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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

ALA Convention Floor Goodies (Upcoming Titles and the Like). Part Two.

Simon & Schuster had other interesting covers to boot. I was a big big fan of Phineas L. MacGuire… Erupts!

last year. And I felt that it really didn’t get the attention it so richly deserved. Someone at S&S obviously agreed with me, but they decided that the flaw lay in the original cover. I liked the cover but, I can see how they might feel it wasn’t the most dynamic of images. The all-purpose solution in this day and age? Photography. Now we’ve a peppy boy with Harry Potterish glasses and nose freckles. I’ll watch with interest to see if this garners him more fans.

I was a little amazed that the old Childhood of Famous Americans series is back in business. Granted, I’ve had requests for those books before. And, to be perfectly honest, I read them when I was a kid and I NEVER read non-fiction back then. Still, it’s odd to see Ray Charles and Christopher Reeve getting their own entries in the series. As my husband pointed out, "Was there anything particularly heroic or interesting about Christopher Reeve’s
childhood? According to the cover, he made forts on his porch.  So there you go.

Leaving S&S and checking out Penguin I was delighted to find that Pippi Longstocking is here months away from getting republished with new illustrations. Sacrilege, you say? A crime against man, nature, and the universe? Well I, for one, am a fan of Lauren Child. Such a fan that I think her new vision of Pippi is going to be a hit amongst hits. Think about it. You get the Charlie and Lola crowd reading Pippi and soon that book’s going to trump its fellow classics forthwith. A pat on the head to Penguin.

Now big publishers are all well and good, but my heart belongs to the little guys.  And I admit that I was a little shocked when I learned how old these "little guys" actually were.  Chronicle Books is hitting 40.  Ditto Tundra Books.  Who knew?  And somehow I’d never given Chronicle Books the appropriate amount of attention in the past.  This San Francisco based company has given the world plenty of big hits.  The trick is to find them.  This year, they’ve produced a picture book unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.  Bagel’s Lucky Hat by Hector Mumbly is … I don’t know if I can do this book justice.  It’s obviously the work of a former underground comic.  Underground comic artists, for the record, are very big these days.  If you have an underground comic, might I recommend that you consider writing a picture book.  There’s never been a better time.  In the case of Bagel’s Lucky Hat, however, the book looks like a 1920s colorized cartoon.  All big Pac-man eyes and exaggerated features.  It is perhaps one of the most visually stunning little creations you’re bound to get your hands on.  I did not, however, have a chance to give the words a proper look so I can’t vouch for the writing.  Just the art.  This is hot stuff.

Last year I missed Barry Moser’s illustrations for the title Scary Stories.  You can bet then that I won’t be making the same mistake with this year’s Cowboy Stories.  It’s an interesting idea.  Collect short cowboy-related stories by folks like Louis L’Amour and O. Henry and then add in some of Moser’s stark engravings.  Will kids read cowboy tales these days?  Dunno.  In any case, the introduction to the volume is being done by Books of Wonder

owner Peter Glassman.  Wouldn’t mind taking a look at this title when it comes out myself.

I mentioned Tundra Books earlier in this post, but honestly they’re entirely new to me.  I couldn’t figure out why, but then the answer slowly came.  Though they’ve an office in Plattsburgh, NY, Tundra is a Canadian company first and foremost.  But how could I resist them when they put this on the cover of their catalog?

Stunning, no?  Better still, it’s for a young Sherlock Holmes story, Eye of the Crow.  I wouldn’t mind giving that one a looksee.  And just how long as celebrity Meg Tilly been writing books?  Porcupine is her first YA novel and since Kirkus liked one of her adult novels I’d be willing to give it a peek. 

CONTINUED . . . . .

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.