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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Bookclub Queries and a Shameless Sisterly Plug

Zee fam-o-lee is still in town, so I’ve just a couple choice nuggets for you today:

  • A third grade teacher wrote me the other day with a query that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. We all know those Scholastic book clubs they have in the schools. Perhaps we even have fond memories of them from our own youth. But increasingly educators are finding that they contain a lot more toys and movie spin-offs than actual, y’know, books. So this teacher asked me if I knew of any bookclubs that were JUST books. I don’t, and that bugs me. If anyone happens to know of other similar programs that concentrate a little more on paper and a little less on plastic, please let me know and I’ll be sure to pass that info along.

  • From Cynopsis Kids: "Dear America, the live-action series of TV specials, will be released on DVD under a new deal between Scholastic Media and Genius Products . Based on Scholastic’s Dear America book series, which recounting dramatic moments in history through the eyes of girls, the TV specials originally ran on HBO Family, and were initially available on VHS via Scholastic book Clubs and Book Fairs."

Whoozy-huh? Just girls? Odd. They didn’t think boys would dig history?

  • And finally, how often in your lifetime are you given a piece of news that pinpoints exactly what is wrong with the state of the world today?  They’ve just released old Sesame Street episodes on DVD.  Classic stuff.  Then you come across the warning label on them.  And I quote: "These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child."  When you feel obligated to put warning labels on stuff because the show you’re about to watch is going to be just as amusing to adults as to pre-schoolers . . . . THAT is when you throw in the towel.  I think I’ll go watch my sister’s television show Come On Over instead.  At least that show remembers that preschool programming doesn’t have to be vapid.

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.


  1. Hi Betsy! I never seem to get around to commenting here, but since my studens are visiting you this week, the timing seemed appropriate.

    My brother and I were just talking about the Sesame Street thing yesterday. So apparently Oscar is too grouchy, and Cookie Monster smokes a pipe in his Monsterpiece Theater sketches (and eats too many cookies)? I’m reminded of how Clement Hurd’s cigarette was airbrushed out of his picture on the inside cover of Goodnight Moon (I think that’s right?)

    My non-scholarly side shakes its head at the world, while my scholarly side asks: What are we seeing here in terms of either attitudes that producers have, or more likely attitudes that producers assume potentially-purchasing parents will have, about what impact viewing, reading, etc has on children’s behavior and attitudes? Do we do everything we see, or – as is probably the case with language – is a more subtle system at work here, with some input filtered, some used, and some completely ignored?

  2. Thanks for the nod for, “Come on Over!” Cross your fingers that the success of the show does the days of Sesame Street justice.