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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Today’s New Favorite Word is "Chronophage"

  • Today, if you happen to be in New York (too many of my dang posts begin this way) you can be a part of the Harry Potter Cover to Cover readathon.  Actually, depending on when you are reading this, you’ve probably already missed the kick-off.  It’s at 8 a.m. and the live webcast of the reading (in which readers go through ALL the Harry Potter books one by one) can be found here.  And if you attend in person then you can also get "a FREE Harry Potter Cover to Cover Day commemorative souvenir, and the first 100 readers will receive a free copy of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone special anniversary edition complete with new illustrations by Mary GrandPré."  Thanks to On Our Minds @ Scholastic for the link.

  • Is the British spelling for sexualized "sexualised"?  Really?  See, you learn something new every day.  The Guardian wrote up an article on how Scholastic (making news once again) has stopped selling Bratz products in their catalogs. Awesome. Of course the movie was another matter altogether (go here for a thorough analysis and here for the anti-Bratz picture book).  Thanks to Bookninja for the link.

  • From Beth Vetare Civitello came this interesting piece of news:

"I’m writing to let you know about an event that your readers may love to hear about. It’s called Celebrate Children’s Book Day, it’s on Sunday September 28th and takes place at Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s Historic Home. We have 67 children’s authors/illustrators attending and it is our 11th year. I am one of the co-producers, along with Susan Brandes and you can get more info at, click on Sunnyside and then Celebrate Children’s Book Day. I can be reached at 914-494-6992 if you’d like any further information."

Wow.  It really is an impressive line-up too.  If it weren’t for the fact that the Kidlitosphere Blogger Conference is this weekend, I’d be sorely tempted to go.

  • Movie news time.  Here are two surprising announcements from Cynopsis Kids (one more so than the other):

"Looks like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s three-movie 3D animated adaptation of Tintin is not going to happen, at least not at Universal Studios , which reportedly backed out of financing the project when the budget ca-chinged in at $130 million, per the Los Angeles Times."

And also:

"Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures’ 3D animated feature film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs gets a voice cast including Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, and Tracy Morgan. The movie is set for release on January 15, 2010. Written and directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, with am Marsden producing, the movie is based on the kid’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin) written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett."

Because life is too short not to watch another Bill Hader film, I always say.

  • My husband and I went out to see the newest Coen Brothers’ film Burn After Reading the other day.  It’s a great dark comedy that reminds you that it’s by the Coens about halfway through.  I was a fan.  Now part of the plot involves a highly successful children’s author who is married to George Clooney.  Those of us interested in children’s literature are bound to get a hoot out of this because the picture books are this bizarre mix of Olivia, Eloise, and Heathcliff.  Called the "Oliver" books, there are at least four books that you can spot in the course of the film with titles like Oliver Takes a Stand and the like.  I have searched in vain to find a listing of these titles so I guess I’ll just have to watch the film again.  But if any of you go see it, could you do me a favor and take a moment to jot down the titles?  One is mentioned at a cocktail party, one or two are written on the sides of boxes, and one is read aloud on a morning program.  The illustrator, I should point out, is never mentioned.

  • I come to some things late, but if you know someone who will be in New York this fall and is looking for an internship with Scholastic, editor Cheryl Klein posted a notice of how they are looking for such potential gophers.  She posted it on September 2nd, but maybe you missed it too.  More information can be found at the bottom of the Scholastic page here.

  • Daily Image:

Let’s see here.  I’ve been wandering around the old apartment and it just feels like something’s missing.  There’s that wall facing my bed, and right now we’ve got some framed Rockwell prints, but they’re just not doing it for me.  You know what I could really go for?  A clock?  Yes, a nice little clock to tick away the hours and minutes and lull me gently to sleep.  That would be ideal.  Which is exactly why this clock is not going to be the one I purchase next (even though I want it more than air):

Apparently Stephen Hawkins introduced this puppy at Cambridge not long ago.  It’s a "time eater" (authors, put DOWN those pencils and leave that cool sounding title alone).  The explanation reads, "The grasshopper or ‘chronophage’, meaning ‘time eater’, advances around the 4ft-wide face, each step marking a second.  Its movement triggers blue flashing lights which travel across the face eventually stopping at the correct hour and minute. But the clock is only accurate once every five minutes – the rest of the time the lights are simply for decoration . . . Dr Taylor told the Daily Mail newspaper he decided ‘to turn the clock inside out… so you can see the seconds being eaten up’. ‘Conventional clocks with hands are boring,’ he said. ‘I wanted to make timekeeping interesting. I also wanted to depict that time is a destroyer – once a minute is gone you can’t get it back’."  Okay, sweetie.  But it’s not much of a clock if it’s only accurate once every five minutes, now is it? *quickly runs to dictionary to look up actual definition of the term "clock"*. Thanks to author Marie Rutkoski 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. ‘Burn After Reading’ was filmed on my block last summer. I was so busy doing REAL children’s book work that I had no time to go outside to see Clooney or Pitt. Unless they offered to buy me a drink or dinner or were getting me a contract for another book to paint, was not interested. However, they filmed near my neighborhood hair salon too. My friends took photos and Clooney used their bathroom. I told them not to flush.

  2. Aieee. And here I am reading Pratchett’s Thief of Time, all about eating seconds and stretching seconds and freezing seconds. Is Hawking sure we couldn’t do a little Heimlich on the chronophage and get him to cough up a little time-hairball?

  3. Could you do me a favor and send me the names of a couple of the best children’s literature blogs? You can email me at Thanks N

  4. While I am in love with Bill Hader (and Andy Samberg? Awesome) what needs to really be mentioned is the MR T connection. I pity the fool who goes to grocery stores?

  5. Regarding the best children’s literary blogs, there’s a nice tiny sampling on my blogroll to the right of your screen. It’s not complete (I have a character limit) but it’s a good place to start.