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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Then They Came for Rainbow Brite, and I Still Said Nothing

A very funny first post starts of the Battle of the (Kids’) Books and gets the ball rolling.  Plus the fancy dancy brackets are up and there’s more than one doozy in the mix.  Who will win?  Will Jon Scieszka prefer The Graveyard Book or The Trouble Begins at 8 (I honestly have no idea)?  Will Tamora Pierce prefer Graceling (which she blurbed, I might point out) or will the sheer eloquence of The Underneath win her over?  It’s rough!  It’s tough!  And you can bet I’m going to get an office pool going on my end.  I’ll print my predictions soon enough, though I’m sure to be wrong.  It all begins the week of April 13th so make your picks now.  Thanks to Educating Alice for the info.

Meeting childhood idols.  Author Lisa Yee recently had the chance to meet one of her favorite writers as a child, one Mary Calhoun.   It got me to thinking about my own childhood idols.  If I could meet one of my favorites authors as a kid, who would it be?  Steven Kellogg (not dead).  Tasha Tudor (dead).  Margaret Mahy (not dead).  Willo Davis Roberts (dead).  Michael Hague (not dead).  Carolyn Keene (not dead, but not alive either).  I mostly spend my time meeting other people’s idols, like Lisa Yee.  And that’s okay too.  Thanks to Read Roger for the link.

  • I don’t usually report on library challenges.  I leave that to bookshelves of doom, AS IF (needs an update), etc.  But when I heard that a Spiderman comic was getting banned in Nebraska for sexy sexy content, I had to check it out.  Basically Mary Jane wears a bathing suit at one point while bending over, and a bunch of short skirts.  Compared to what the girls in the Archie comics were wearing when I was growing up, that tain’t nuthin’.  Thanks to Kate for the link.

  • Did you know that the Brits have an award for the worse book title of the year?  Yup. It’s called the Diagram Prize.  See, look here: "A heavyweight study of the future of soft cheese won Britain’s annual competition to find the year’s oddest book title on Friday. The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais, by Philip M. Parker won the Diagram Prize, awarded by trade magazine The Bookseller.  The runner-up was primate study Baboon Metaphysics, by Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth."  I disagree with awarding a previous prize to People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It, though.  That’s just brilliant.  Can we start this in the children’s literary sphere?  I know that Leila already found a contender.

  • All submissions to the Top 100 Picture Books Poll end tonight at midnight, duckies.  If you haven’t sent me your Top 10 picture books of all time, now’s the time to do so.  After all Abby (the) Librarian made her list.  Shouldn’t you?  I’ll be releasing the results tomorrow (#91-100), so get ready for some surprises. 

  • And you thought the designers of children’s books had it rough?  Tim Bush just sent me a fascinating link to Henry Sene Yee’s blog.  In this post , Mr. Yee shows us the process he went through to produce a cover for the book Columbine , including all his rejected first drafts.  The fine line between the artistic and the exploitative is taken into account.  Thanks to Tim Bush for the link, who in turn found it via the Slog, the blog of the Seattle paper The Stranger.  Which, come to think of it, may be the best blog name I’ve heard all month.

  • Events I Will Be Attempting to Sneak Into:  In this regular series, I attempt to covertly make it into benefits featuring children’s authors or illustrators that are taking place somewhere in my gigantic workplace.  The April event?  NYPL’s Spring Luncheon, which will be moderated by New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik, and will feature a great panel of speakers including Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman, renowned novelist Salman Rushdie, and award-winning author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg.  My plan?  Well, if I don’t eat then it’s fine to sneak in the back during the speeches, right?  You’d see how funny this is when you realize that the Celeste Bartos Forum is literally down the hall from my children’s room.  However, it also happens to fall on one of my free days.  Hrmpf.

  • There’s a website out there that my husband and I adore called Photoshop Disasters. Well there’s a potential bit of Photoshopping pointed out on Collecting Children’s Books, and it involves a Newbery winner and a mysteriously furry pelt.  Peter also asks at one point, "Is there any one topic that will prevent you from reading a novel? Or are you open to anything?"  I can answer that one: torture.  I can’t take torture.  I got through Graceling, but that was more because of the threat of torture rather than anything that happened on the page.  Don’t like it.  Don’t like to read about it.  Which explains why I will never watch Slumdog Millionaire.

  • Aack!  Zut!  Shoot!  How close did I come to missing this?  Like every other librarian in the world (notice I did not say every librarian but, rather, every other) I listen to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.  Which is based out of Chicago.  Which is where ALA is going to be.  Are you following me on this?  Because there are tickets TICKETS reserved JUST for librarians going on right now!  Tickets!  For me!  That I can buy!  And so can you, because I don’t want to go by myself.  It’s on Thursday, July 9th, but I think I can swing that.  And I believe that the show plays at 7:30 p.m. (though there’s nothing on the information sheet to indicate as such).  Tickets!  Oh, 100 Scope Notes, I cannot thank you enough.

  • Daily Image: 

First they came for Strawberry Shortcake, and I said nothing.  Then they came for My Little Pony . . . .
. . . . and I said "Dude, is that Cthulhu in My Little Pony form?  That’s friggin’ awesome."  Sorry I can’t actually display any of the images here, but follow the link and you’ll see a veritable plethora of twisted, corrupt ponies.  Thanks to Mom 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. Hey, thanks, Betsy!

  2. adrienne says:

    That may be your best entry title ever, Fuse. I saw it and had to read it IMMEDIATELY.

  3. Chrisin NY says:

    somehow your link to BOB goes to a not authorized page. I got in via Educating Alice but wanted you to know.

  4. Whoops! Thanks for the note. I just corrected it. Must’ve changed overnight or something.

  5. Adam Gopnik and Chris Van Allsburg in the same room?!?! I’m completely starry-eyed. How can you NOT sneak in? Think ninja! And then report back to us.

  6. Oh, I’ll be sneaky. I’ll be sly. And my plan is perfect. Flawless! Unless, of course, they read my blog . . . hrm.

  7. Michael Hague says:

    Speaking as one of the undead, I would be delighted to meet you!

  8. Squeee! I’d gush if you did, I’m afraid. I grew up with your illustrated versions of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, “The Wizard of Oz” (still the best illustrated version there is, in my book), and “The Wind in the Willows” (natch). So you’re sort of iconic to me.

  9. Adam Rex says:

    For what it’s worth, I checked out that book cover at Collecting Children’s Books, and I don’t think that girl was tampered with much. I think she was photographed wearing exactly what she’s wearing. Her head looks a little flat because heads aren’t round. Her nose is lighter because it’s catching light that’s high and slightly behind her (which is made apparent by the lighting on the taler figure’s face). I don’t even think her nose is cut off–I just think it’s too close to the color of the sky to see where it ends.
    I went there expecting to see some hilariously bad Photoshop, and found what I strongly suspect is a pretty unfair denunciation of the book’s designer. So I thought I ought to throw in my two cents.

  10. Thanks for the link, Betsy! I can’t wait to see what the top 100 picture books will be!