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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Missing the Mayor and Me

Yesterday was an odd day.  First I had an anxiety dream about this Saturday’s Children’s Literature Cafe.  I dreamed that my panel had blossomed from four to eight people, I wasn’t able to get water for ANY of them, and I didn’t even have their nametags on the table.  Then I come into work only to discover that the mayor had been in my children’s room 20 minutes before I got in.  So between missing Mayor Bloomberg (who is apparently something like 5’2" tall) and reeling from my odd nightmares I found this next bit of news particularly surreal:

  • James Franco, who did that amusing Pineapple Express bit during the Oscars and who seriously impressed me in Milk not too long ago AND who seriously bugged me in the Spiderman movies (but that was more the character than his acting) is the . . . is the son . . . I’m sorry but this is hard for me to believe.  Is the son of Betsy Franco.  Betsy Franco, who has produced a book that I reviewed just today.  Which is a coincidence, I swear.  Though, hey, if Mr. Franco wants to come by my library and talk about how cool his mom is … yeah, that’s okay too.  But why has no one ever told me this before?!  Galleycat, I kiss your tiny feet.  This comes close to trumping the Paula Fox/Courtney Love connection.  Almost.

  • Once upon a time the Central Children’s Room was located in the Donnell Library of the New York Public Library.  Then through a series of wacky hijinks and comedic misunderstandings (I’m trying to make this situation sound like an Oscar Wilde play as that is the life I would prefer to lead) the Donnell was "sold" and we relocated to the Humanities and Social Sciences Library.  Step up in the world for my collection and me.  Step down in the world for the Donnell.  Seems that the selling of the building hasn’t been quite as smooth as NYPL had hoped it would be.  Which is to say, the buyer is reneging.  What will happen next?  Stay tuned, faithful readers!  Because obviously I haven’t a clue.

  • "If a character does something gross it’s worse (in terms of reader response) than if a character does something horrific."  Huh.  The unforgiveable sin when trying to make a character sympathetic?  Nose-picking.  Holly Black says it’s her "crazy writing theory."  Doesn’t sound so crazy to me.  Sounds just about right (though I liked Gwenda Bond saying, "John Green, you need to write the lovable nosepicker, just to be the exception that proves the rule.")  Thanks to Shaken & Stirred for the link.

  • Bob Staake tells all.  In a bout of honesty, Bob declares the ugly truth behind picture book creation. "No matter HOW many times I’ve done it, no matter how MANY of them I have published, no matter HOW I repeatedly try to convince my brain that page 1 really starts on page 6, I often begin a picture book all wrong."  The Picture Book Dummy: Made Easy explains how that can be.  He even provides a helpful template for maximum user-friendliness.  Good stuff.

  • And heck, while we’re on the subject of educating/comforting our author/illustrators, agent Nathan Bransford proffers unto ye unwashed masses the obligatory Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer.  I like #6 in particularly.  I like to think that he’s talking about me.  Evidence would suggest not so much.  Thanks to Molly O’Neill for the link.

  • Daily Image:

Could be Ariel trapped in that tree.  Could be someone from Barkbelly becoming a tree.

Nope, it’s just everyone’s favorite serial liar, Pinocchio.  That’s just a great cover on the NYRB edition, in stores now.  And over at Educating Alice, Monica has located an interesting NPR essay on the book.  Thanks to Monica 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. On the subject of mothers of the great and good, Sam Mendes’ mother Valerie is a childrens book author and editor.

  2. I saw Mayor Bloomberg on the Jimmy Fallon show this week and I thought Jimmy must be standing on a stool. Good to know the mayor is just that short!