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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Say My Name, Say My Name

A sad farewell to Mimi Kayden at Harper Collins who has worked at everything from Harper & Row to Dutton to Penguin, as well as a consultant for North-South Books. Mimi has always been good to this little blogger, and I shall miss her egg timer sorely. 

Warner Bros. and production companies The Kennedy/Marshall Co. and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way are looking into remake The NeverEnding Story , according to THR .  Though in the early stages of consideration, a remake would give the movie a modern twist.  Based on the German book by Michael Ende, the original 1984 movie adaptation of The NeverEnding Story was directed by Wolfgang Petersen and was followed by a sequel in 1990, which was directed by George Miller, and a third movie in 1996.

. . . . which was apparently directed by no one at all.  Sorry to step on the toes of the NES purists out there, but this news isn’t exactly making my eyes water.  The first NES was… lacking.  Tawdry puppets and dull child actors, Road to Oz it was not.  I do wonder if this will stick closer to the book than the first film as well.  And if they’ll rerelease the book with a new sparkly cover! Who has the rights right now . . . Dutton did in ’97.  Fair play to Penguin then.

  • Oh, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt .  How I got through Preschool Storytimes without you I’ll never know.  Amusingly enough the book by Michael Rosen is being turned into a staged production in London’s West End.  Keen.  Unlike other picture books there’s a definite story going on there.  I will now cross my fingers and pray that Hollywood doesn’t try to adapt it in turn, adding sibling rivalry and the bear’s backstory in its wake.  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.

  • Booklist recently released its Top Ten Graphic Novels for Youth: 2009 list, then proceeded to immediately raise my heckles by saying, "While last year’s Top 10 list didn’t have a single title recommended for readers under grade six, this year’s list demonstrates the growing body of work available for emerging readers."  Really?  Last year’s list didn’t have anything for the under sixth grade crowd?  No Sticky Burr, Mouse Guard, Tiny Tyrant, Owly, or Babymouse?  Not exactly heartening to hear that, guys.

  • Contest Alert.  By and large contests tend to bore me, but author/illustrator Ryan Wilson has one going on that’s intriguing.  He links to several sites that have been displaying those gorgeous old-timey (read: 70s) reimaginings of contemporary films and books, and then says "Send me a link to your favorite old school book cover of a style that is not seen in today’s publishing world. Feel free to use the excellent Cover Browser I mentioned a couple of days ago to locate the perfect cover."  The prize for sending in the best? "The hardcover editions of both SwampThing and Watchmen". Oo!  Cool beans.  Check out his site for more information.

  • From former co-worker Warrent Truitt comes a nice little piece about book/music combos.  It’s not too long either, so be sure to take a moment out of your day to give it a looksee.

  • In Britain the Leeds Read 2009 site has a section devoted to allowing you to vote on your favourite (love the spelling) character from literature.  Knowing nothing about it except for the name, I am tempted to vote for Tombermory Womble from The Wombles.  A good name is worth it’s weight in gold, to my mind.  Thanks to Educating Alice for the link.

  • Over in Ohio, "House Bill 31 — which Combs introduced this week for the third time (he pushed the matter in 2007 and 2006, too) — would officially recognize Robert McCloskey as the state children’s author and his book Lentil as the state children’s book." Woah.  State children’s books.  Now there’s an idea.  But how do you decide?  Do you determine whether the author lived there, whether the story is set there, or whether the illustrator resided there at the time of publication?  Or do you skip all of that and find books that have a distinct flavor the region that no one can contend?  With that definition in mind I hereby nominate Bubba and Beau by Kathi Appelt as the Texan picture book of the state.  Ooo!  And Imogene’s Antlers as Michigan’s!  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.

  • Daily Image:

Ain’t it pretty?

Artist Eric Orchard visited my library not long ago. And I should note that when he says of my workplace, "The building seemed to have Escher-like staircases that would drop me off at arbitrary locations," he isn’t exaggerating.  Half the time I’m here I expect to see fellow staff members walking alongside the walls.

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. Anne (sotomorrow) says:

    Michigan already has an official children’s book:
    The Legend of Sleeping Bear
    by Kathy-jo Wargin and Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
    Sleeping Bear Press, 1998

  2. What I’d really love is a Petosky stone book. Any takers?

  3. Our state children’s book is about two dead babies and a mourning mother? I demand a recount. Gimmee the girl with the antlers.

  4. All the best to Mimi Kayden, we worked together at Dutton.

    I’m not able to get to your swinging soiree in Brooklyn this evening, Betsy :(

  5. Who named The Legend of Sleeping Bear as our state book? Sleeping Bear Press?

  6. Kathi Appelt says:

    I am smiling!