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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Populism for Fun and Profit

Publishers Weekly announces that the lucky film company to get the rights to The Hunger Games was none other than Lionsgate.  Lionsgate, according to my husband, is best known for creating the Saw movies.  Then, more recently, they were responsible for the television show Mad Men.  So… huh.  They have range.  It makes me wonder about the process of selling film rights.  Since the book was so good, did Collins’ agent make sure to hold off on selling the rights until it sold like mad?  Was this a calculated, if risky, move on the part of Collins herself?  I only ask since I cannot help but notice that she’s being allowed to adapt her own book.  To call that rare would be putting it mildly.  I’m sure Ms. Rowling was offered the same chance, but she had future Harry Potter books to write.  For all we know Hunger Games 3 is already in the can and Ms. Collins has time for screenwriting.  Mind you, that’s just speculation on my part.  Thanks to PW Daily for the link.

  • Reports of the newest Harry Potter film’s suckiness have been greatly exaggerated.  Or at the very least, the report that initially alluded to an audience screening is highly suspect.  The Leaky Cauldron reports that a recent Sun article about fan reactions to a "secret screening" are mighty suspect.  Where this gets confusing is that I saw an article in The Telegraph that said pretty much the same thing, but quoted a screening in America.  This Sun article is news to me and, what’s more, I can’t seem to locate it.  At any rate, I suppose the jury is still out on how the newest film fares, though I remain mighty skeptical.  Thanks to Cheryl Klein for the link.

  • Well that just made me laugh for a really long time.  Oh, picture books.  You continue to disappoint/never disappoint.

  • The end of March approacheth slowly and I still need your top ten picture books of all time.  If you’ve been reluctant until now, don’t be.  I promise not to judge.  And I’ve been getting some mighty interesting suggestions over the last few days.  So even if you feel that no one else will be voting for your favorite, don’t be so sure.  I’ve been continually surprised by some of the votes I’ve been getting and I bet you would be too.  To whet your whistle, here’s a lovely list compiled by A Totally Random Romp.  I look forward to your own.

  • There’s a great piece up at the Almost Librarian about finding just the right book for your youngsters, depending on their age.  Eeny, Meeny, Miney, May, What Book Do I Read Today? covers everything from board books and spreadsheets to suggestions and reading lists.  Mighty impressive.  Mighty fine.  Great for the up-and-coming children’s librarian.

  • Reports show that author Laini Taylor’s newest project is coming along swimmingly.  Keep up the good work, Laini!

  • I’m going to call this "workplace appropriate" though I’m only doing so in the strictest sense of the term.  I will not go so far as to call it "sanity appropriate" or "cohesive mind appropriate" because I cannot vouch for that.  For those of you wondering if H.R. Pufinstuf was the last of the truly psychedelic child-friendly entertainment out there, the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes website (yes, you read that right) is about to prove you wrong.  Hoo, mama.  Who’s idea was that?

  • SLJ has a fun piece up looking at all the recent reissued covers of Judy Blume’s books (the images were there earlier today and I don’t see them now, so I shall assume that it’s my computer’s fault and not that of the site).  I’m also going to assume that the name of the game here was "make ’em look like teen fare so that the tweens grab ’em like hotcakes."  Not a bad plan.  Of course you have nowhere to go but up when your predecessors include this post-apocalyptic hellscape of Tiger Eyes :

I guess that Forever isn’t included in this collection since it recently had a new reissue of its own.  I only mention this because it gives me a chance to link to Forever‘s hilarious German cover once again.  Tee hee. Thanks to SLJ Extra Helping for the link.

  • Chicken Spaghetti   provides a nice little ode to the children’s rooms of libraries everywhere that is rather nice to read.

  • My high school was not, how one might say, the best in the biz.  But it was serviceable.  I think I got a pretty good education there.  The only real gaping hole, as I see it, was in my understanding of history.  World history was completely skipped over.  American History fared better, but we fell into the usual traps.  Almost every year the summer would arrive and here would be our history teachers suddenly rushing through WWII and trying to cram in Korea and Vietnam.  Insofar as we knew, nothing happened between Vietnam and the late 90s, according to our teachers.  Our textbooks also covered the basics, and one in particular that I remember went into a long and lengthy explanation of how The Wizard of Oz was this big old metaphor for the free coinage of silver.  You’ve heard this theory before, I trust?  The yellow bring road = the gold standard.  The scarecrow = brainless farmers.  The cowardly lion = William Jennings Bryan.  Hey, I’m not making this stuff up!  In any case, Oz and Ends has a nice piece up about the populism angle, as he puts it.  He also takes the time to link to a recent BBC article on the same topic.

  • Some of us gave up chocolate for Lent.  So why is Pinot and Prose attempting to destroy me?

  • Jobs I Am Glad I Do Not Have: Whosoever it is that decides who gets to be the winner of the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Children’s Book Contest.  This is the one where you send in your children’s story and if Simon & Schuster likes it they print it and it ends up in Cheerios boxes all around the country.  Fun.  If you’re an unpublished picture book author, it might be a lark.  Thanks to Galleycat for the link.

  • Daily Image:

Full credit where credit is due on this one.  100 Scope Notes is very good at keeping a close eye on children’s book to movie releases.  This discovery of the Where the Wild Things Are poster is evidence enough of that.


Kudos to you, 100 Scope Notes.

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. …okay, I had to go on Amazon EU to see WHAT is up with that cover.

    …it doesn’t look any better larger…

  2. 123oleary says:

    Darn, you already found the poster too – I saw it one of the British papers this morning.

  3. janeyolen says:

    Where is Ego’s hand today?/Come out, come out, it’s time to play.

    Sorry about the rhyme. Could. Not. Stop. Myself.

    And the book has five stars on Amazon from a friend’s review. Clearly I am not doing this publishing gig the right way. Sigh.

  4. Gwenda Bond says:

    One of my favorite John Kessel stories is The Baum Plan for Financial Independence, which plays with that side of Oz theory. I think it’s still online free linked from the Small Beer site for the collection of the same name.


    20 minutes later and I come out of the Corn Pops web-land. That was the awesomeist, freakiest, weirdest site I’ve seen. Thanks for putting it up. Now I’m going to have Penguin and Yeti running through my brain all day.


    Heh, I can do you one better on the world history…I took a world history class in college. Our professor was deeply enamoured of the Roman’s military tactics and we spent weeks discussing formations, the exact meaning of a cohort, and many other related things which I memorized for the test and then forgot.

    Then we covered the Renaissance through the twentieth century in the last three weeks of class.

  7. That “Where the Wild Things Are” poster hit waaaay too close to home – I swear my daughter makes that face too. Which seems to trigger some sort of Pavlovian response in me to reach for a glass of wine…

  8. Miriam Newman says:

    Hey, Cheerios and Simon & Shuster aren’t the only ones with a contest for previously unpublished authors and illustrators! We just posted this year’s guidelines for the Lee & Low Books New Voices Award. Check it out:

    Miriam Newman
    Lee & Low Books

  9. I’m going to submit to your list, but I can’t get myself down to a mere 10. I’ve invited both my readers to help me at my blog,