Sunday, April 19, 2009

we love Janice Repka!

The Stupendous Dodgeball Fiasco
six years back, i picked THE STUPDENOUS DODGEBALL FIASCO from the slush. it is a funny middle-grade, which is, take note, the consistently most sought-after kids' book category. the book-buying population peaks during the middle-grade years and few writers can reach it. the stories we see are derivative, trite, dreary; the storytelling is wordy, ill-shaped, and in a fake voice; the characters are flat, wooden, inauthentic. authors do not dig deeply enough into their imaginations to realize the children's experience. these readers are still children, but they are not cutesy, gosh-golly know-nothings, and i suspect fantasy and reality are more fluid constructions for them than becomes true for teens.

not only can Janice write for these illusory creatures, at once it was apparent how seriously she takes her craft— this is what i look for— and her work would only get better. through her own promotion, THE STUPENDOUS DODGEBALL FIASCO achieved solid hardcover sales (especially for a debut). even so, Dutton's paperback arm, Puffin, declined to publish a mass market edition. (it may yet correct its mistake.) nevertheless, we sold audio rights so at least you have two formats to chose from. we just sold Janice's second book and our expectations are high. Janice is a writer to watch.

Do You Know. . .

how much we like our Kindles? paper mss were the heart of my professional reading experience-- as for all agents and editors-- but electronic readers made their ungainliness instantly obvious. paper mss weigh a lot and keeping the pages together is a drag and slows reading. a light-weight Kindle holds everything, goes everywhere; and even though note-taking is trickier than marking physical pages, or going back to scrutinize issues of pace/character/logic/etc., these devices are sure to own future of reading.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


 THE WAIT IS OVER! This p-e-r-f-e-c-t picturebook publishes today. Get ye to a bookstore! 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Look What Maurie's Done Now!

Never thought I'd have a Gallup-- as in The Gallup Poll-- book. oh, the places you'll go (to coin a phrase) with versatile talent in the stable. Three cheers* for Maurie Manning!

* Margin for error plus or minus 1 cheer

We Can Hardly Wait!

Intrigued? This logo treatment is for Arthur Slade's Fall 09 steampunk series. Hold on to your stovepipe: it's creepy and mysterious and romantic and . . . hunchbacked!

Countdown to ROAWR!


The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed

Ain't it time you saw Julie Phillipps's debut picturebook? No stock problem here. it went back for a 2d printing— a mere week after it pub'd! Julie rocks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Here You See. . .

This extraordinary constellation of talent met mid-March for mega meetings at Penguin. From left to right are Patti Gauch, Philomel editor supreme, illustrious Dutch illustrator Jan Jutte, and genius author Barbara Joosse. The first of three books by this PERFECT collection of creators (it is a  w-o-n-d-e-r  how they sparkle together) is due Apr 16: ROAWR! You must get your hands on this one: it brims with  BRILLIANCE. no joke. it is a study in a perfect picture book. Now, how often do you hear that?

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