Monthly Archives: June 2015

Kindness is in the Air

In April 2015, I enjoyed the pleasure of having breakfast with my friend, Elke Govertsen, Publisher of Mamalode. As mothers, daughters, entrepreneurs, and soul-sisters, we talked for just over an hour about stuff that really mattered to each of us. Among other conclusions to our discussion, Elke decided that Mamalode’s editorial theme for the month of June 2015 would be #Kindness.

Like clockwork, on June 1st, Mamalode announced Little Pickle Press as its theme partner and commenced running stories about kindness. Then, something almost magical happened, kindness seemed to be . . . in the air.

There was the release of the Harvard researchers’ Making Caring Common study that mapped the five child-rearing practices necessary for raising kind children.

Then, Penguin Random House partnered with Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and R.J. Palacio to launch the inaugural Kindness Day. To underscore the importance of and her commitment to kindness, Palacio wrote a compelling piece in The Guardian titled RJ Palacio: what is kindness? that is well worth your time to read in its entirety. “’We are made kind by being kind,’ wrote Eric Hoffer. ‘The more kindness we expend, the kinder we become. Practice, in the case of kindness, makes perfect.” She also highlights the evolutionary benefit to kindness as spelled out by Darwin.

That theory was reinforced in another article, Tapping Your Inner Wolf by Carl Safina, which appeared in The New York Times. In it, the Yellowstone National Park Service ranger who has studied wolves for 20 years, states, “If you watch wolves, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that perhaps no two species are more alike behaviorally than wolves and humans.” He goes on to note that the primary characteristic of alpha wolves is . . . kindness. “Strength impresses us. But kindness is what we remember best.” Indeed.

That leads me to the story of Konner Suave, the Valedictorian of East Valley High School in Yakima, WA who started an anonymous Instagram account and invested the time and energy to write a kind message to each and every one of his 657 classmates, revealing he’d done so at the closing of his Valedictorian address.

Finally, in a lengthy encyclical that is sure to have tremendous implications, Pope Francis implored the global community to address the threat posed by climate change. Why is the Pope weighing in on this issue? Because of its impact on the poorest populations, which is most of the people on earth. “A true ecological approach,” he writes, “always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” The Pope is asking us to be kind to earth and, by extension, to one another.

So, this month on the Little Pickle Press blog we are going to focus on, and continue the exploration of, kindness. Please engage with us and join the conversation.

ALA Wrap Up

The American Library Association held its annual conference in San Francisco this year. For Little Pickle Press that meant a short trip to the convention center. For out-of-towners, it was a ticket to the one of the most jubilant #SFpride weekends ever. From the opening reception Friday night, it was clear that #ALAac15 was going to be special. The exhibits were abuzz and #lovewins was in the air. From our home base in the North Hall, we handed out advance reading copies of Craig Lew’s Young Adult debut, Breath to Breath, and got to know librarians, authors, and our fellow Ingram Publisher Services booth-mates. See below for photos from the conference.

ALA by the Bay

ALA by the Bay

Our booth at IPS with our upcoming releases and award-winning A Bird On Water Street

Our booth at IPS with our upcoming releases and award-winning A Bird On Water Street

The Little Pickle Press and Relish Media Tower at IPS displaying all of our titles

The Little Pickle Press and Relish Media Tower at IPS displaying all of our titles

Welcome to IPS aka our fort!

Our fort

You could find us at Epic!, too

You could find us at Epic!, too

Rolling Terra-Skin posters becomes a group activity

Rolling Terra-Skin posters becomes a group activity

It was an awesome weekend in San Francisco

It was an awesome weekend in San Francisco

We're so proud to work with such an incredible organization

We’re so proud to work with such an incredible organization

Many oysters were consumed in the making of this weekend

Many oysters were consumed in the making of this weekend

There were many reasons to celebrate:

There were many reasons to celebrate…

Like to celebrate cover reveals with fellow Ingram publishers

Like cover reveals with Newbery winner Kwame Alexander and Nikki Giovanni

And enjoying beautiful speeches with great friends

Beautiful speeches with reviewer Sharon Levin

Love won

Love won

And getting books signed by your favorite authors, illustrators, and friends

And getting books signed by your favorite authors and illustrators

Did we mention the food?

Did we mention the food?

We hope you enjoyed ALA as much as we did! We can’t wait until next year! See you then.

Suggested Reading: The Printz Award

You have to love a literature prize called the Printz Award. Named for Topeka librarian Michael L. Printz, this award honors literary excellence in young adult literature. We’re pleased to share the 2015 winner and honor books, and hope that you’ll read and enjoy them for yourselves.

2015 Winner

Printz Award Winner

I’ll Give You the Sun

By Jandy Nelson

Published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company

Once inseparable, twins Noah and Jude are torn apart by a family tragedy that transforms their intense love for each other into intense anger. Timelines twist and turn around each other in beautifully orchestrated stories of love and longing.



2015 Honor Books

Printz Award And We Stay

And We Stay

By Jenny Hubbard

Published by Delacorte, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.

Reeling from her boyfriend’s dramatic suicide, Emily hides her anguish at a new boarding school, where she finds healing through poetry. Hubbard’s gem-like prose beautifully balances Emily’s poetry.



Printz Award The Carnival at Bray

The Carnival at Bray

By Jessie Ann Foley

Published by Elephant Rock Books.

In 1993, Maggie is dismayed to leave Chicago and her beloved Uncle Kevin behind when she moves to a small Irish town. Yet it is within this evocative setting that Foley unwinds Maggie’s exceptional coming-of-age tale, where Maggie discovers music and forgiveness as antidotes for grief.



Printz Award Grasshopper Jungle

Grasshopper Jungle

By Andrew Smith

Published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

Historian Austin Szerba is in love with his best girl friend, Shann. He is also in love with his best boy friend, Robby. Mastermind Smith takes these tender facts and swirls them into a whirlwind tale of carnivorous praying mantises, the history of the world, the role of the individual, and the end of all we know.



Print Award This One Summer

This One Summer

By Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Published by First Second

Adolescence in its precarious first bloom is the subject of this sensitive graphic novel. The team of Mariko and Jillian Tamaki show and tell us of one special summer in Rose’s life, in a brilliant flow of pictures and text.

Summer reading

Summer’s Summer Reading


Ah the lazy days of summertime. What I wouldn’t give to be able to experience summer break again. But today’s teen has it even better—there is now an exploding genre of funny, frightening, heart-stirring, literary, inspiring books written just for them. No more pawing through the classics or sci-fi shelves to find something interesting. Just sticking a toe into the teen end? Here’s a list of ten books you should check out. It’s not necessarily the “top ten” or the ten latest releases, but ten books that should be read. The first five are particularly attuned to the season, the rest just incredibly good books. Happy Reading!



  1. The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt—I call this a bridge book since it is pitch perfect for kids waving good-bye to middle grade novels and taking their first steps into young adult.
  2. This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki—Award-winning graphic novel of two girls leaving adolescence behind as their annual summer vacation at the lake just feels different this year.
  3. Going Bovine by Libba Bray—Crazy, weird, hallucinatory road trip narrated by a wonderfully unreliable narrator with Mad Cow Disease.
  4. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson—Take this one to the beach. Or on a plane. Purely joyous story of the summer Scarlett spends covering for her older brother, and crushing on his actor friends, all while saving the family hotel from ruin.
  5. Ashfall by Mike Mullin—Two teens must survive an environmental apocalypse. Cliff hangers on every single chapter. Luckily it’s the first in a trilogy.
  6. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson—This year’s Printz Award winner was my favorite book of 2014. Poetic study of love and identity in all its forms. A masterpiece.
  7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell—I have wondered if the author secretly stole my high school diaries for research. I feel like I lived this book of finding first love and your place in the world set in the ’80s.
  8. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton—Hauntingly beautiful debut novel of three generations of women trying to break a family curse…or is it a blessing. Hand it to an adult friend, just don’t say it’s YA.
  9. Graceling by Kristen Cashore—High fantasy at its very best. Read all three in the trilogy. Then read them again.
  10. Grasshopper Jungle or 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith—I couldn’t choose between these two. Intense, gritty, raunchy, fresh, and true. No one writes a male teen voice like Andrew Smith.

Summer Laurie is a freelance editor and children’s specialist at Books Inc. The members of Team Pickle would like to offer a huge “Thank you!” to her for compiling this top-notch summer reading list. Which one will you read first?


Photo courtesy of

Robot Test Kitchen

Robot Test Kitchen

Can traditional sources of information such as libraries meld successfully with new and increasingly innovative forms of technology? At Robot Test Kitchen, the answer is YES!

With scientific knowledge advancing at an unheard-of rate, two of the best ways to learn remain the same: reading and hands-on experience. The librarians of Robot Test Kitchen know this, and have outlined their plan in a mission statement.

“We are Robot Test Kitchen, a group of Youth Services and Teen librarians. We believe that when imaginations play, learning happens. We aim to use simple robotics as a means to expand our learning experience for other new technologies. Our goal is to provide an entry point of simple robotics in a way Youth and Teen Librarians can understand.”

Kids love to try things for themselves, especially when it’s something really cool like creating mini-sculptures with a pen, or practicing computer coding by making robotic bees follow a maze. Robot Test Kitchen takes this enthusiasm and channels it into grand avenues of learning and potential.

You grow with what you know. By catching kids early on and giving them a love of learning and creating, we can open the door to a vast realm of possibilities. Organizations such as Robot Test Kitchen hold the key to that door.

The United States of YA

The United States of YA

(Cue anthem)

Reading is a portal into a new world—many times, that world is a fantastical realm or a faraway land. Sometimes, that place can be found on a map! The good people at Epic Reads put their cartography skills to use and mapped out a young adult book for every state in the Union.

Th United States of YA

I’ve only read four of the titles on the map. I’m going to pick up a copy of Mead’s Bloodlines because I now feel obligated to read the book from California (born and raised!).

The United States of YA—how many  have you read through?

Click here to enjoy the original post at Epic Reads! 

The Children's Museum of Manhattan

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan

As kids, we’re constantly told to keep our eyes open, our mouths shut, and our hands to ourselves. Then grownups wonder why we don’t relate to the world around us. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan has taken this into account, and built accordingly.

Imagine a whole museum full of cool stuff that you’re supposed to touch and rattle around and make a mess with! Though the many interactive displays and stations are sanitized regularly throughout the day, there is nothing sterile about the learning experience provided by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

For the preschool set, there’s PlayWorks™, a 4,000-square-foot installment that encourages creative play and establishes a foundation for a love of learning. Older kids will enjoy the EatSleepPlay™ exhibit, which gives families an up close and personal look at how our choices affect all aspects of our health. Energize a brain, feed a digestive system, and discover why play is a super power!

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan welcomes visitors of all abilities and learning levels. More than 350,000 people are served each year by the museum and its outreach programs, and new programs are in the works. If you’re planning a trip to New York, the CMOM is definitely a “must-C.”

Humble Bundle

Humble Bundle: A Visit with Kelley Allen

This May, the members of Team Pickle were delighted to be included in Humble Bundle’s first children’s bundle. To tell us more about the company (and to whet your appetite for future bundles), here’s Kelley Allen, Director of Books for Humble Bundle.

How do you describe Humble Bundle to people who have never heard of it before?

​At Humble Bundle, we put the power directly in the hands of consumers. You pay what you want for downloadable content and choose where your money goes. Through this model and the help of the Humble Bundle community, we’ve raised over $59 million for charity.

So how does it work? We put together bundles of games and books that can be purchased at whatever price you think is fair. Once you’ve chosen a price, you can choose whether you want your money to go to the game developer or book publisher, charity, or Humble Bundle.

Why did Humble Bundle launch an eBooks program?

​In 2012, Cory Doctorow curated our first Book bundle and it was a resounding success. Our cofounders decided it was time to expand into that vertical.   ​

To date, which bundle has been most successful?

In May of 2014, we launched the Humble Doctor Who Comics Bundle Presented By IDW. It went on to earn $563K over the course of two weeks! ​

To what do you attribute that success?

​The Doctor Who Comics Bundle was quite the event! It was the first bundle to be launched on our Book tab. I am most “unhumble” to admit that we signed up Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as a charity just for that particular bundle. Since then, we have worked with MSF on many other promotions, raising over $700K  for MSF since Doctor Who!

You’ve worked in digital publishing since 2000​. What’s the most dramatic change you’ve noted since then?

​The acceptance of eBooks as a format. Back in 2000, the eBook industry was a mere $10M worldwide! Only a few adventurous publishers and authors took the format seriously or had any interest. In those very early days, many of my (print) publishing peers used to encourage me to find another industry to work in since “eBooks have no future.” Now eBooks are a hot commodity with the eBook retailer wars raging.

Also, it’s encouraging to see all the new business models emerging as well, including Humble’s. We now have subscription models, charity as good business models, and more bundle models like Lootcrate. It’s still the wild, wild West in many regards.

What’s next for Humble Bundle?

​A-ha! Good question. There has been a lot of interesting discussions internally at our Humble offices in San Francisco as of late. I can’t say too much, except to say that we are looking into being a book retailer and perhaps becoming a subscription service as well.

Thank you for joining us, Kelley. Here’s to a long and happy future of beautiful bundles!

Forever Julia

First Friday Book Review: Forever Julia

Forever Julia is not your typical YA offering.

There is no stilted, forced dialogue. There is no endless parade of ultra-perfect high school students. There are no (thank heavens) zombies or sparkly vampires.

There is honesty.

Sometimes friendships can be tested to the breaking point. Sometimes terrible things happen to those we love. Sometimes the good guy isn’t so good after all.

And sometimes we can come through the fire without being burned.

Julia lost her father six months ago. Living with her mother over the bookstore hasn’t been easy, but Julia finds refuge in her fiercely close friendship with Annika and her blossoming relationship with Jeremy, the biggest catch at school.

As her romance with Jeremy deepens, Julia fails to see the warning signs as her family and friends are gradually sidelined. When his behavior becomes controlling and even dangerous, it’s a race between the mind and the heart to an emotional finish that not even Julia can foresee. Will she make the right choices? Will she make them in time?

Forever Julia is a solid, thoughtfully-crafted story that touches on loss, friendships, abuse, and self-esteem. The characters and situations ring true; the choices and consequences will have you nodding in agreement and shaking your head in sympathy. As a story, it sings.

As a window into the heart of Everyteen, it shines.

Partner violence and domestic abuse aren’t just plotlines. If you find yourself in an abusive situation and need help breaking free, there are people standing by. Call Kids Help Phone in Canada at 1.800.668.6868, or The National Domestic Violence Hotline in the US at 1.800.799.7233.

Forever Julia author Jodi Carmichael

Jodi Carmichael is the author of the award-winning Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons. A native of Canada recently transplanted to England, she is an advocate for Asperger’s Syndrome. Find her online at Writing … and other life lessons.

Emma D. Dryden

A Chat with Emma D. Dryden

The world of Young Adult publishing is as complex and ever-changing as the audience for whom the books are intended. As Little Pickle Press moves into this world with a new imprint, Relish Media, we’re taking some time to consult with Emma D. Dryden, a leading editor and publisher, about the “once and future” state of YA.

Why is the Young Adult genre so important?

[EDD]  Young adult literature—YA—has, over the years, come to be categorized by publishers and booksellers as works for readers between the ages of twelve and eighteen, often simply labeled as “12 + Up,” in which protagonists are generally between the ages of fifteen and seventeen.

Teens between the ages of twelve and eighteen are going through some of the most complex growth of any other age. They are children transitioning to adults; they are moving from dependence towards autonomy; they are experiencing a myriad of emotional, physical, and psychological changes and developments; they are moving from concrete to abstract thinking. According to scientific study, teens are constantly confronting challenges, pressures, stresses, temptations, and asks in brains that are not yet fully developed. It’s not just that teens haven’t had the time and experience to acquire a wide sense of the world; quite simply, their brains haven’t physically matured yet. So, given all of this, it makes sense to me that the YA genre has flourished and is so important because teens are utterly fascinating. Not only are teens fascinating for writers to explore and dramatize, but they’re fascinating for teens to read about. Young adults often see themselves in YA books in ways they don’t feel seen by society, adults, their parents, or even their peers. Young adults often find inspiration to figure out ways to make decisions and choices and to sort out challenges and pressures in YA books that they can’t otherwise find or figure out on their own or by talking with adults or peers.

Teens become adults and define their paths in part by the choices and decisions they make under pressure. And let’s face it: Don’t all of us define ourselves and our paths in most part by the choices and decisions we make under pressure? It’s no accident that protagonists in stories are defined by the choices and decisions they make under pressure—and the greater the pressures, the more significant the choices and decisions a protagonist must make and the more we will relate to them at a deep emotional level. Teens are starting to figure out what “choice” and “decision” really mean to them and their lives; teens are starting to experience the (good and bad) repercussions of their choices and decisions; teens are confused at some level by what becoming an adult really means to them. YA books can and do offer up reflective pools to readers in which they can see someone like themselves following through on all sorts of choices and decisions, right and wrong, good and bad. YA books can and do offer up possible answers to the “What if?” questions with which teens are constantly grappling: What would happen if I did this? What would happen if I didn’t do that? And by so doing, a YA book at its very best provides a teenager with roadmaps he or she can use to assist in setting their course for adulthood. The importance of the YA genre becomes even more meaningful if we recognize how valuable these books can be to assist in the development and evolution of teens into thoughtful adults. It’s no surprise, either, that so many adults are gravitating towards YA books since very often YA books can be more complex and perceptive than books meant for adults.

How have you seen YA change over the years and what trends are you seeing emerge now? 

[EDD]  I don’t like to talk about trends; the moment a trend is happening, it’s over and we’re on to the next thing.

I think the topics being explored in YA know no bounds. There is nothing off limit in YA these days that I can think of. This wasn’t the case many years ago—when there wasn’t such a defined YA genre at all, actually, and when the lines between middle grade and young adult often blurred. It’s not that books for young readers being published in the 70s, 80s, and 90s didn’t feature characters making choices and decisions pertaining to sexuality, romance, alcoholism or drug addition, abuse, danger, violence, and what are considered “darker” subjects—they certainly did. But in my estimation, the ways in which these subjects and characters are being explored and put onto the page have become deeper, more graphic, more psychologically and emotionally complex—more real, if you will.

I have to pause for just for a moment here to wonder, why are real subjects—the subjects of life as it really is—called “dark” with a specifically negative connotation? Life is not all or always pretty or good or happy or easy; much of life is, in fact, gritty, ugly, confusing, complicated, and hard—and I think YA writers perhaps know better than most that these aspects of life—the very aspects that make us appreciate all that is pretty or good or happy or easy—are real and are particularly real to teens who are experiencing the complexities of life as it really is for the first time. This is not a matter of light and dark, it’s a matter of recognizing and contending with the grays and the textures in between. So what other obligation of the YA author is there than to offer a picture of life as it really is?

I’ve heard people claim the endings of YA books are too negative, too hopeless, not happy enough. I would argue that many YA books in the past did not have happy-ever-after endings by any means. Life isn’t wrapped up neatly with a bow; our books shouldn’t end this way either. But when it comes to teens, who, as noted above, are still figuring out how to be in this world and whose brains are not fully developed, I think we absolutely have an obligation in any books we offer them to get teens feeling safe and confident enough to keep going on into adulthood, and therefore the endings of YA books (and I’d say all books, really) ought to be hopeful—not in a saccharin “Don’t worry about anything!” way, but in more thoughtful and meaningful ways that encourage and inspire teens to think and wonder, to look ahead to their possibilities. I’m happy to say I am seeing these sorts of endings in most YA right now, where I may not have several decades ago.

Who are some YA authors you think everyone should know about?

[EDD]  This is a hard question to answer, as there are so very many YA authors creating extraordinary and important works. I hope anyone interested in writing for teens will read every YA author they can find, and I hope teens will do the same. I’ll list just a few authors in alphabetical order by last name, as I feel the works of these authors together represent a brilliant array of formats, writing styles, topics, emotional complexities, richly-realized protagonists and richly-explored degrees of humanity:

Sherman Alexie
David Almond
Laurie Halse Anderson
Judy Blume
E. E. Charlton-Trujillo
Sarah Dessen
Nancy Farmer
Neil Gaiman
Ellen Hopkins
Jandy Nelson
Meg Rosoff
Ruta Sepetys
Elizabeth Wein
John Corey Whaley
Ellen Wittlinger

You began your career in publishing and editing, but you recently co-authored a book. How does the former enhance or impede your creative writing?

[EDD] I’ve recently co-authored a picture book with Rana DiOrio that’s neither fiction nor non-fiction, but a wonderful hybrid—WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR? In working on that book as an author, it took all I had not to self-edit and second guess myself too much as I was writing.

At the same time, I found my experiences as a publisher and editor to be quite valuable because I felt totally confident when it came to knowing how children respond to language and concepts, how the book would be experienced being read aloud, what I could leave out for the illustrator to handle in the artwork, and more.

I will say it was wonderful having an author collaborator with whom to bounce ideas around and with whom to come to mutual agreement or comfortable compromise. We were able to support and encourage each other as we each contributed something new to the final text, and that’s a luxury most writers don’t actually have when they’re on their own with their text. Additionally, we weren’t working on a manuscript that necessitated significant character building or world building, so it was a much easier writing process overall than another sort of book would have been.

Writing is an exercise I have always loved, though a discipline I’ve never been confident about. Writing is hard! I know that as an editor and publisher; I experienced that as a writer.

Knowing my name is going on a published book is a thrilling experience and one that feels quite different from knowing I’ve had a hand in the publishing of a book from the background as editor and/or publisher. Reading reviews and wondering/worrying about sales of the book? That will be nerve-wracking indeed—much more personal on many levels than what I’ve experienced as an editor or publisher.

What makes (your latest YA project) Breath to Breath so compelling?

[EDD]  BREATH TO BREATH is a special project that came about in an unusual way, with a publisher meeting a man whose life she felt could inspire an important story for young adults. The man’s not himself a writer, so the publisher was in a position to bring together an author and an editor whom she trusted to figure out how to let this man’s life inspire a fictionalized YA story that would resonate with readers. It’s been exciting to be part of a hand-picked team of this nature—and it’s been a great responsibility and rewarding challenge to work on a manuscript that not only needs to resonate as a fiction with a deeply-realized protagonist, supporting characters, plotline, and subplots, but that also needs to honor the man whose experiences inspired the work to begin with.

There’s no question BREATH TO BREATH is a tough story. It’s a story about abuse, about survival, and about recovery. It’s a story about the choices we sometimes need to make when our very life is at stake. It’s a story that explores wrong choices and, ultimately, it’s a story about embracing the right choices. It’s to my mind a quintessential YA that explores a memorable sixteen-year-old protagonist as he finds himself on paths he never expected, as he discovers things about himself that are confusing and confused, as he determines right from wrong, and as he recognizes what he needs inside himself that will allow him to take the next breath towards his own future.

I’ve been lucky to know the author, Craig Lew, for a while and I think he’s a remarkably sensitive, creative soul. It’s exciting to be working on this project with him—his first full-length novel and his first foray into writing in verse. I love novels in verse, have edited and published a lot of them, and think this format is beautiful and significant for a story like BREATH TO BREATH, not only because the protagonist is a highly sensitive artist, but because tough stories can be tough on readers. In what some may find to be  an emotionally overwhelming story, poetry’s spare language, line lengths, and rhythms afford opportunities and strategically thoughtful moments for readers to reflect, breathe, regroup, and pause as they need to so they can ultimately experience the character and the story fully.

This is a book that’s not only a rewarding, emotional read, but a book that absolutely offers hope to anyone who thinks they’re in a hopeless situation and a reminder that support is available not only from others, but from within—if you only let yourself find and trust it. This book is not about the one right way to recover from abuse; this book is about one kid who figures out what he needs to start on a path to recovery—and in meeting this kid, readers may see themselves or they may see someone they know, or they may just gain some insights into life and how living life works. And what’s a better way to instill empathy than that?

Emma D. Dryden

Emma D. Dryden is the founder of drydenbks, a premier children’s editorial and publishing consultancy firm which she established after twenty-five years as a highly regarded children’s book editor and publisher. She consults and/or collaborates with authors, illustrators, agents, domestic and foreign publishers, students, and with app & eBook developers.

During the course of her career, Emma has edited hundreds of books for children and young readers and during her tenure with Atheneum and  McElderry Books, many of her titles hit bestseller lists in USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and other national publications. Books published under Emma’s guidance have received numerous awards and medals, including but not limited to the Newbery Medal, Newbery Honor, and Caldecott Honor.

Emma speaks regularly on craft, the digital landscape, and reinvention, and her blog “Our Stories, Ourselves” explores the intertwined themes of life and writing. She is on the Board of Advisors of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and can be followed online at Twitter (@drydenbks), Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.


Featured B Corp of the Month: Kammok

A revolutionary brand bringing technically innovative outdoor products designed to equip and inspire you for Life Changing Adventure™.

Summer is coming to San Francisco in full force and we have zero complaints. Beautiful, warm weather means fun in the sun! What better way to celebrate Mother Nature than to spend some quality time enjoying the great outdoors? Our fellow B Corp, Kammok, produces sustainable and responsible outdoor gear and equipment perfect for life changing adventure. Their sleek line of quality products includes hammocks, insect nets, upcycled totes, and fun apparel. Their new comfy hammock quilts, the FireBelly and the Koala, are available now for pre-order!

The design of the Roo hammock was inspired by the unique qualities of the Kangaroo. The Austin-based company developed LunarWave, a diamond ripstop fabric, to enable the Roo to be incredibly lightweight, tear resistant, breathable, and roomy enough for two, so bring a friend!

In addition to their unique products, Kammok donates and invests at least 1% of their total revenue to environmental and sustainable initiatives around the world. They recently partnered with CTC Internationals to help bring holistic development to communities in Kenya.


Embrace #TheRooLife.

Visit them at, on Facebook, and check out their gorgeous Instagram at @Kammok.