Blue Lake Children's Publishing
Blue Lake Children's Publishing was started by a small group of friends who were looking for a way to bring the excitement of reading to very young kids. Our co-founders, Judy MacDonald Johnston and Rosie Welch, believed that to build the best foundation for reading, children needed fun first experiences with printed material.
What does Blue Lake do?
We design and publish:
- Clark the Baby Shark developmental reading toys for ages 9-24 months
- The Tessy & Tab Reading Club twice-month magazine for ages 2-6 years
Our belief is that children can "read" pictures much earlier than they learn to read words. By giving young children age-appropriate illustrated content, our products let young children "read" to themselves, their parents and others. The experience of successful early reading, along with the positive feedback they receive from their parents, develop self-confidence in reading.. This is the start of a lifelong love of reading.
The History of Blue Lake Children's Publishing
In 1990, Judy and Rosie first tested the idea of a magazine for preschoolers. Judy was working for Hewlett Packard and volunteering nights at the Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon. She quickly noticed that very young kids were already spending lots of time watching the television, which was usually mounted in a corner and rarely turned off. The more she interacted with the kids, the more she wondered about how they were getting hooked on TV. Then it dawned on her: what they liked about TV was that they could "do it themselves." It was entertainment that did not require anyone else to show them how to do it.
Judy and Rosie wanted create a reading experience that young children could "do themselves"? Stories written in pictures could show preschoolers that they could "read" stories themselves. With that realization, their reading confidence will soar and they will continue to "read" those picture stories-even if there was no one else around.
This idea evolved into a picture story "magazine" arriving by mail that would be fun for children and make it easy for parents to provide fresh yet familiar reading materials for their preschoolers. The magazine would have a "story" based on things little kids like to do, plus four activity pages in each issue.
The Tessy & Tab Reading Club Magazine came first, and has been welcomed into the homes of thousands of preschoolers. Parents kept asking us if we thought Tessy & Tab would be appropriate for their 1-year-olds, and that led the team to research what would be the ideal “first reading” experience for babies. The result was the Clark the Baby Shark Series.
We are thrilled to bring Clark the Baby Shark and The Tessy & Tab Reading Club to babies, toddlers and preschoolers. In a childhood environment increasingly dominated by electronic media, we felt it was important to create reading experiences that were equally captivating.