Abby Nies Janowiec with her crochet friend and the author of Hello, Crochet Friends! Making Art, Being Mindful, Giving Back: Do What Makes You Happy, Jonah Larson at Yarn Junkie and Gifts in Milwaukee

Welcome to KWiL, an award-winning, independent, traditional, children’s book publisher in Milwaukee where we believe books are just the beginning…

…the beginning of an adventure, of seeing the world in a new way, of a feeling, of a passion, of an understanding, a lesson, a performance, an activity, a question, an answer…a life-long love of reading.

The underlying goal with every book we publish is that kids will want to, “Read it again!” To us, this request is the most telling indication that a book has achieved what it set out to do.

Although our list will continue to grow to include all genres of children’s literature, currently we publish picture books and early chapter books. Within these genres, we are developing several niches.


We are in the process of launching our first imprint, Rock Star Kids, which will be a collection of picture book autobiographies that include extensive, engaging back matter and are authored by kids who are doing incredible things with their lives.


We are passionate about projects with STEM and/or Makers themes. We publish stories that have well-researched and vetted scientific, technological, mathematical and/or engineering-related content. Although we are pursuing a small number of nonfiction titles, most of our books in this category are what we call, “scientific fiction.” In addition to their STEM-themed content, these stories have memorable characters and engaging plots. They are STEM-based “read-it-again-worthy” books, which makes them compelling titles for both the home and school library.


We are also passionate about creating books that reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. We fully embrace the #weneeddiversebooks and #ownvoices campaigns. With every project we ask ourselves, “What can we do to make this book more inclusive, or more reflective of our world?”


We are in regular contact with kidlit industry leaders, educators, librarians, and of course, kids, in order to determine where there are gaps in the market and what kinds of books kids want to read. This research has informed our decision to publish early chapter books. We are working with a growing list of talented authors to develop several series about a variety of topics. Many of these are books are being created in consultation with educator focus groups. Several of these projects will specifically serve the school/library market, and several of them have both school/library and broader commercial appeal. Even if subtle, all of them have a STEM element and most of them carry a strong, although never limiting, regional appeal.


We have a small collection of picture books, including a holiday title that while not STEM-themed, are 100% read-it-again-worthy.


Finally, while we are thrilled to be working with authors and illustrators from across the country and around the world, we dedicate part of our list to Wisconsin-based authors and illustrators as well as books about Milwaukee-based topics and/or people.

We host or partner with community-focused businesses and organizations for literacy-themed events in order to achieve our ongoing goal of being a publishing company that Milwaukee can connect to and be proud of. We are committed to a spirit of openness, and we regularly share behind the scenes stories and photos.


Our bottom line is quality, and we are highly selective in acquiring new manuscripts. We are open to submissions, and we would be honored to hear from you.

Our Team

Sheri Roloff reading her book, Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus at KWiL’s launch party March 8th.

Abby Nies Janowiec-Founder & President/Publisher  

Abby founded KWiL in 2017 after spending 10 years in secondary education teaching and working as a literacy coach, and a lifetime obsessed with books, especially children’s books. While there are countless combinations of content, characters, plot, illustration style, and design, Abby’s goal with each book KWiL creates is for it to come hot off the press with its own magical, “read-it-again-worthiness.” She believes that when a young reader says, “Again!” a book has achieved what it set out to do. From content to manufacturing, Abby takes great pride in the quality of KWiL’s books and enjoys overseeing the thrillingly complex process of publishing.

Karl Engebretson-Creative Director

Karl Engebretson is a graphic designer based in St. Paul, MN and a design instructor at the University of Minnesota. You can learn more about Karl, here: https://kzrl.net/projects.

Ashley Cave Himes
Editor & Editorial Board Member

With almost 20 books in production now through 2021, Ashley is a critical part of the KWiL team. Ashley leads editorial work on select projects as well as assists with broader acquisition decisions. In addition to her keen editorial eye, Ashley brings to the team 10 years of experience in publishing at University of Chicago Press, Workman Publishing, and Parenting magazine. She is also a bookseller and coordinates the authors-in-schools program for an independent bookstore in New Jersey, where she lives with her family.


We are proud to be printing a majority of our projects at one of the leading children’s book printers in the country, Worzalla. Worzalla is located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. You can learn more about Worzalla, here: http://worzalla.site.

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