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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Another one of those days where I keep mentioning Australians

First off, I’d like to offer a big time thank you to Eric Wight of the Frankie Pickle books for coming in and speaking to my bookgroup and a couple other kids on the side about his books, his career, and drawing. The kids got a kick out it and the surprise film crew from China who stopped in liked it as well. Thanks, Eric!

  • Dan Santat recently handed in the final revisions on the American edition of The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt.  I was pretty much sold after I read the title and then saw this piece of sample art:

Gimme gimme gimme gimme!

  • I’m sure that it’s been done before, but when illustrator Sergio Ruzzier asked on the Kidlitosphere Yahoo Group the other day if anyone has ever made a blog dedicated wholly and entirely to a single picture book, I pulled a blank.  Regardless, Sergio’s new blog Hey, Rabbit! is dedicated to a book of the same name.  I particularly like his post The jaguar where he writes, "The jaguar was my favorite animal when I was a kid. At the Natural History Museum in Milan, Italy, where I grew up, there was a wonderful display with a jaguar fighting with an anteater."  Can’t imagine that would be a fair fight.  Unless, of course, the anteater mistook the jaguar for a gigantic ant.  Ooo.

  • Looking at most crashes is bad karma.  Far preferable?  Listening to how books crash and burn.  Betsy Lerner (love that first name) has a blog named after her book Forest for the Trees.  In a recent post she asked editors and agents when that moment came when they knew a book of theirs was going to die a miserable death.  No names are given, so you are forgiven for feeling a bit of schadenfreude.  Thanks to @medinger for the link.

  • It’s not a misspelling.  It’s Muphry’s law and editors live it.  The definition: "Muphry’s Law is an adage that states that ‘if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written’. The name is a deliberate misspelling of ‘Murphy’s Law’."  Thanks to @chavelaque for the link.

  • Oo.  Jonathan Hunt (who, if I am not too much mistaken, was on the Newbery committee that gave an Honor to Woodson’s Show Way) at the blog Heavy Medal has been discussing picture books and the degree to which they may or may not win Newberys.  He’s positively smitten with Hook, by Ed Young and in the post Hook the comments are where the action’s act.  How Low Can You Go? is his follow up piece.

  • An author friend of mine was incredibly kind to me the other day and wondered if I’d ever written under the pen name of Cherie L’Ecrivain.  Not I, said the fly.  It would be a lot of fun to be anonymous but I haven’t the time at the moment (or the ability, I suspect, to effectively mask my writing style).  Still, I enjoyed this piece written by "her" for The Rejectionist. EA also offered a mild rebuttal to it.

  • The great coup at the most recent Kidlitcon was when Pam Coughlan secured a representative from the Federal Trade Commission to address their disclosure guidelines regarding bloggers and the requirement stipulating that they declare the books they receive.  If you were unable to make this session, read the GalleySmith recap, including links to other recaps concerning this information.  Bloggers around the country will find this fascinating reading.

One of the best non-fiction books of the year, to my mind, was How to Scratch a Wombat by Jackie French.  French, you will recall, wrote the picture book Diary of a Wombat, with Bruce Whatley’s illustrations.  Well, word has come out that in Australia there’s been a Diary sequel called Baby Wombat’s Week.  Geez.  Adorable much, Harper Collins Australia?  Somebody bring it to the States!

Screenwriter Ann Peacock (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) is adapting Airman for the big screen for Disney and Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers , per Variety Gil Kenan (City of Ember, Monster House) will direct the movie, which is based on author Eoin Colfer ‘s (Artemis Fowl series, The Wish List, etc) book Airman .  The movie will be produced by Zemeckis, jack Rapke and Steve Starkey through their ImageMovers entity.

  • And 500 extra points are awarded to author Linda Sue Park who, upon hearing that she had won the Empire State Author Award, given to a New York State children’s or YA author for a body of work responded, "I like being recognized for my body.” Atta girl!  Can we just make her the next National Ambassador of Children’s Literature now and get it over with?  Comments like that one secure her in my mind as a shoo-in.  That and the Colin Farrell incident (you know what I’m talking about, Linda).  Thanks to SLJ Extra Helping for the link.

  • This may be of some interest to those of you working in school libraries.  Author Kate Messner of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z wrote me the following note recently:

A few weeks ago, a school principal in California sent me a note on Twitter  asking if I knew of a resource where teachers could show kids what real revision looks like — not the quick spelling corrections, but the bigger changes that happen when an author is deep in the process.  I didn’t know of a resource like that but thought a quick note to my author contacts would make it pretty simple to create one, so I sent out a Tweet and a blog post and within a few days had a collection of some of the messiest marked-up manuscript pages you’ve ever seen.  They’re collected with a short note from each author on a Revision Gallery I’ve posted on my blog.  (Photos are  available for teachers & librarians to save as jpegs there, and there’s also a link to SlideShare where they can get the whole gallery as a presentation.)

Kids, heck.  I find it fascinating to look at myself.  As the site’s press release says, " ‘Revision Gallery’ includes photos of marked-up manuscript pages from a collection of children’s and young adult authors, along with a short note from each writer about the revision process.  The gallery is available as a series of jpegs here on Kate’s blog, where there’s also a link to the full presentation on SlideShare." Thanks for the heads up, Kate!

  • Recently we lost author Norma Fox Mazer.  And while there are many wonderful blog tributes to her out there, none rival the one found at Cynsations.  Cynthia Leitich Smith has compiled a post that links to multiple tributes, offering her own in the mix as well.  Beautifully done from tip to tail.  A real class act.

  • Daily Image:

Dunno if you’ve been reading the news lately, but they’re trying to push Steampunk as the next hot YA genre.  That’ll work if, y’know, the kids actually buy the books.  Until they do, I’ma gonna have me some cake.  Steampunk cake!

Cogs and gears never looked so delish.  You can see a whole lot more over at Cake Wreaks. Be sure to check out the wedding cake there. 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. Thank you for the note on Kate Messner and for all the info in your blog. I am a literacy coach in a small district in North Carolina and Fuse #8 is a valuable resource.