Jessica Smith—but please, call her Jessi!—joined Aladdin as an Associate Editor in 2020 after beginning her career at S&S with Simon Pulse. In chapter book through upper middle grade fiction, she is drawn to contemporary and fantastical escapist reads that have a combination of whimsy, quirk, humor, and heart. Jessi is looking for planned series or books with series potential, stories pertaining to animals (mythical or real, but always rescue), stories that are playfully dark/Tim Burton-esque, stories that will make her cry happy, sad, or bittersweet tears, and anything that brings a fresh twist to something familiar, like fairy tales. She is also looking for accessible nonfiction that uses visuals and humor to make facts fun, especially nonfiction about animals, the environment, and science. Jessi is a huge fan of collaboration and brainstorming and loves nothing more than helping an author tell their story.