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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: The Brave Little Wiki

Just some quickies here today, folks.

  • Good news.  I have a new addiction in my life.  The kind of thing that could easily eat up full hours of my day without so much as a blink on my part.  Recently I’ve been submitting my blogged reviews, ALL my blogged reviews, to the Children’s Literature Wiki, as started by Kelly Herold lo these many months ago.  I’ve always wanted a single easily searchable place to keep track of all the books I’ve reviewed over the years, and now at last I have found it.  The Wiki collects all the reviews of children’s/YA literary bloggers out there.  If you’ve reviewed something, anything, you can post a link from this site.  Even better, I discovered the Contributing Bloggers page.  From there, it didn’t take much finagling to turn my name into a nice little page of reviews.  I’ve only posted the February titles so far, but I fully intend to fill that page up with every review of mine from over the years.  I encourage you other bloggers out there to do the same.  It certainly beats having to Google myself whenever I want to find a review I did a year or two ago.  It’s addictive, though.  Veeeeeeery addictive.

  • If you would like to see a Flickr page used for good instead of evil, hi thee ho hence and check out the selection of images coming from Dan Goodsell of Mr. Toast fame.  His series of Mary Blair images (she was a children’s illustrator, amongst other things) is worth the price of admission alone.

  • I am under the impression that I may be the only person in America who truly appreciate the raw weirdness and nonsensical ravings of that most obscure of Disney animated films The Brave Little Toaster.  I was thinking about that Where the Wild Things movie that may or may not get made, and about children’s films that buck the trends and have quiet moments of weirdness in them.  Ladies and gentlemen, this movie is perhaps the strangest animated feature you will ever see.  I used to show it to the kids I’d babysit when I was a teen, and I can only hope that it warped those young minds into great acts of creativity and trend bucking.  With a cast that included Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman doing a Jack Nicholson/Peter Lorre imitation, and everyone’s favorite Tony the Tiger/You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch singer Thurl Ravenscroft (best. name. ever.) it is the oddest thing to come out of 1987.  Go watch it.  It’ll blow your mind.

  • MotherReader would like you all to take a gander at her piece in ForeWord Magazine, if you’d be so kind.  It’s called I Am Magic (And So Can You!) with apologies to Stephen Colbert.  Go.  Scoot.

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. I’m glad you’re finding this useful! (Although now you’ve mentioned it on your blog, I’d better watch my inbox today!)

    My hope is that libraries and teachers will find this collection of reviews useful, too.

    Thanks for contributing!

  2. bio anyone? says:

    In my rant, I forgot to say thank you to Kelly for putting this together. It’s neat. Is there anyway that the identity of the reviewers could be on the main page next to the titles of the books reviewed? There are reviewers I trust to know what I like, and I’d read their reviews first. *knows nothing about wikis*

    Fuse, when I click on your “contributer” link, it takes me to all of your reviews broken out by catagory. If that’s what you’ve been doing with your time . . . thanks.

  3. bio anyone? says:

    Oh look, my rant didn’t show up.

    Probably a good thing.

  4. Yup. That’s what I’m doing with my time. A-dic-tive stuff. It takes a while to post each review in three places (my page, under its title, under its author) but it’s nice if people want to see everything I’ve reviewed. Other people can do it too, if they like. It’ll take me a while to get it shipshape, though. And Kelly’s the one who can make the decision on whether or not each review should have the contributor’s name on it. I don’t mind, but maybe other people would? Dunno.

  5. bio anyone? says:

    My rant in a nutshell. More reviews of biographies please. They are assigned every year. It doesn’t matter who the subject is, but it’s hard to find good ones. Not easy-peasy photo-biographies for non-readers, and no more civil rights workers–we’ve done those. Oppenheimer? Simon Bolivar? Lucretzia Borga? James I? Annie Oakley? Pol Pot? Anyone?

  6. The Brave Little Toaster defined my childhood. Every summer, without fail, we would visit my grandma’s house in Florida and I would proceed to watch her copy at least three times. Not only am I quite weird now, but in high school, my friend Kim and I went through a phase where we re-watched the Brave Little Toaster and its sequels. We made several toasters out of clay and even wrote a poem about toast. It was a bit of an obsession. Just a bit.

  7. Oh my goodness, how I love The Brave Little Toaster… I watched it over and over again as a kid, never realizing how truly bizarre it is until I watched it again as a teenager. I fully plan on hosting a Brave Little Toaster night soon and inducting my coworkers into the wonder that is TBLT.

  8. cloudscome says:

    I’ve just started adding to the wiki too. It’s a great resource collection. I didn’t know about making a new page listing all my reviews – thanks for the tip!

  9. I read the Wikipedia page on The Brave Little Toaster and found that it premiered at Sundance and played at the Film Forum here in New York. I still don’t understand why it doesn’t have an organized cult fan base out there.

  10. RE: rant – One useful aspect of the wiki is that it really does highlight the areas where we need to be reviewing more. I know that many people enjoy middle grade fantasy (my review for day is no exception) but we have to remember to expand our horizons and review as many different areas as we can.

  11. bio anyone? says:

    ooh. i ranted about bios being underserved without actually looking at the number of fantasy reviews. wow, that is a disparity, isn’t it?

  12. Think the film version of “Brave Little Toaster” is weird? Try reading the 1986 children’s novel it was based on. Written by Thomas M. Disch, it has a softer, sweeter ending than that of the film. School Library Journal gave it a bad review back then, but my advisor in library school (Maggie Kimmel) recommended it as a read-aloud, so I had to give it a whirl. The low-down? Disch’s prose is so gentle that the conceit pulls off, (just barely). Pretty amusing lil’ thing. I put it in my personal pantheon of All-Time Wacky Children’s Fiction.

    Oh, yeah — the film’s sequel, “The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars” is based on the novel’s sequel of the same name. Because a concept that odd just couldn’t have been written by a group of screenwriters.

  13. To the anon commenter (#2). I see no reason why people can’t put their names next to the reviews. In fact, I think that’s a pretty good idea.

    I’ll admit, I set this thing up. But it’s a resource for the community and for anyone looking for reviews. Anyone can suggest or change anything. I only have a password system so random trolls can’t go in and delete things just for fun.

    I do like the idea, Anon, and may start doing that.

  14. Excellent! I think I’ll do that too, Kelly. In fact, I’ve already started when I see two reviews of the same book by different people.