Meet the Team Behind Denton
Author Jeff Hutchins has been honored as one of the Pioneers who helped develop and implement closed captioning, the technology that makes media programs accessible to people with hearing impairments. He helped found and operate VITAC, a great captioning company. He retired from captioning in 2006 and took up writing novels, essays, songs, and children’s stories.
Born in New York City in 1948, Jeff grew up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where his father worked for an oil company. He attended high school at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon, where he learned the value of words and an appreciation of natural beauty.
He was married to Diane Mahler Hutchins in 1971. They have two extraordinary daughters named Rachel and Nell and two grandsons, Theo and Charlie. Jeff and Diane live beside a lake in Black Mountain, NC.
Illustrator Jerald Pope has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tulsa and a Master of Humanities degree from Old Dominion University. As a visual artist, he has won many awards, drawn covers and cartoons for various weekly tabloid newspapers, and written and illustrated several children’s books (see: HareBrandIdeas.com). He says that small-town 1950’s mid-America strongly influences the design of Bubbleland.
Music Director George Scott was raised in Western North Carolina and has enjoyed, created, and performed music most of his life. As an operator of Juicebox Studios, he has co-produced and engineered albums for many musicians and groups, including Vince Junior, Ol’ Hoopty, and Leeda “Lyric” Jones. George played keyboards and made arrangements for many of the songs on the Bubbleland CD.
Curriculum Writer Sybil Argintar has served as a director of religious education for preschool through high school. She has extensive professional training in early childhood education, and she has broad experience with many educational institutions.
Denton the Dragon
Denton the Dragon was born in a cave in the Bubble Mountains, not far from Pingletown, the largest city in Bubbleland. Denton does not know how old he is, though he recalls two summers and three winters. He can remember a pretty dragon smiling down at him when he was a baby. He thinks it was his mother, but he does not know where she is now or what happened to dragons. All he knows is that he has lived alone for as long as he can remember.
Many people think that dragons can fly, but Denton has no wings, and he cannot fly, no matter how hard he tries. Yet.
When Denton lived in the mountains, he would roar as loud as he could so his roar would echo across the mountains, and he could pretend other dragons were coming to see him. After Little Rachel came to investigate and found Denton living alone, he came to live in her front yard in Pingletown. Now he has many friends, but he still wishes there were other dragons. His favorite color is green, and his favorite food is fried furfels. He is not afraid of anything, but is not fond of spiders.
The Experts Love Denton
Thank you, Jeff. You’ve given vibrant stories to so many of the real-life encounters my kids have. I’ve already read about Little Rachel with my daughter and talked about hot-button issues like gratitude and compassion. A valuable, friendly introduction!
Singer-songwriter and recording artist
It seems unfair that these wonderful stories are meant for children. I had great fun–guffaws and all–reading them as an adult. Hutchins (like Faulkner) has created his own "little postage stamp of native soil." His Bubble land is fanciful, to be sure, yet so fully realized that it springs to life in our imagination. From a tutu-wearing dragon and mountains that move to characters sporting names like Mr. Rinsenspit and Mayor Peasandcorn, Hutchins has written a winning series for children. It meant to be read aloud, and I'd love to be one of the kids gathered around the storyteller!
- Molly Lundquist, Founder, and Editor,
What wonderful stories! Our children laughed, giggled and understood the value of friendship taught by Denton the Dragon. Everyone can relate and benefit from the wisdom of Denton. Enjoy the journey to Bubbleland!!!!
- Marian Detelj, Director of Children and Family Services,
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, New York, NY
Jeff Hutchins understands children’s imaginary worlds and has written a collection of stories that will delight. More important, he manages to combine these delightful stories with important, accessible moral lessons that will resonate with young children and their parents.
- Richard Weissbourd, Child and Family psychologist
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Author of “The Parents We Mean to Be, How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development”