Our mission:
To engage, empower, and evolve the youngest readers (ages 0-5) with authentic, relevant, and elegant books.

Publishing books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is an immense responsibility. At RISE, we have the power to inspire our readers to become a generation of empowered, confident, self-loving, empathetic, and resilient people… all through the power of exposure. Every book we publish serves to help children feel smart, capable, important, safe, and loved.

Our authors are experts in their subjects, either lived or learned, writing in language that is age-specific. Our illustrators are artists and creators in their own right, making art infused with experience, passion, and purpose. Together, we create books with imagery and information that authentically interest our readers and grow them into people who love books and love themselves. What could be more important than this?

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Submission guidelines

At RISE, we welcome any submission, text or art, that sits within our mission to empower the youngest readers, ages 0-5. We accept submissions from agents, previously published authors and illustrators, and aspiring authors and illustrators.

Established or aspiring authors, please send work that you create from a place of expertise, lived or learned.

Established or aspiring illustrators, please send samples that show your voice and feel like part of a larger idea or body of work. Concept-driven passion projects encouraged. No prior experience in the 0-5 realm is necessary, just a spark of relevancy and applicability to our mission.

For those who do not have an existing contact/relationship with someone at RISE or Penguin Workshop, please send your submission to: penguinworkshopsubmissions@PRH.com. We will do our best to get back to you, but based on volume, we unfortunately cannot guarantee a response to every submission.

Coming Soon

I Want Ice Cream!
Elisabetta Pica
Illustrator: Silvia Borando
Being You: A First Conversation About Gender
Megan Madison
Jessica Ralli
Illustrator: Anne/Andy Passchier
Families Grow
Dan Saks
Illustrator: Brooke Smart
Three Ways to Be Brave
Karla Clark
Illustrator: Jeff Östberg

Meet RISE x Penguin Workshop

Cecily Kaiser

Publishing Director

Cecily joined Penguin Young Readers in 2019 with a mission to create books of the utmost importance for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. She was previously the children’s publisher at Phaidon Press, and prior to that, launched the Appleseed imprint for 0-5 year-olds at Abrams Books. She began her career 20 years ago at Scholastic, first as a Book Clubs manager, and then as editorial director of the Cartwheel imprint for 0-6 year-olds. Cecily holds a degree in child development from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from NYU Stern. She is devoted to her young readership, bringing a developmental perspective to her editorial work, and a commitment to ingenuity.

Cecily relishes the inspiration and support she receives from her husband, David, and their two young children, Ezra and Billie. Together, they share music, books, plants, chocolate, and snuggles.

Maria Elias

Art Director

Maria grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and has been art lover since she could hold a crayon. She has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied design, printmaking, and photography. And is also a graduate of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. magnet art program.

Maria joined Penguin Young Readers in 2019, and previously designed for Random House, Disney Hyperion, and Workman Publishing. Before falling in love with book design, she worked in news and magazine. Maria’s work has been recognized by AIGA 50 Books/50Covers, the Type Directors Club, and the New York Book Show. She is also a member of the LatinX in publishing community and supports diversity in books.

When she is not designing, Maria blogs about outstanding covers on  and writes the column for Spine magazine. She also takes many long walks with her husband, Art Director Tam Nguyen, and their dogs, Bodhi and Ashoka.

Gabriella DeGennaro

Assistant Editor

Gabriella grew up in New Jersey watching a lot of TV in her Nonna’s basement and reading anything that was about magic. She holds degrees in creative writing and screenwriting from Ithaca College, where she focused on children’s media. After graduating, she found her way to Sesame Street via the Jim Henson Company, where she and her colleagues, some puppet some human, worked in TV production. Gabriella joined the Penguin Workshop team in 2018, where she edited Mad Libs and licensed titles before joining RISE the following year. She believes that kids everywhere deserve content that sparks curiosity, ignites imagination, and invites joy into their lives.

Gabriella finds her joy through writing, putting rainbow sprinkles on everything, and taking care of her basil plant. Follow her on Twitter @gwritesstuff, where she tweets about all three + the books she works on.