Ivan Taurisano

Sourcebooks, Children's

My Manuscript Wish List®

3/2/2024 UPDATE: Closed to submissions for now. Hope to reopen soon.

Hi, I’m Ivan! I work on board books, picture books, MG novels and graphic novels. I hold an MA in Children’s Literature and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. I am open to submissions for board books, picture books, chapter books, *MG novels, and graphic novels.

A note on why I do what I do: I believe that a child who is changed by a book will always be a step closer to becoming an adult who will change the world. My job is to be a bridge between that child and that book and to champion the book’s creator in any way I can. I am committed to providing children with books that make them readers for a lifetime, help them find their individuality, and a dream to chase no matter what. Let’s change some lives together.

*I am very selective at this time because I am focusing on picture books, but I’m always looking for a great story.

Fun facts about me:

I have a chihuahua named Bilbo who was born in Louisiana and now spends his days with my family in Rome.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to ivan.taurisano@sourcebooks.com

3/2/2024 UPDATE: Closed to submissions for now. Hope to reopen soon.

For agents: Please feel free to send me more than one MS at the same time. No need to wait if you are excited to share multiple proposals with me.

For un-agented authors: Please send a pitch, a short bio, and the manuscript (pasted or attached). Feel free to send more than one manuscript if you’d like, and you can include them in the same email. For MG novels, please send only the first 25 pages of your manuscript. For graphic novels, I am only open to submissions from author/illustrators. Please do not send a script only.

Board Books/Picture Books: I am interested in kid-centric, interactive, laugh-out-loud, humorous character-driven stories with series potential and a strong commercial hook. I love great read-alouds and rhymes that engage both children and adults, books that break the fourth wall and invite reader participation, seasonal stories like Christmas and Halloween, and craveable content kids will come back to over and over again. I would love to find bold, playful, and imaginative stories that make children laugh and take them on an incredible adventure that will make them readers for the rest of their life.
I am also interested in finding stories with the potential to become modern classics for modern children and that capture the essence of what it means to be a child today. I’d love to see emotional growth, human connection, hopefulness, and stories that tackle emotional intelligence but from a child’s perspective. I would also like to find more high-concept themes we haven’t seen yet.

Authentic representation and cultural experiences are very important to me as are LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC books, books that explore loneliness/isolation, the longing to belong and fit in, and different perspectives on the immigrant and bilingual experience that empower children.

I am interested in literary picture books with a commercial hook and award-winning potential. I look for good writing and emotional impact. If the story is meant to make me laugh, then make me laugh; if the story is meant to make me cry, then make me cry. The picture books I love transport readers on an emotional journey and explore issues and themes in a fresh and unexpected way. I would like stories with diverse characters who embody the child’s courage to explore who they are, the world they live in, and who they wish to be in it. I like stories about growing up in a way that makes you stand out. I love author/illustrators. Send me the manuscripts that left you breathless, speechless, and made you say, “I didn’t know children’s books could do that.”

Chapter Books: Character-led, humorous, series potential. Quests or adventures are my favorites. I’d love to see something like The Bad Guys or The Story of Gumluck the Wizard. 

Middle Grade: Everything I said above applies to MG. I am looking for literary novels with award-winning potential, and also for more commercial stories with a strong hook and grounded in their genre. I am interested in powerful and imaginative narratives that explore what it means to be a young person today and stories that use folklore and magical realism. I like character-driven stories about difficult childhoods, isolation, and character that feel like it’s just them against the world. I love characters that are ambitious, have a strong voice or are on their way to find it. I am interested in commercial, well-plotted, and character-driven adventures with magic, quests, and high stakes (Amari and the Night Brothers; Skandar and the Unicorn Thief). Genres I love: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Mystery, Horror. [I am very selective at this time because I am focusing on picture books, but I’m always looking for a great story.]

Graphic novels: Anything like Pizza and Taco, Narwhal and Jelly, Investigators, Dog Man. I am looking for funny, exhilarating, laugh-out-loud stories. I am also looking for graphic novels like Mike Curato’s Flamer and Jerry Craft’s New Kid. I prefer series potential.