Brooke Vitale

Brooke Vitale - Editor

New York, NY, United States

Passionate children's book editor with 15+ years experience in picture books and middle grade fiction for companies like Disney and Penguin.

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Overview

Reviews (30)
I have spent the past fifteen years working as a children’s book editor. There is nothing I love more than diving into a manuscript and helping to pull out all its potential. I believe in collaboration, but also brutal honesty. Too often as an author it is difficult to see where a story is not being true to itself. That’s where I come in. It's my job to tease out the scenes that are good and help you to make them great. To find the moments that aren't quite working and figure out how to turn them into the strongest scenes in the story. Together, we can shape your book into what you always dreamed it would be.

I began my career at Sterling Publishing, working primarily on nonfiction titles. Although I thought I wanted to be in fiction, I found that I loved the challenge of nonfiction. Helping to explain sometimes complex subject matter in a way children could understand and finding a new angle on content that had often been covered more than once was exciting, and I loved learning from my authors as I developed their books. Today I know more about the solar system, the ghosts haunting the White House, and how to start a successful babysitting company than I ever dreamed I would!

Following a new career opportunity, I moved from Sterling to Penguin. With the move came a change in the types of books I edited, and I began to work on picture books and middle grade fiction, as well as licensed tie-in books. This change to licensed books ultimately led me to Disney, where I spent eight years editing books tied to the Disney Parks and to Disney movies. This work provided a whole new challenge, as I helped authors to create stories that were new and fresh, expanding the worlds of beloved characters far beyond that envisioned by the filmmakers, all while staying true to the world of Disney canon. This is a skill I have found to be incredibly valuable in today's landscape of books featuring modern retellings of classic tales. I was also afforded the opportunity to create original fiction, and had a chance to return to my roots, with nonfiction titles based on Disney heritage. In my time at Disney, I edited over eight hundred books. Among my favorites (and my most successful) were Hide and Hug Olaf, by Kevin Lewis, which sold over 400,000 copies, and Olaf's Night Before Christmas, which sold over 250,000 copies.

Now, I'm excited to take on a new challenge: helping you to turn your book into exactly what you hope it will be. I look forward to working with you and, together, creating an absolutely fantastic book.

Testimonials:
“I’ve worked with Brooke for many years and can’t speak highly enough about her abilities as an editor. She has consistently elevated my work with her insights, and her creative comments never fail to inspire. I can’t imagine having written my books without her help, and consider myself fortunate to have worked with her.” --Jason Lethcoe, Author

"Although we’d had many years experience illustrating children’s books,
Periwinkle Smith and the Twirly Whirly Tutu
was the first picture book that was entirely ours, and Brooke’s guidance was invaluable. She’s a master at pacing a story, helping us know exactly where things should move along, and where a page turn should surprise with a big reveal. As illustrators it was interesting to see just how spot-on and almost cinematic her art suggestions were; quick spots, spreads, extreme closeups, and even bits of side business not mentioned in the text as extra fun for the reader. We can’t recommend Brooke’s editing skills highly enough. She’s a treasure."--John & Wendy, Authors

"Brooke is an excellent editor who inspires and guides the creative process in a highly competent and collaborative way. Having worked with her on several books now, I have no doubt that she similarly brings out the best in all of her authors."--Tania Zamorsky, Author
Languages
English (AUS)
English (CAN)
English (NZ)
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade
Children's - Picture Books
Non-Fiction
Children's - Non-fiction

Certifications

  • Masters of Science in Publishing from NYU

Work experience

Founder

Self-employed
January, 2018 – Present (over 1 year)

Freelance editor and writer for a variety of publishing companies, including Disney, HarperCollins, and Penguin Random House.

Senior Editor

Disney Publishing Worldwide
July, 2010 – January, 2018 (over 7 years)

-Acquired and edited titles across all Disney Franchises, as well as books tied loosely to the world of Disney but with no preexisting story line.
-Worked closely with authors to shape stories and devise concepts for new story creation.
-Edited approximately thirty titles per year for Disney's trade list (which is available to all booksellers) and another sixty to eighty titles per year for the custom list (which sells to single stores seeking unique titles). Highlights include Olaf's Night Before Christmas, which sold over 250,000 units and Hide-and-Hug Olaf, which sold over 400,000 copies.
-Worked with managing editorial, design, and production departments to keep titles on schedule and on budget.

Editor

Penguin Random House
April, 2008 – July, 2010 (about 2 years)

-Acquired and edited approximately thirty children's fiction and nonfiction titles per year.
-Worked closely with authors to develop story ideas and determine what nonfiction subjects would be of interest.

Associate Editor

Sterling Publishing
May, 2004 – April, 2008 (almost 4 years)

-Acquired and edited children's nonfiction titles.
-Developed book concepts myself, then hired authors and worked with them to shape and develop the books.

Portfolio (19 selected works)

Frozen Olaf's Night Before Christmas Book & CD

Disney Book Group

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring . . . until a sound awakens Olaf. Read along as Olaf has the adventure of a lifetime with a mysterious stranger in red. This beautifully illustrated 32-page paper-over-board picture book comes with a read-along CD featuring audio narration by Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf! Fans of all generations will deligh... read more

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring . . . until a sound awakens Olaf. Read along as Olaf has the adventure of a lifetime with a mysterious stranger in red. This beautifully illustrated 32-page paper-over-board picture book comes with a read-along CD featuring audio narration by Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf! Fans of all generations will deligh... read more

Frozen Hide-and-Hug Olaf: A Fun Family Experience!

Kevin Lewis

This deluxe box features a brand-new story about Olaf the snowman. Inside, children will also find a huggable Olaf plush. Following the hide-and-seek theme of the story, parents can hide the plush for children to find and deliver Olaf's big, warm hug!

This deluxe box features a brand-new story about Olaf the snowman. Inside, children will also find a huggable Olaf plush. Following the hide-and-seek theme of the story, parents can hide the plush for children to find and deliver Olaf's big, warm hug!

A Traveler's Guide to the Solar System

Patricia Barnes-Svarney

What would it be like to walk on a Martian plain? Watch wild volcanoes on Jupiter? All it takes to find out is a touch of imagination and this entertaining guide to the solar system, illustrated with NASA’s most up-to-date color photos. So get ready to blast off, and fly through the skies from Mercury to Pluto, stopping to visit planets, asteroids, and moons along the way. Feel Venus’s intense... read more

What would it be like to walk on a Martian plain? Watch wild volcanoes on Jupiter? All it takes to find out is a touch of imagination and this entertaining guide to the solar system, illustrated with NASA’s most up-to-date color photos. So get ready to blast off, and fly through the skies from Mercury to Pluto, stopping to visit planets, asteroids, and moons along the way. Feel Venus’s intense... read more

Mysteries Unwrapped: The Real Monsters

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

We all love shivery, scary stories about unquiet ghosts, bloodsucking vampires, wicked witches, and werewolves howling under a full moon. But do real monsters walk the earth—or are they just figments of our imagination? Unwrap the mystery and discover the truth! Over time, scientific inquiry has shed light on these terrifying creatures of the darkness; the reality behind the legends will fasci... read more

We all love shivery, scary stories about unquiet ghosts, bloodsucking vampires, wicked witches, and werewolves howling under a full moon. But do real monsters walk the earth—or are they just figments of our imagination? Unwrap the mystery and discover the truth! Over time, scientific inquiry has shed light on these terrifying creatures of the darkness; the reality behind the legends will fasci... read more

Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz

Susan Sloate

When most people hear the name Alcatraz, the first thing they think of is the escape-proof penitentiary that housed America’s toughest criminals. But the small island known as “The Rock” has a long and fascinating history. Since its discovery in 1775, Alcatraz has also served as a fortress to protect the western United States from invasion, a Civil War-era military prison, and a symbol of defi... read more

When most people hear the name Alcatraz, the first thing they think of is the escape-proof penitentiary that housed America’s toughest criminals. But the small island known as “The Rock” has a long and fascinating history. Since its discovery in 1775, Alcatraz has also served as a fortress to protect the western United States from invasion, a Civil War-era military prison, and a symbol of defi... read more

Mysteries Unwrapped: Mutants & Monsters

Oliver Ho

Thunderbirds, Phantom Cats, Owlman, and Chupacabras: since the beginning of time, these and other mystifying creatures have appeared in tales from around the world. And every year, more and more people report new sightings. Meet some of the most fascinating mythical monsters from the sea and the sky, from snowy mountains to tropical jungles. Wandering across these pages is an amazing menagerie... read more

Thunderbirds, Phantom Cats, Owlman, and Chupacabras: since the beginning of time, these and other mystifying creatures have appeared in tales from around the world. And every year, more and more people report new sightings. Meet some of the most fascinating mythical monsters from the sea and the sky, from snowy mountains to tropical jungles. Wandering across these pages is an amazing menagerie... read more

Mysteries Unwrapped: Haunted U.S.A.

Charles Wetzel

All across the U.S., there’s a strange kind of American “spirit” surfacing: the ghosts, specters, and wraiths that make up the country’s phantom population. They’re the native citizens of Haunted U.S.A., and they come in every size, shape, type, and personality. Meet these spine-tingling characters, from the creatures occupying Washington D.C.’s most hallowed halls (including a demon cat that ... read more

All across the U.S., there’s a strange kind of American “spirit” surfacing: the ghosts, specters, and wraiths that make up the country’s phantom population. They’re the native citizens of Haunted U.S.A., and they come in every size, shape, type, and personality. Meet these spine-tingling characters, from the creatures occupying Washington D.C.’s most hallowed halls (including a demon cat that ... read more

The Mysteries of The Bermuda Triangle (All Aboard Reading)

Jeff Belanger

What will you find in the Bermuda Triangle? Join supernatural expert Jeff Belanger as he explores the mysterious Bermuda Triangle! What exactly makes it so mysterious? And just how many ships have disappeared there over the years? The answers to these questions and more lay inside!

What will you find in the Bermuda Triangle? Join supernatural expert Jeff Belanger as he explores the mysterious Bermuda Triangle! What exactly makes it so mysterious? And just how many ships have disappeared there over the years? The answers to these questions and more lay inside!

Snakes (All Aboard Reading)

Jeff Corwin

Cool, slithering snakes! Read along as animal expert Jeff Corwin tells you about his favorite snakes and the experiences he's had with them. Over forty photos help bring these fascinating creatures to life! From the Black Mambo to the Green Anaconda, kids will love learning all about these captivating animals.

Cool, slithering snakes! Read along as animal expert Jeff Corwin tells you about his favorite snakes and the experiences he's had with them. Over forty photos help bring these fascinating creatures to life! From the Black Mambo to the Green Anaconda, kids will love learning all about these captivating animals.

Song #3 (The Mysterious Mr. Spines)

Jason Lethcoe

The action-packed conclusion to the Mysterious Mr. Spines trilogy!Edward McLeod is almost at the end of his journey. He has battled his way through the afterlife, mastered his Guardian powers, and even learned how to fly. Now he must take on the Jackal and fight for all of the trapped souls in the Woodbine. But the Jackal and his formidable army will not be easy to defeat. Is Edward really the... read more

The action-packed conclusion to the Mysterious Mr. Spines trilogy!Edward McLeod is almost at the end of his journey. He has battled his way through the afterlife, mastered his Guardian powers, and even learned how to fly. Now he must take on the Jackal and fight for all of the trapped souls in the Woodbine. But the Jackal and his formidable army will not be easy to defeat. Is Edward really the... read more

A Frozen Heart

Elizabeth Rudnick

Anna is a princess of Arendelle. Locked away from the outside world for years, Anna is desperate to leave her lonely life behind. Her parents are gone, and her sister, Elsa—the only person who might show her an ounce of love—is cold and distant. Hans is a prince of the Southern Isles. As thirteenth in line to the throne, Hans is desperate to escape the tyranny of his father and older brothers ... read more

Anna is a princess of Arendelle. Locked away from the outside world for years, Anna is desperate to leave her lonely life behind. Her parents are gone, and her sister, Elsa—the only person who might show her an ounce of love—is cold and distant. Hans is a prince of the Southern Isles. As thirteenth in line to the throne, Hans is desperate to escape the tyranny of his father and older brothers ... read more

Prima Princessa Ballet for Beginners

Mary Kate Mellow

Prima Princessa invites budding ballerinas to explore the wonderful world of ballet!Is there any more enticing figure than the ballerina? Dressed in a fluffy tutu, wearing her pink pointe shoes, and dancing so gracefully, she's what every little girl longs to be. But what does it take to make that fantasy come true? Thanks to the charming, illustrated Prima Princessa, would-be ballerinas will ... read more

Prima Princessa invites budding ballerinas to explore the wonderful world of ballet!Is there any more enticing figure than the ballerina? Dressed in a fluffy tutu, wearing her pink pointe shoes, and dancing so gracefully, she's what every little girl longs to be. But what does it take to make that fantasy come true? Thanks to the charming, illustrated Prima Princessa, would-be ballerinas will ... read more

5-Minute Minnie Tales (5-Minute Stories)

Disney Book Group

Join Minnie as she goes for a sail, plans a picnic, has a sleepover, and more! With 12 Minnie Mouse-themed stories that can each be read in 5 minutes, this padded storybook is the perfect fit for bedtime, storytime, or anytime!

Join Minnie as she goes for a sail, plans a picnic, has a sleepover, and more! With 12 Minnie Mouse-themed stories that can each be read in 5 minutes, this padded storybook is the perfect fit for bedtime, storytime, or anytime!

Disney Who's Who

Disney Book Group

With more than 500 characters, from Ariel to Miss Bunny and Peter Pan to Frozone, this is the perfect guidebook to all things Disney!

With more than 500 characters, from Ariel to Miss Bunny and Peter Pan to Frozone, this is the perfect guidebook to all things Disney!

Tales from Adventureland: The Perilous Polynesian Pendant

Jason Lethcoe

Andy Stanley has never met his famous grandfather, renowned archaeologist and explorer Ned Lostmore. Then Ned goes missing on the search for a hidden temple deep in the Amazonian jungle, and everyone assumes he's dead. But when Andy receives a mysterious letter and key from his grandfather, he is drawn into a quest to stop several lost, magical artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. His ... read more

Andy Stanley has never met his famous grandfather, renowned archaeologist and explorer Ned Lostmore. Then Ned goes missing on the search for a hidden temple deep in the Amazonian jungle, and everyone assumes he's dead. But when Andy receives a mysterious letter and key from his grandfather, he is drawn into a quest to stop several lost, magical artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. His ... read more

Tales from Adventureland: The Golden Paw

Jason Lethcoe

Andy Stanley has been named Keymaster of the mysterious Jungle Explorers' Society, but is he up to the challenge? He's about to find out, as he sets off on a journey to recover the legendary Golden Paw, an artifact more powerful than any the Society has ever tried to recover before. His adventure takes him deep into the worlds of the Jungle Cruise and other attractions featured in Disney's Adv... read more

Andy Stanley has been named Keymaster of the mysterious Jungle Explorers' Society, but is he up to the challenge? He's about to find out, as he sets off on a journey to recover the legendary Golden Paw, an artifact more powerful than any the Society has ever tried to recover before. His adventure takes him deep into the worlds of the Jungle Cruise and other attractions featured in Disney's Adv... read more

Princess Bedtime Stories (2nd Edition) (Storybook Collection)

Disney Book Group

Get ready for bedtime with this Storybook Collection featuring 18 all-new bedtime themed Disney Princess stories.

Get ready for bedtime with this Storybook Collection featuring 18 all-new bedtime themed Disney Princess stories.

Over the Rainbow (Book & Audio CD) (Book & CD)

Judy Collins, E.Y. Harburg

In this unique offering of a book and CD recorded by Judy Collins, take a magical journey over the rainbow...This classic song has been transformed into a magnificent picture book and CD set. Breathtaking and magical artwork by Eric Puybaret--who painted the critically-acclaimed illustrations that helped turn PUFF, THE MAGIC DRAGON into a blockbuster bestseller--will carry young readers from a... read more

In this unique offering of a book and CD recorded by Judy Collins, take a magical journey over the rainbow...This classic song has been transformed into a magnificent picture book and CD set. Breathtaking and magical artwork by Eric Puybaret--who painted the critically-acclaimed illustrations that helped turn PUFF, THE MAGIC DRAGON into a blockbuster bestseller--will carry young readers from a... read more

Brooke has 30 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

William Baker
Brooke provided valuable feedback and direction with a book I was writing. It changed the way I was thinking of publishing it and saved many hours of going down the wrong rabbit hole.

William Baker, August 2019


John Wilkinson
Brooke really did a great job on my story. The only reason I rated the value 4 instead of 5 is this was my first time using a service line this so I don’t have anything to compare it to but I would highly recommend Brooke to other writers and plan to use her again.

John Wilkinson, July 2019


G McCauley
We worked well together. She made good suggestions and helped me with illustrator notes to get me ready for moving to the next stage. My voice stayed intact.

G McCauley, July 2019


Rebecca McFee
I loved working with Brooke and highly recommend her. She took a lot of time to make my work, words, story development so much better! She was prompt and had great insights.

Rebecca McFee, July 2019


Bara Colodne
Brooke is the most amazing person to work with. She’s so smart, really wants to tap into your own thought and feelings. And really want you to get the best of the best!!! It’s a joy working with you! 💜

Bara Colodne, July 2019

Read more reviews

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