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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: We Thought He Was a Goner, but the Cat Came Back

A fair amount of my friends here in New York own rescued feral kitties.  Some may have even have gotten their pets from the Anjellicle Cats Rescue in New York City (your call; a T.S. Eliot-inspired name or no?).  Now that shelter has inspired the ‘Art for Cats’ Online Auction, where a multitude of hip and happening artists have contributed their work, so as to benefit the kits.  "With the first $2,500 raised, the organization plans to build a separate room for two kittens with feline leukemia who must be kept separate from other cats. So far, 40 artists have donated works."  Artists that have made picture books in the past and who have contributed include Brian Floca, George Booth, Roz Chast, Calef Brown, Robert Neubecker, Barbara Ensor, and more.  Check out the full auction here and look quickly!  Bidding ends in a day!  For the record, the cat featured here is an original pen-and-ink and watercolor illustration from Floca’s Siebert Honor winning book Lightship.  But, y’know.  If you’re totally into kittens getting leukemia I’m sure they’ll understand . . .

  • Roger Sutton gives ample props to one of my favorite ghost stories as a child, Wait Till Helen Comes.  Along the way he also speculates about children’s books where the kids confront their own fear of death.  Such talk reminds me once again of that remarkable little picture book Garmann’s Summer, and how gutsy it was to end the tale with a child still scared of something (albeit school, but you get my drift). 

  • A Snapshot Look Into How I Find New Links: First I lament the lack of Frances Hardinge’s Gullstruck Island here in the States.  Then Molly from HC tells me it is coming out here under the name The Lost Conspiracy.  Brief debate occurs in my comments over whether or not this name is an improvement.  Then Leila blogs about it. And in her comment section a "Brian" of sorts says that there was a podcast interview with Ms. Hardinge herself on the Harper Collins site.  Hat and all, right next to the Lemony Snicket one.  And that, my children, is how a tiny blog post gets born.

  • I like to keep a keen eye on children’s books that have been turned or will be turned into movies.  Nothing compares to the Collecting Children’s Book list of Newbery winners turned cinematic, (amongst other delicacies) however.  A few of these films I have seen.  I remember liking Caddie Woodlawn, though it sort of threw me off that the preacher was played by the dad from Mork and Mindy.  At least that’s how I remember it.  It mean, it’s such a random memory that it has to be true, right?  Peter’s finest discovery, however, is bound to be The Story of Mankind.  As he says, "1922 THE STORY OF MANKIND by Hendrik Willem van Loon was made into a 1957 blockbuster starring Ronald Colman, Hedy Lamarr, Vincent Price, the young Dennis Hopper and…the Marx Brothers? The advertising slogan was ‘No Greater Cast Ever! Rarely So Vast An Undertaking!’ Surely any movie in which Harpo Marx played Isaac Newton was destined to flop."  Vincent Price, Dennis Hopper AND the Marx Brothers?  Sweetheart, you’ve just described my own perfect movie.  In contrast, the fact that they’re turning The Secret Life of a Lonely Doll (the Dare Wright bio) into a film gives me the heebies (to say nothing of the jeebies).

  • Cool. Kids Lit just announced and posted the winners of the 2009 Red House Children’s Book Awards.  It’s the only national book award in the UK that is decided by kids.  No surprises seeing Beware of the Frog included.  That one has a rather Monty Pythonish sense of humor as it is.

  • I should probably read this Nathan Bransford literary agent character on a regular basis, shouldn’t I?  *sigh*  So much to read.  I moan this to myself because he recently posted a rather clever breakdown of where the dollars paid for your average $24.95 hardcover ends up.  Basically if the author has 10% retail royalty (big ole "if") then it works out to $2.12 per book.  He tackles paperbacks as well.  Mesmerizing, in a strange horrible way.  A big thank you to Wagging Tales for the link.

  • Editorial Anonymous is currently investing in a series that is mighty useful called Definitions for the Perplexed.  Topics covered (as of this post) thus far include the terms cast-off, galleys, ARCs, proofs, PPB, ISBNs, F&Gs, Advances, and CMYK.  If there are any professors of Intro to Children’s Literature classes out there, I highly suggest, nay demand, that you print out each and every one of these posts and distribute them to your students.  This is invaluable information that any newbie (or person who has been faking it for years *cough*) needs to know.

  • Daily Image:

I don’t mean to sound petty about this but there are some people in this world who have too much BLOODY TALENT!  And no.  For once I am not talking about Kadir Nelson.  No, I’m talking about Alison Morris.  A woman who single-handedly ups the bar for all us media-related bloggers.  Sure, I write posts on my blog every day.  So what does she do?  Just look:


Suffice it to say, your eyes do not deceive you. That’s a Harold and the Purple Crayon birdhouse and a Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus birdhouse. Go over to her site and see all the clever details (note the purple crayon perch). Yet another use for F&Gs.  Doggone creative, brilliant people.

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. Brian Floca says:

    I thank you, Fuse! And in their own special way (clawing? hissing?) I know the cats thank you, too.

  2. I see what you mean about weird things happening with your comment function. My comment, yesterday, in this area was I was sure the cats were Purring about this. -wendieOld