Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Flamingoes and the Black Plague (for starters)

It’s funny.  If I get better at one thing I seem to get worse at another.  For example, if I write more reviews (I’ve got some lined up until next week!) then my news reporting takes a hit.  And if I report without difficulty then my reviews slow down to a trickle.  Ah, to have a staff.  Twould be grand.  Enough pity-partying.  On with the show!

  • Isn’t the blog Kids Lit looking all grand and lovely these days?  I feel like that happened while I was napping or something.  In any case, she doesn’t have a hard time balancing news and reviews.  It was on Kids Lit than I first learned about the 2008 Edgar Award Nominees.  I’ve read 2.7 of the 5, though I don’t have a favorite.

  • Kids Lit also told me about a clever Garth Nix marketing tool.  Apparently he has created a Multiplayer Online Game based on his upcoming book, A Confusion of Princes.  The trick is that you can only play it on Facebook, though.  I’ve nothing against Facebook, but I refuse to do any social networking sites.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Someday I may crack, but for now I’ll have to settle for my reference desk game and be content with that.

  • Erg. This is YA news, but my husband’s a screenwriter and I thought it was interesting.  What does the Cirque du Freak series, Ken Watanabe, and the film Mystic River all have in common?  Well, they’re all involved with the upcoming Cirque du Freak movie (which Dark Horizons seems to think is a "children’s series").  Watanabe is playing Mr. Tall, and the screenplay is written by, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, Brian Helgeland.  He wrote L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, and now this.  Well…. that is if the writer’s strike ever gets resolved.

  • There are certain topics in the world of children’s literature that just go around and around and around again.  If you’re on a listserv like child_lit you’ll see them circle about continually.  One topic that gets proven, disproven, reproven, unproven, etc. is this: Does the song ring-around-the-roses actually have anything to do with The Black Plague?  Nobody ever really has pinned down all the arguments, so I was pleased as punch to see that J.L. Bell on Oz and Ends did a  recap of the whole debate.  Most excellent (and informative).

  • If I get sent an early ARC of the newest Rick Riordan book (which won’t happen unless I swipe one from a professional reviewer) I may just have to hold off on reviewing it until the release date.  That’s the feeling I get when I read posts like Riordan’s recent, Raiders of the Lost ARCs (fifty points for the title, Mr. R).  To Riordan’s view, an ARC takes away the mystery surrounding a series.  Plus, as he rightly points out, people already know the Percy Jackson books and he doesn’t really need the publicity.  "So no, there are no ARCs for Battle of the Labyrinth. You can blame me. Everyone will have to find out the answers about Percy’s next adventure at the same time! And I couldn’t be happier."  An interesting take.  I wonder if other authors will be doing more of this in the future as well.  Thanks to Educating Alice for the link.

  • Great news for two relatively new author/illustrators.  Borders just handed out its Original Voices Awards, and they made an excellent choice in two of the winners.  In the picture book category is John Rocco for his book Wolf! Wolf! and in the Young Adult/Independent Reader (weird term, eh?) is Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.  Kudos to both of these talented young men!  Kudos and $5,000.  Not too shabby.

  • There’s a discussion going on at the Publisher’s Weekly blog Reading the Book regarding Amazon reviews and their relative use.  It’s not specifically oriented towards children’s literature, but as an Amazon contributer (#53, woo-hoo!) I found it rather interesting.  And man, look at those comments!  Her 65 on a single post make my piddly 49 look like nothing!

  • AUGH! I can’t believe I almost missed The Cuffies!  They’re so useful.  For example, "Hottest Selling Book to Go Out of Stock: Gallop!Gallop??? What the heck is Gallop?  Oh.  I see.  It’s that scanimation book they were talking about a little while ago.  Shoot, we gotta get that.  I’ll go bug my materials specialist.  Thanks to Monica for this link too.

  • If someone says the term "urban fairies" to you, do you get confused? Well, here’s a quick pic to explain it all away/confuse you further. Thanks to Shaken & Stirred for the link.

  • I was very sad that Flamingoes on the Roof by Calef Brown didn’t get the attention it so desperately deserved back in 2006.  Finally, someone has taken it under their wing and that someone is Daniel Pinkwater.  Here then is a recording of Daniel Pinkwater and Scott Simon reading selections from this lovely little book of poems on NPR.  Thanks to Children’s Illustration for the link.

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. Very interesting about the publisher eschewing arcs for Riordan — it’s not like the series needs them, so I think it’s great. The only authors who could do that are ones in such a comfy position though. Most books still need the shot at advance buzz, pre-pub reviews, impressing buyers, etc.

  2. Woman, come on over to QL. I am SO on top of the “Gallop!” phenom! And I’ve been reading the “Ring around the Rosy” posts on child_lit…DANG! They’re getting belligerent over there!

  3. *sigh* You guys are so on top of your game. And what IS it about Ring Around the Rosy? Swear to god, if I ever start a second anonymous blog I’m naming it Rosy’s Ring or something like that. For some reason that debate brings out the worst in people. It’s so funny. I suppose it beats arguing over Georgie Porgie though.

  4. Thanks for the shout outs Fuse! I have yet to try the Nix game, but plan on it soon.