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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Whence the Dried Dribble o’ News?

If you were to take a trip to the Donnell Library today in the hopes of seeing the Central Children’s Room of New York Public Library, you would find yourself disappointed.  For you see, the room is closed . . .  (dramatic music builds) . . . . FOR-EV-AH . . . . until its new location opens up.

That means I’m very busy at all times.  Busy during the day.  And busy during my lunch break which is when I locate a lot of my Fusenews.  But fear not, gentle viewers!  I did manage to cull a couple tidbits together lately.  Check out these goodies if you’ve half a mind to do so:

  • I begin with the most important news.  Every year the children’s literary and YA literary bloggers gather together for the Kidlit Bloggers Conference.  And by "every year" I mean "last year and this year".  And by "this year" I mean that Laini Taylor and Jone MacCulloch have begun to organize the event.  The 2008 Kidlit Bloggers Conference will be held in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, September 27th with events on the Friday before and the Sunday after.  If you blog about children’s or YA literature in any way, shape, or form you should come on down and check it out.  Last year’s was a bit of a blast.  I walked in not knowing what to expect and found myself in a very professional group learning about topics that had probably never been covered in this manner in a conference before.  For more info, check out the handy dandy blog Laini and Jone have put together and leave a comment saying whether or not you’ll attend.  You can bet that I’ll be coming by.

  • Now I guess you guys all knew about this already, but Scholastic will be rereleasing the first Harry Potter book in time for the 10th anniversary of its publication.  They’re doing a new cover too (which you can examine closely on the Scholastic site).  My husband’s response to the new jacket?  "It looks kinda girly. Not like an action book."  I like it myself.  My favorite covers tend to highlight scenes that other people wouldn’t think to illustrate (though I remain firmly baffled by Britain’s scene selection for the Deathly Hallows jacket).

  • Retouched children’s literary covers are nothing new.  And when I saw this picture book turned into My First Rave (love that shirtless kid), I wasn’t particularly surprised. What is a little unusual, however, is that somebody somewhere took the time to also stick a faux Newbery Medal on the book’s cover.  Granted, it should have been a Caldecott, but I find it fascinating that somebody somewhere took the time to remember that there is a book award out there for children’s literature, found it, Photoshopped it, and stuck it front and center.  And no, rest assured that whatever this book originally was, it did not actually win this award.  Passing strange.  Thanks to Ellen Greene for the link.

There was a nice article on Brenda Bowen and the comics in her Bowen Press in Publishers Weekly recently.  What I loved though was the accompanying picture.  Aw. How cute is this picture of a cartoonified Brenda Bowen by J.P. Coovert?

  • Cynopsis Kids has been collecting its usual movie and television news.  Check out these two news items, via their site:

MGM has purchased the feature film rights to author Jason Carter Eaton’s kid’s book The Facttracker (HarperCollins), which the studio intends to produce as a live-action movie.  David Silverman (Monsters Inc., The Simpsons Movie) is set to direct the picture from a screenplay by Carter Eaton and his writing partner Ian Lendler.  Shawn Levy’s (director, Night at the Museum) and his 21 Laps Entertainment and Marc Platt (Legally Blond franchise producer) and his Marc Platt Productions will co-produce The Facttracker, along with 21 Lap’s Tom McNulty and Platt’s Adam Siegel. 

Corus Entertainment is developing its book series Scaredy Squirrel , by author/illustrator Melanie Watt , into a multi-platform property.  Combining the efforts of Corus’ Kids Can Press , Nelvana Studios and Nelvana Enterprises the plan includes: publishing additional books titles, the fourth title is set for spring 2009; Nelvana Studios will develop and produce an animated TV series (26 episodes) and animated shorts for on-air, online and mobile distribution, the latter beginning production this summer; and an international licensing and merchandising program.  Nelvana Enterprises will be responsible for worldwide broadcast and distribution sales as well as the international merchandising and licensing program for the property.

  • Though its website is always late with news of this sort, I just learned on the child_lit listserv that the newest Phoenix Award has just been given out.  The Phoenix Award (one of my favorites) is given out yearly by the Children’s Literature Association.  As they describe it on their site, "The award, given to a book originally published in the English language, is intended to recognize books of high literary merit. The Phoenix Award is named after the fabled bird who rose from its ashes with renewed life and beauty. Phoenix books also rise from the ashes of neglect and obscurity and once again touch the imaginations and enrich the lives of those who read them."  So basically its for great children’s books that didn’t win a lot of big awards and might otherwise lapse into obscurity.  For a while there I was reading all the Phoenix Awards I could find.  I enjoyed Mollie Hunter’s A Sound of Chariots, Jane Gardam’s A Long Way from Verona, and Peter Dickinson’s The Seventh Raven.  This year Dickinson has won himself another Phoenix with the far better known Eva.  Such a great book.  I’m every which way pleased.

  • Daily Image:

This Memorial Day Week-end my husband and I took a trip to IKEA to get another bookcase (bringing our total to an ungodly, un-New York seven).  Had I seen this little item waiting for me, however, I might have been inclined to take it home instead:

Thanks to Boing Boing 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. In re: rejacketification of Our Harry. I’m with your husband. pfffffffffffft. Mirror, schmirror. The whole point of HP #1 is, if you cast your mind back (remember that odd German cover?) that he can FLY!

  2. Fuse #8 says:

    Hmm. You may have a point, mom.

  3. Andrea Beaty says:

    Phew! I thought you meant that they were ditching Mary GrandPre for the new covers. That would have been just plain sad. These are fun. Just a tiny morsel more of Harry Potterness to nosh upon.

    I also must say that the cover to Deathly Hallows did not make sense to me. In my mind, the final conflict didn’t take place in an arena-like place. Maybe I should re-read it.

  4. Fuse, where will all the books go? The librarians? You? (Did you cover this already and did I miss it?)


  5. Fuse #8 says:

    Ah. I have that information but I’m planning on having a great big beautiful post for when the time comes. Rest assured in the meantime that everyone and everything will have a good home soon.

  6. JeanneBirdsall says:

    Oh, Betsy, YES to Jane Gardam. (And, yes, I stole her name for my book). Have you read Bilgewater? One of my favorites of hers.

  7. Fuse #8 says:

    No, I’d never heard of her before her book won the Phoenix. Jane is named after Ms. Gardam? I had no idea. I should probably seek out her other works then, yes?

  8. JeanneBirdsall says:

    No, sorry to be oblique and assume everyone knows everything about my books. Jane is named after Jane Austen. Gardam Street, where the Pens live, is named after Jane Gardam. And, oh yes, you should seek out her other books. You have a long and splendid feast ahead of you.

  9. klonghall says:

    So cool, comments from Jeanne Birdsall! My 11 year-old son LOVES the Penderwicks. (I was honestly a little surprised, because I thought it would appeal more to girls. What do I know?) His rock star of a 5th grade teacher read the first one to their class this past year. I think he loved everything she read to them. She was one of THOSE kinds of teachers. (I miss her already. Our last day of school was last week.)

    I have the second ready to come with us to the beach next week. I find The Penderwicks so refreshing, after so many middle-grade fiction books full of heavy subjects.

    This blog is the hottest place for both readers and writers alike, I guess. You are a bit of a “rock star” in the children’s lit world, yourself, Ms. Betsy. (That’s what the kids would call you down here in the south!)

  10. Fuse #8 says:

    Aw. Thanks. But I’m less rock star and more like that groupie that gets up at 4 a.m. to stand in line at a stage door with a half a cup of cold coffee and a glazed half-crazy look in her eyes.