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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: "What about Ray Bradbury?" "I’m familiar with his work."

  • Jen Robinson pointed me to a smart piece by The Happy Nappy Bookseller discussing race as it pertains to the one and only black character in the Percy Jackson series.  Jen also linked to Biblio File’s point about Asian American characters as they are presented on the audiobook.  Says she, "There is no reason that Mrs. Chase should have a really, really thick generically-East Asian accent. NONE."  Okay.  So that’s a point against Listening Library who should have caught this early on.  Seriously, guys.  This is fairly basic stuff.  Many many thanks to Jen Robinson’s Book Page for finding these two pieces.

  • My sense of humor was pleased indeed when I found out that the blog Crooked House got 10,000 hits the other day when that Jon and Kate show featured the custom playhouse company Crooked Houses.  Now all I need to do is have Jon and Kate get interested in the Fuse8 web design firm of London and my fortune will be made.  Or better yet, I’ll pose in a picture with Jon Scieszka and Kate DiCamillo and the caption can read, "Jon and Kate plus Fuse 8".  Oh, it could happen.

  • Booking Through Thursday asked what the most "Summery" book you can name is.  And though I don’t usually go in for these kinds of questions, it got me to thinking.  I suppose I’d have to say Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.  That book is distilled summer in a glass for me.  Nothing evokes it better.

Author Julie Ann Peters (otherwise known in-house as my boss’s sister) has been hit upside the head with the Brand New Jacket Stick.  Revenge of the Snob Squad and friends have finally lost those outdated 90s covers once and for all.  Boy, wouldn’t it be great if there was a blog out there dedicated to new covers of children’s books?  When I figure out how to split my personality into multiple parts, I’ll assign Bird #3 that job.  Many thanks to Finding Wonderland for the news.

As the walls of society start to crumble, the library fines start getting enforced.  Seattle is just the first in a long line to go. says that, "The Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to impose overdue fines on previously exempt children’s books and English-as-a-second-language materials, charge a $5 fee for interlibrary loans and limit the number of materials a user can check out and place holds on."  $5 interlibrary loans?  Ouch!!  Thanks to LISNews for the link.

  • Daily Image:

Speaking of covers, how is it that in America the book Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur consists of gorgeous lush colors against a backdrop so natural you can almost smell the wet wood, while the Brit cover . . . well compare and contrast for yourself:



The by-line isn’t doing them any favors either.  It really is a compelling read, but you wouldn’t know it from that Lifetime Movie Channel-esque blurb.

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. What do you think of putting new covers on old books? I used to hate it when I was a kid . . . it seemed to me like a cheat (pretending a book was contemporary when it wasn’t) and the inside illustrations never matched the cover, which messed with my reality. Grownups forget that for kid readers, the illustrations ARE the characters.

  2. your neighborhood librarian says:

    RE: Percy Jackson audio, my god don’t get me started. The camper Ethan has a Chinese last name but, come on, his name is ETHAN. And Jesse Berns gives him an East Asian accent too. Also, his pronunciation is terrible. Kronos is “Crow-nos” and ichor is “icker”. Now when my kids talk about the Greek gods they sound like they’re from Queens.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Some books really need new covers – especially ones that originally had photographs and a few years later, hello! nobody is wearing ponytails-to-the-side anymore! Some covers, like Trina Schart Hyman’s for Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest quartet, should be LEFT ALONE.

  4. J. L. Bell says:

    As a kid I also disliked seeing new covers on books, even if the “old” cover I knew had replaced an earlier cover or two or three.

  5. Jen Robinson says:

    “Jon and Kate plus Fuse 8″ made me laugh out loud. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  6. We were just talking about Trina Schart Hyman’s perfect Bagthorpe covers which should also have been LEFT ALONE!

    Speaking of which: The Bagthorpes are geat summer books. The first three all take place in the same summer. Then Book 5 and Book 6 are the following summer.
    Perfect summer moment: Eating stew on the lawn during a short break in the Great Daisy Chain World Record Attempt.

  7. Both Jon Scieszka and Kate DiCamillo will be attending the Decatur Book Festival Labor Day Weekend come on down to Atlanta and make that dream a reality!

  8. Thanks for the link. Frank Morrison stopped by the bookstore I work at in Atlanta. He said he was invited to the Decatur Book festival. I told him he should go, it gets bigger and better every year.

  9. your representative librarian says:

    InterLibrary Loans across state lines have always cost $5, and often much more. — libraries have simply eaten the cost as a service to customers. No longer. I think most libraries nowadays are planning to put that charge onto the customer. (After all, it’s the customer who, on one hand, wants to use the free library more and, on the other hand, voted to cut the library budget.)

  10. Dandelion Wine is the BEST summer book ever! I told the part about the new sneakers for my storytelling class in library school. I also think The Penderwicks is a brilliant summer read.

  11. Jacqueline Kelly says:

    Why do British publications consistently have such awful covers? This really struck me a few years ago when I was wandering through a bookstore in London. Many of the American titles had completely new covers for the Brit market, and it was as if they’d gone out of their way to make them unattractive. Wouldn’t want to sell too many books now, would we . . . .

  12. Charlotte says:

    There is in fact a blog dedicated to childrens and YA Book covers (mostly new books), jacketwhys dot wordpress dot com

  13. Charlotte says:

    Ah, I see now that you probably meant new covers as in replacement covers…not “new covers” as in what Jacket Whys covers….

    What I loathe are the new(er) covers for Noel Streatfeild’s Shoes books.

  14. Genevieve says:

    Yes to The Penderwicks as a terrific summer read – and now I’ll have to go and read the Bagthorpe books.

  15. Genevieve says:

    Wow – my library only has the 5th and 6th Bagthorpe books – the rest are audio only. This does not seem right . . .