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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Rubber Ducky, They’re the One

  • I don’t want to jump the gun, but this may just be the best thing ever.  They’re creating a Bert and Ernie staged production for children with live guys.  The best part about this story is the fact that this show is being created by some of the folks behind the really remarkably lovely (warning: have exceeded adverb limit) A Year With Frog and Toad (which was nominated for three Tonys).  As a child I was always pro-Bert.  Bert was my man.  Ernie was good for a laugh, but in Bert, the world’s ultimate straight man, I found someone I could relate to.  It’s probably a good thing that this show (called Bert and Ernie: Goodnight!) is far away from me in Minneapolis.  A live action Bert is just too hot.  Thanks to Erin Tatge for the link.

  • This feels like more of a Collecting Children’s Books post than a Heavy Medal one.  Newbie contributor Jonathan Hunt makes an interesting supposition in Ghosts of Newberys Past.  Supposing that Newbery alumni have an edge on future awards, which of the books that have been written by them (both Honor and Award proper) have the best chances at winning?  Jonathan lists them all.  My vote goes to Engle and Woodson in the Honor category.  And reading the comments I also realized that in the future there will undoubtedly be a band somewhere called Book Bag Pocket Shoe.  At the very least, there will be a blog or a children’s bookstore.

  • The nice thing about the internet is how well one idea turns into another.  For example, when I decided to create the Top 100 Picture Books Poll, I only got the idea at the urging of my husband.  He, in turn, had seen it done on the site Comics Should Be Good about the top comic book runs.  Since I did it Semicolon came out with her Top 100 Hymns of All Time Poll.  Now Zooglobble is in on the act.  Zooglobble, should you be unfamiliar with it, is perhaps the top children’s music blog out there today.  And I’m not talking Raffi, or any of that wimpy stuff.  I mean folks like Caspar Babypants and Kesang Marstrand and the like.  Now Zooglobble has announced the Top Kids Albums of All Time poll.  Rank your top ten children’s music albums and send ’em on to Zooglobble for the ultimate in children’s tuneage.  I’ll be watching the results with baited pocketbook.

  • A launch has been made into the children’s literary e-world and everyone is watching to see what happens.  According to Publishers Weekly, " Namelos editions will publish one-color children’s and YA fiction, nonfiction and poetry in electronic and print-on-demand editions."  The article goes on to specify what that means to both the authors and illustrators that hire namelos, and the publishing industry itself.  All very interesting.  We’ll see where this goes.  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.

  • Richard Peck comes down hard in the recent Notes from the Horn Book on reading aloud in a classroom without handing out vocabulary sheets as well.  Which seems doggone weird to me.  Monica’s response   (and subsequent link to another teacher’s response) gives notable exception to this idea.  "Turning a read aloud into a deadly vocabulary lesson happens, far too often, I fear.  And such a lesson is unlike to endear many of those child readers to Peck’s books, I’m afraid."  Roger has also considered Peck’s statements not once but twice.  Me?  I just love the term Old Man Crankypants.  Not that I necessarily think it applies to him.  I just like how it rolls off the tongue.

  • When Googling oneself, you rarely find much good.  But a recent search on my part revealed a nursery rhyme I somehow had missed all these years.  Seems quite appropriate to me too:

Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess,
They all went together to seek a bird’s nest;
They found a bird’s nest with five eggs in,
They all took one, and left four in.

Naturally when I die this will have to be the only thing written in my will.  My heirs will then have to decipher what the rhyme really means to uncover the secret hiding place of my fortune.  Hm.  Wonder if there’s a book in that.

  • Jarrett recently found this pairing of his book with one of a similar… uh… persuasion.  My response: Do you really need a whole book on how to defeat slugs?  Salt and beer, man.  That’s all you need to know.

  • Daily Image:

They tell you they love your books.  That you’re their favorite author.  But really, how do you know if that’s really true until your fans make one of your evil characters into a beer?  James Kennedy and his book The Order of Odd-Fish had just that happen.  It’s a Belgian Prankster brew!

Upon drinking it, Mr. Kennedy had this to say: "Chokes to death, acidic pink fizz explodes from nose, ears, eyes, nipples, body turns into blazing firework."  That means he likes it.  Thanks to @iamjameskennedy 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. Betsy – you’ll have to write a book here yourself so that Duane can brew a beer based on one of =your= characters!

  2. But . . . they already made a Bert and Ernie stage production. It’s called AVENUE Q.

  3. “And such a lesson is unlike to endear many of those child readers to Peck’s books, I’m afraid.”

    Maybe not. But maybe it would teach them how to use the word “endear.” (Hint: it is the books that should be endeared, or not, to the children.) And maybe it would teach them to spell, “unlikely” their teacher.

    I think Peck’s point is not that they should be handing out vocabulary sheets, but that the kids are big enough to read to themselves, and won’t get the full benefit of reading unless they do.

  4. Bert = the greatest. I had a bottle cap collection as a kid thanks to that yellow puppet.

  5. LibrarianAshley says:

    I saw Bert & Ernie : Good Night on Thursday evening, and it was magnificent. The kids in the crowd loved it and were rolling out of their chairs. My husband had completely lost it by the end when his favorite Bert & Ernie moment came to life…fabulous.

  6. Well then, I just have to ask. Did they do, “Here, fishy fishy fishy fishy!”?

  7. Jaime Temairik says:


  8. LibrarianAshley says:

    No, no fishies. But Bert did the Pigeon, there were tap dancing sheep, and Ernie did sing to the moon.

  9. Christine Bird says:

    Strange connection: Our older son Steve (later to become your brother-in-law) went through a whole year of his life (at age 3 or so) referring to Jim (later to become your father-in-law) as Bert. Steve himself was Ernie. I was Big Bird. I can remember him wailing “Big Bird!” at me in our local K-Mart.

    –Christine Bird

  10. emay: Speaking as a middle school teacher, just because a child is “old enough” to read doesn’t mean reading aloud to them is a bad idea. It’s a way to help young readers to enjoy literature that is above their reading level, rather than becoming frustrated and giving up if they were to try it on their own. It’s an awesome way to draw in reluctant readers as well.

  11. all good things