At Penguin Workshop, we make great books for every kind of reader, from birth to age twelve. Here, you’ll find unique board books, beautiful picture books, laugh-out-loud chapter books, the New York Times Best-Selling Who HQ series, Mad Libs, and Penguin’s award-winning leveled reader program.
We make readers laugh. We make readers feel accomplished. We make readers.
Meet the Team
Francesco Sedita, President & Publisher
Francesco Sedita is the publisher of Penguin Workshop, where he works with an incredible team of people. Together, they make lots of things. Things like books of all shapes and sizes, from the sweetest of board books and pictures books like Jessica Hische’s Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave to Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors. And series like Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth’s Klawde, about an evil alien warlord cat who really is just looking for a friend on planet Earth. And beautiful middle-grade like She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) by the incomparable Ann Hood.
Francesco and the Workshop team also make the bestselling Who HQ series—and even made the Emmy Award winning and hilarious The Who Was? Show on Netflix.
Daniel Moreton, VP & Publisher, Grosset & Dunlap, Brands & Licenses
As VP & Publisher, Grosset & Dunlap, Brands & Licenses, Daniel oversees both Art and Design, and Licensing Acquisitions for the group. He collaborates on the development of more than 250 books a year, including Penguin Young Readers Licenses, Mad Libs, The World of Eric Carle, Grosset & Dunlap, and the New York Times Best-Selling series, Who Was?
Daniel has spent the last thirty in children’s publishing and entertainment products. He has worked for some of the leaders in books and television, including Scholastic, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Simon & Schuster. Daniel loves to work collaboratively to create new and innovative experiences for children.
Rob Valois, Associate Publisher, Editorial Director, Penguin Workshop
As Associate Publisher, Editorial Director for Penguin Workshop, Rob oversees editorial planning and execution of the licensed publishing portfolio for Penguin Young Readers Licenses.
Cecily Kaiser, Director of Preschool Publishing
Cecily Kaiser joined Penguin in 2019 with a mission to create engaging, empowering, and elegant books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. She has previously worked with major contributors to this category such as Norman Bridwell, Caroline Jayne Church, Barney Saltzberg, Jean Jullien, Leslie Patricelli, Chris Raschka, and Lotta Nieminen, and looks forward to continuing to publish groundbreaking talent for the youngest readers.
Cecily 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 almost 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 earned a degree in child development at Tufts University and a Masters in Business from NYU. 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.
Paula Manzanero, Director of Nonfiction Publishing
Paula Manzanero edits the Who Was? series as well as the ancillary titles of the WHO HQ brand, such as activity books, journals, and joke books. She also publishes dynamic nonfiction on a wide variety of subjects for ages 8 and up.
Renee Kelly, Senior Editor
Renee Kelly works on leveled readers, picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, and more. She’s drawn to stand-out characters with diverse, dynamic voices, and particularly enjoys stories with a good dose of girl power. Above all, she aspires to publish books that are inspiring, inclusive, and entertaining.
Nick Magliato Editor, Pop Culture and Trends
Nick Magliato is an editor who publishes high-quality books in response to cultural trends. Whether fiction or non-fiction, board or picture book, middle-grade or YA, he keeps a close finger on the cultural pulse of America to create books that are welcome additions to young readers’ shelves.
Anu Ohioma, Associate Editor
Anu Ohioma is an Associate Editor working on titles within the WHO HQ brand, as well as chapter books, middle-grade novels, and YA novels. She is on the lookout for diverse narratives that are joyful, humorous, and heartwarming. She aims to publish books that will inspire and empower young readers.
Rachel Sonis, Assistant Editor
Rachel Sonis is an Assistant Editor, who has worked on a number of critically-acclaimed and bestselling books such as Jessica Hische’s Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind and the Pocket Change Collective — pocket-sized books written by today’s leading activists and artists like Kimberly Drew, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Alok Vaid-Menon, and Adam Eli.
Her books range from commercial upper middle-grade to YA and graphic novels across all genres. She’s on the lookout for projects that center inclusion, joy, and exploration, contain well-crafted voice-driven narratives, and make readers ask themselves one fundamental question: what’s next? Follow her on Twitter: @RachelJSonis.