Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Children's Books That Never Were, Part 6

Ed Emberley, the Caldecott Medal winner for Drummer Hoff, is widely appreciated for his books that teach people how to draw using simple shapes. With the exception of the clip-art ear and cotton-swab, all of the illustrations belong to Ed Emberley.


From the editor:

Dear Ed Emberley,

You are obviously a talented illustrator with vision. I applaud your motivation to bring art instruction to the masses with simple manuals on how to draw various shapes and beasties using available materials at hand. I think you have the potential to go quite far in your career. However, you need to rethink your medium. Substances emitted from bodily orifices are inappropriate for children’s literature. Therefore, I must return your manuscript for “Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Earwax Art.”


Earwax is one of the “Sordid Seven,” as we say in the biz. The six other substances that we consider verbotten for children’s books are: saliva, mucus, perspiration, flatulence, sebum and toe-jam. There are several other bodily secretions/products that are so unspeakable they don’t even make the list of the Sordid Seven. Nobody thinks about them, nobody talks about them, and nobody acknowledges that these substances even exist. In fact, let’s just pretend I didn’t bring up the subject. We have to act with decorum here at Wee, Burnt Umber Co. A prospective author recently submitted a query letter about a nautical superhero who wears underpants, and it threw the whole department into a tizzy.

I would like to see your manuscript reworked to showcase your genius in the more traditional format of pen-and-ink. If your first book sells well enough, then you could make tentative experiments with mixed-media. Wouldn’t it be a lark if somewhere down the road you created a line of thumb-print art? I’m joking, of course, but you see where I’m going with this.

Good luck, Mr. Emberley!

Sincerely,
Garrulous MacKenzie
Sophomore Editor
Wee, Burnt Umber Co.

8 comments:

Brad the Gorilla said...

Landlady, you've gone too far. People come to your blog to be enlightened, not grossed out. Actually, I just come to your blog to give you a hard time, but you know me.

Semper ubi sububi in caput tuum,
Brad the Gorilla

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Brad: As I've always said, if you can't count on a gorilla, who can you count on? I'm going to ignore your advice in Latin, though. I have no desire to wear underwear on my head, thank you.

Lone Star Ma said...

Ha! I still have a dragon drawing on the door to the kitchen that the LSG drew with the help of that book in kindergarten. It's one of my favorite art pieces.

HipWriterMama said...

Wahoo! This is too funny! Thanks for a great laugh.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

LSM: That's great! The dragon and the bat are my favorite Emberley sketches.

HipWriterMama: Thanks! I was wondering if I'd gone too far. But as LSM reminded me in an earlier post, there are grosser things. The thing is... I'm starting to feel as if I'm repeating myself. That's why I hope others in the blogosphere pick up on CBTNW. Either that, or I'm going to have to take it in a different direction.

I've got some ideas...

Lady K said...

Can't. Stop. Laughing. This is SO funny! xoxo

limpy99 said...

Well, there goes my idea for The Big Book Of Toejam Art.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: Don't forget, Garrulous MacKenzie wrote that letter long, long ago. These days, your book would fly off the shelves!