Meet Your Fellow Penguins!!

By Caroline O'Connor | June 25 2019 | AllGiftAdultsChildren'sGeneral

This series highlights success stories, tips and tricks, and more from our Penguin Random House reps across the country. Meet Sandy Ericksen, our PRH rep in the Greater Houston area, nominated this month!! Below she delves into her history as a rep, some really great advice for new reps, her favorite PRH titles, and more!


What is your favorite genre and/or book(s)?

I like to read books on different subjects just to learn something new.  A customer recently recommended “Being Mortal” written by a doctor (Atul Gawande) about making end of life decisions.  Many of my friends and buyers now have aging parents and we have questions and new circumstances to understand.  The buyer told me she wished she read this while her parents were still living, it would have changed their approach to the situation with their parents.


What are you currently reading?  

I have read Maria Shriver’s book “I’ve been Thinking” over and over again.  I have purchased copies for gifts for my friends.  Her advice is so good and she has a very candid way of writing.  I’m also a fan of Barbara Kingsolver’s books.  I’m reading “Flight Behavior” now.


Where is your territory? How long have you been a rep?   

My territory is Greater Houston and I’ve been a rep with Anne McGilvray and Company 29 years this month. (An amazing accomplishment!! Congratulations Sandy!)


What are your go-to books for children’s, cooking, and gift for an easy sell-in?   

My go to books are regional titles about Texas, for example:  This is Texas,  The new Ford Fry title Tex-Mex , all of Robb Walsh’s Texas titles, Good Night Houston, and Good Night Texas.

As for children’s books, I also sell lots of Little Golden Books and the “Who HQ” series is popular with my buyers. I’ve been told that parents like to buy these books in anticipation of a family vacation (Where is the Eiffel Tower, Where is Mount Rushmore, etc).  Teachers like to buy these titles for classrooms as well.  The books are easy to read and very interesting.

The “Wheelies” books from DK are always reordered.  My buyers frequently tell me that we can’t forget to order these. “Dragons Love Tacos” is another favorite along with “Uni the Unicorn.”


What tip would you offer to a new rep?

Penguin Random House has the most balanced collection of titles for every category and every occasion.  You will find a wide selection of cookbooks, gift titles, and children’s books that are perennial best sellers. Your favorite children’s books that you grew up reading are among the many titles from Penguin Random House.  The terms are excellent, there is almost always a promotion, and they offer the gold standard in customer service.


What is your favorite resource to use while selling? 

Edelweiss.  I can look at all of the catalogs and the next season’s catalog is usually available too. I can also easily forward titles to retailers for review.


What’s a new store/ existing account you’re really excited about and why?

Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston is one of the most interesting independent retailers in the country.  This account has seven buildings and buys every category that you can think of including German mattress’s for $100,000.00 and custom modular kitchens to games and lots of fun toys.  The account buys lots of PRH books from every category to merchandise around their campus.  Books sell incredibly well at this store.


Share a success story with us!

Books are the most important product line that I sell.  I have books for every occasion and every category.  If an account is looking for product to complement an exhibit or display, I will always have a book.  I sell books everywhere I go and am so glad to represent Penguin Random House.  Retailers and consumers find value in books and a child can never have too many books.


Thanks Sandy!!



Interested in being highlighted next in this series? Reach out to us or nominate a colleague you would like to hear from and know others would benefit from! We’ll be touching base with reps who go above and beyond for future installments.


This Is Texas
A Children's Classic
Following the runaway bestsellers This is New York and This is Paris, Universe is pleased to reissue another title from M. Sasek's beloved and nostalgic children's travel series. Like the other Sasek classics, This is Texas is a facsimile edition of his original book that is still timely and current in every way. The stylish, charming illustrations, coupled with Sasek's witty, playful narrative, make the book a perfect souvenir that will delight both children and their parents, many of whom will remember it from their childhood. The brilliant, vibrant illustrations have been meticulously preserved, remaining true to his vision more than forty years later and, where applicable, facts have been updated for the twenty-first century, appearing on a "This is ... Today" page at the back of each book. In This is Texas, first published in 1967, M. Sasek rides high in the saddle, lassoing all the color and colossal span of Texas as he tours the state from Dallas, Houston, and Austin to the Alamo. From its cattle, coyotes, and cowboys to its oil wells, rodeo and rattlesnakes, everything in the biggest state is bigger than anywhere else.
$17.95 US
Feb 21, 2006
8-3/4 x 12
64 Pages
Age 7 and up

Tex-Mex Cookbook
Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods from Both Sides of the Border
Ford Fry's Tex-Mex, the new definitive Tex-Mex cookbook comprised of tried and true recipes from his Texas upbringing and the acclaimed kitchens of his successful restaurants.
$29.99 US
Apr 23, 2019
7-7/16 x 10
256 Pages
Clarkson Potter

Good Night Houston
Good Night Houston highlights the Houston Zoo, Hermann Park Railroad, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Children’s Museum of Houston, Space Center Houston, Art Car Parade, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Downtown Aquarium, Discovery Green, Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, Kemah Boardwalk, and the Galleria. This beautifully illustrated board book captivates young readers in a tour around the great city of Houston. Children will quickly recognize their favorite museums, parks, and attractions. This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting, child-friendly themes.Many of North America’s most beloved regions are artfully celebrated in these board books designed to soothe children before bedtime while instilling an early appreciation for North America's natural and cultural wonders. Each book stars a multicultural group of people visiting the featured area’s attractions as rhythmic language guides children through the passage of both a single day and the four seasons while saluting the iconic aspects of each place.
$9.95 US
Jul 26, 2016
6 x 6
Board Book
20 Pages
Good Night Books
Age 0-3 years

Farm Tractor
This tractor-shaped board book on wheels is ready to drive around the farm!With a different type of tractor to learn about on each page and real wheels that spin, this is the perfect children's book for little ones who love things that go. Children will love looking at the high-quality pictures of different tractors that work on the farm, from forklifts, to loaders, to collecting grain with a trailer. With sturdy pages and wheels that it can be pushed around on, this preschool book is guaranteed to appeal to little hands and be read again and again.
$8.99 US
May 05, 2003
6-1/8 x 10-3/16
Board Book
12 Pages
DK Children
Age 2-5 years

Dragons Love Tacos
A #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon, this deliciously funny read-aloud is an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack that will make you laugh until spicy salsa comes out of your nose. Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble.This makes the perfect gift for any special occasion, from award-winning team of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri who created Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel, El Chupacabras, High Five, Robo-Sauce, and Secret Pizza Party.
$18.99 US
Jun 14, 2012
10 x 10
40 Pages
Dial Books
Age 3-7 years

Uni the Unicorn
An original picture book about a unicorn from bestselling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Plant a Kiss).
$17.99 US
Aug 26, 2014
7-1/2 x 11
48 Pages
Random House Studio
Age 4-8 years