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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt brings Beatles to Toy Fair

One title, The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny), jumped out from the shelves of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt exhibitor’s booth at Toy Fair yesterday—then led the gaze to several surrounding music-related titles.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Toy Fair booth.
Jim Bessman

Prominent among them, and at opposite ends of the music spectrum, were Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow—A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix and When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot.

“We have a ballet series that’s done very well for us,” the publisher’s sales rep Steve Quinn said of the four ballet titles. “It offers a more palatable format to get ballet into the schools.”

But in addition to schools and traditional booksellers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has found success with its music book catalog at music retail.

“There’s an opportunity, because they’re written and illustrated in a humorous vein, to appeal to both adults and kids,” said Quinn, noting that The Beatles Were Fab is a picture book focusing on the Fab Four’s humor.

And with the Beatles, of course, there’s the chance to benefit from the resurgent interest during the 50th anniversary of the band's arrival in America.

“A lot of times we get something like that to hang a hat on,” said Quinn.

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