters and often  end with a  surprise twist. Mini-mysteries for Minors help children  identify and face  fears. Many are available in English-only,  Spanish-only, and bilingual  versions--with full text and pronunciation  guide in both languages--and as  e-books. Young and old will identify  with this funny, spooky quest for rest  (for ages 4 - 10).

One  other new title from Beckstrand is Arriba  Up, Abajo Down at the Boardwalk--a  bilingual picture book of opposites set at the historic Santa Cruz  Beach Boardwalk. All  Mini-mysteries for Minors are ideal Halloween  books: Sounds in the House - Sonidos en la casa, She Doesn’t Want  the Worms -  Ella no quiere los gusanos, Crumbs on the Stairs - Migas en  las escaleras. Ask  for them at: Sam Weller, King’s English,  Storybook Nook,   Ingram, Baker & Taylor,, Barnes &  Noble, Brodart, Kindle, Follett/BWI  Title Wave, select retailers

Media Advisory - U.S. Spanish Children’s Book Sales Climb
 Amazon Spain launch and U.S. book sales indicate next big market. November is National Picture Book Month.
Nov. 22, 2011, Midvale, UT, USA -- Publishing is evolving and  crossing borders like never before, as is children’s literature.’s recent entry into Spain and the explosion of  Spanish-language ebook platforms are indicators of the next big  publishing market. 

Sales of Spanish language books in the United States demonstrate  significant demand--including for children’s literature in Spanish.  Bilingual author Karl Beckstrand has seen an increase in demand for his  Spanish-language and bilingual picture books and e-books.

This year Beckstrand has had three titles on Amazon’s “Hot New  Releases” in Spanish list. His Spanish titles outsell the English  versions, though most of his titles come with an English/Spanish  pronunciation guide. Positive national reviews by the Horn Book blog and  ForeWord Reviews don’t hurt either.

During November, National Picture Book Month, Beckstrand expects  record sales--not because of the added emphasis--but because, lately,  every month is a record sales month. Customers are not all likely to be  to Spanish-speakers. It may be that individuals, schools and families  agree with Amazon: an additional language is a good idea. 

Considering that native Spanish speakers are more common than  native English speakers worldwide (the only other native language more  common than Spanish is Mandarin, according to Time and Wikipedia),  Amazon’s lead should be followed. Beckstrand’s picture books may be a  good start.

Premio Publishing has been delighting readers since 2004.  Nationally lauded (ForeWord Reviews, Horn Book blog, Midwest Review),  our activity picture books--including a cookbook for kids,  Spanish/bilingual books with pronunciation guide and English, Spanish or  bilingual text, and ebook mysteries--feature minority characters,  capture attention and create repeat readers. Distribution via: Ingram,  Brodart, Baker & Taylor, Follett/BWI, Amazon,  Nook/Kindle/ibooks/Kobo,

She Doesn't Want the Worms--but you will

SALT LAKE CITY:  It’s not your typical picture  book—but that’s  the idea. “If you’re going to teach something you’d  better have people’s  attention first,” says author Karl Beckstrand of  his fifth children’s book, She  Doesn’t Want the Worms – Ella no quiere los gusanos. It is Beckstrand’s third  bilingual book.
 “Who is offering this kid  worms?” asks Beckstrand “—and why?” The  vivid, sometimes striking, images of  creepy crawlies by illustrator  David Hollenbach only increase the curiosity.  “Once readers are  interested in the story, they hardly notice they’re  learning,” says  Beckstrand.
She Doesn’t Want the Worms’ whimsical story and images  stand  on their own merits; but kids and adults may go back just to try the   words in another language. “It’s pretty interactive,” says Beckstrand;  “and  that’s what you want in a book.”
   Beckstrand’s bilingual books  are for people of any age who want  to learn English or Spanish, and come with a  pronunciation guide in  both languages. His first bilingual book, Crumbs on  the Stairs – Migas en las escaleras, has been purchased by schools and  libraries around the country.



SALT LAKE CITY:  “It didn’t start as a cookbook,”  says author,  Karl Beckstrand of his fifth picture book, “but my editor  thought it would be  the perfect activity book—saving families from  those ‘I’m bored’ moments.” Bad  Bananas A Story Cookbook for Kids dramatizes the short (shelf)  life of a renegade bunch—offering great  recipes kids can use, even when a  banana starts to go “bad.”
 Who knew bananas could be  trouble, “sneaking rides on fruit  hats—or taking the fruit bowl out for late  night spins“? Beckstrand’s  bananas, illustrated by Jeff Faerber, have sticker  tattoos, pierced  peels and wild hair.
 “You can throw them in the cooler, but that just makes  them more off  color,” says Beckstrand. In the end, the worst bananas get fried  or put  away for good.
 But a bad banana can turn out good, “—even delicious!” Bad  Bananas has easy recipes that make the most of bananas gone bad, including   banana muffins, cookies, smoothies and pancakes. “They’re not only  tasty,  they’re right carb, low sugar recipes,” says Beckstrand.
   This picture book facilitates hands-on family  interaction. “What I  like most about this book is its message of redemption,”  adds  Beckstrand, “—that everyone has something valuable to offer.”

Immigrant experience becomes book

SALT LAKE CITY:  It took 120 years, but Anna  Anderson’s  remarkable story is finally in print. Midvale author Karl  Beckstrand and  illustrator Shari Griffiths have captured in a beautiful  picture book the story  of 10-year-old Anna, who arrived alone at the  Salt Lake train depot in 1888. 

Anderson made the boat journey from Sweden with her   sister Ida, but the two separated in Ogden because Ida had to work in  Idaho.  Anna continued alone to Salt Lake, where her aunt was to meet  her at the train  station. Unfortunately, Anna’s aunt didn’t receive the  letter with the details  of Anna’s arrival. It was midnight when Anna  arrived in Salt Lake City—and no  one was there to meet her.

Alone and unable to speak English, Anna said a desperate   prayer for someone with whom she could communicate. The unexpected  answer showed  Anna that she was never alone. Anna’s Prayer is a delightful tale of  courage for all ages.

Published by  Leatherwood Press November 2008, Written by  Karl Beckstrand, Illustrated by  Shari Griffiths, Hardcover, ISBN:  978-1-59992-113-6,  Children’s full-color picture book, 32 pages, 10” x  9” $17.95, Available at  Deseret Book, independent LDS bookstores,,
           bookstore orders only, contact Brigham Distributing at (435)  723-6611 (ask about international distribution).

English Only Debate Spreads to Children's Books

Salt  Lake City — A new picture book is taking the English only debate to a  whole new arena: young kids.

Crumbs  on the Stairs,  by local  author/illustrator, Karl Beckstrand, is written to help children and   adults gain skills in Spanish and English. The text is in both  languages.

“Some people don’t like the idea of teaching children two   languages,” said Beckstrand, who has taught ESL. “But, even if you  want the  United States to be an English-only country, you’re still  better off knowing  other languages,” he said.

Much  of the world is bilingual or multilingual. Even in  the United States, one in  five people speak a language other than  English at home, according to MSNBC.

“I’m  not trying to change America’s official language,”  said Beckstrand. “I want to  empower kids and adults to have more  options,” he said. “People can only  benefit from knowing a second or  third language. It helps whether you’re  traveling or at home, not to  mention increased career options,” he said.

“Crumbs  on the Stairs is also a fun mystery,”  said Beckstrand. “It has searching and counting  activities, all while  you’re trying to figure out who’s dropping crumbs  everywhere,” he said.  “Whether reading the English text or the Spanish, a  person can ignore  his or her native text and grasp the other language from the  pictures,”  said Beckstrand.

Ask for Beckstrand's Spanish books  in  Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles,  Houston, New York, San Diego, Phoenix, Boston, Albuquerque, Mexico, Salt  Lake City and anywhere else you happen to be. Or, order online from the  publisher. 


Comic picture book spotlights fear,  courage & friendship 

MIDVALE,  UT, October 8, 2011—Finally, a book that shows  what causes those strange creaks  and cracks that scare young and old on  dark nights. Sounds in the House! A Fun Mystery is a clever picture book romp that  reveals what's behind many, sometimes frightening, noises. 

“It’s about facing fear,” says Utah Humanities Council   Author on Main Street, Karl Beckstrand. “Once you know what causes those   squeaks and bumps, you find there’s seldom a reason to be afraid,” he  says.  Still, it is fun to see what makes a dog—or a person—howl, given  the right  start.

Part  of Beckstrand’s “Mini Mysteries for Minors,” Sounds in the House is  a great Halloween book. It is available in English, Spanish, or  bilingual versions—also as ebooks—with a  pronunciation guide for  language learners.

Young  children and adults will enjoy the characters depicted by  illustrator Channing  Jones. The jittery puppy, at first unnerved when  he hears strange sounds, takes  action, then finds he is safe and  loved.  

"I  wanted to explore that spooked feeling that comes to  most of us in  childhood," says Beckstrand. "I remember lying frozen in  bed as a  child, imagining all sorts of creepy causes for what turned  out to be the  furnace heating up. That scenario can make the mind go  all sorts of scary  directions," he says. “A little bravado may be just  the cure.”

But  don't take Beckstrand's word for it. The characters  have their own opinions  about those noises. "I was outside practicing  my percussion," says  the moth. "It wasn't me! I was out getting a  snack," says the mouse.  "I don't even play the piano!" says the cat.