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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Phil It Up

libraryofcongressI think it’s safe to say that the biggest news of the moment is the opening of the brand spanking new teen and children’s literature department within The Library of Congress.  It opened as recently as October 23rd and "features access to kid-friendly Web sites, public programs, new books, and even a media room where they can view webcasts of young adult and children’s authors."  Which, to my ears, translates to "this is the place you should go when ALA is in Washington this summer."  Aye aye, ears!  And the online component of this site is where The Exquisite Corpse project lies.  They’re already on Episode Five!  Better catch up if you’ve fallen behind.

  • So you go to Amazon and you look at a book.  And right there, lower on the page, is a little Editorial Reviews section.  My question to you: How do they decide which professional reviews to include?  Or even the order in which they appear?  That’s what author Marc Tyler Nobleman wondered.  Then he wondered if he could have the reviews ordered so that the ones with the stars go first.  A simple request.  A not so simple answer.


  • When the world feels dark and cold and you have nowhere to turn and no one you can trust, isn’t it nice to know that there’s Go Fug Yourself out there to make fun of the kids in New Moon?  Sometimes it takes so little to brighten a day.  Thanks to @chevelaque for the link.


  • My eternal search for other New York based children’s literature bloggers has hit gold:  Bookish Blather.  She is local.  I am pleased.


  • Why are there so few minorities in children’s literature?  Brooklyn Arden considers the magazine world’s discussion on the topic as it relates to their own field, then applies it to children’s publishing today.  If your brain juices need a charge, this is where I’d suggest you go.


  • GiraffeMy ultimate plan is to someday perfect that cloning technique Dan Santat invented so as to attend all the parties I want while still holding down a job.  That way, when Richard Michelson has a Children’s Illustration Show, I can go.  Failing that, in my cloneless state I’ll just look at these awesome pictures of some of the authors and illustrators I love, then enter the raffle to win an original Mo Willems Giraffe 15"x9" (Value $1150.00 – wowzer!) to benefit Reader to Reader. Say they, "Tickets are $20 each and will be available through December 15th. You can see the image here."  All my Mo art consists of unsigned doodles swiped off of dinner tables.  It would make a nice change to have something framed n’ signed n’ stuff.  To beat me and win it for yourself, call the gallery at 413.586.3964 to enter.  Could make an ideal Christmas present, no?


  • BACA Alert:  Judy Collins has written a children’s book.  Seems like all the icons of the 60s and 70s have gotten in on the act.  Peter YarrowBob Dylan.  No James Taylor, but you know someone’s approached him at some time.  Strange that it’s always musicians (usually folky musicians) and not comedians or politicians.  Then again, Henry Kissinger’s ABCs might not do too well on the open market today.  Thanks to PW Daily for the link.

  • From Cynopsis Kids, two items of news that may or may not interest you:

Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers movies, G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra) inks a deal with to produce movie adaptations of author Michael Scott ‘s six-part book series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Delacorte Press Books), according to Variety .  Produced under di Bonaventura’s Di Bonaventura Pictures , the movie will be executive produced by Scott and Barry Krost.  The series revolves around 15-year-old twins Sophie and Josh that travel the world with the alchemist Nicholas Flamel. 

Sam Neill joins the voice over cast of Animal Logic’s 3D animated feature film Guardians of Ga’hoole , which is based on the first three books in author Kathryn Lasky’s kid-targeted eponymous book series, per THR .  Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchman), the Warner Bros. / Village Roadshow Pictures movie is slated for release in Australia on December 9, 2010.  As previously reported the voice cast for the movie also includes Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, Emily Barclay, Abbie Cornish, Emilie de Ravin, Ryan Kwanten, Jay Laga’aia, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren and Jim Sturgess.  It is unclear if Hugh Jackman is still involved with this project.


  • It’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on digital stories as they exist online. For that reason, the Peter H. Reynolds book Rose’s Garden is worth noting.  Thanks to Maia Cheli-Colando for the link.


  • Oh man!  Why didn’t I think of this?  It’s almost 2010 and you know what that means?  It means that we’re about to seeing a whole slew of Best [Blank] of the Decade lists.  The Times Online has already jumped the gun with their own The Best 100 Books of the Decade.  Intelligent folks that they are, they’ve included a couple bits of children’s and YA fare. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff is #36.  The Arrival by Shaun Tan (woo-hoo!) is #35.  The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman is #22.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is #17. Twilight and The Da Vinci Code oddly, also made the list.  I say "oddly" because wouldn’t they be more appropriate on a "100 Most Important Books of the Decade" grouping instead?  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.


Nov19RedBalloon1Cheers to my favorite St. Paul, Minnesota children’s bookstore The Red Balloon and their recent 25th Anniversary celebrated a weekend or two ago.  It’s a fine store full of fine people and in this current economy I am always pleased when I hear about independent bookstores chugging along.  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.

Everyone has their own favorite Kansas children’s literary scholar.  Mine is Philip Nel, author of books like Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature.  Now Phil has come out with an interesting fact.  At UPI.com it was reported that Nel presented a paper called, "Obamafiction for Children: Imagining the 44th U.S. President," at the American Studies Association conference in Washington, D.C.  In it he says that "… about 60 books have been written about the president, about 25 before his election and 35 since. That doesn’t count books about Obama’s relatives and Bo, the White House dog . . . After eight years in office, George W. Bush inspired 17 fewer titles than Obama."  Thanks to Debbie Reese for the link.

  • Philip Pullman, Jacqueline Woodson, and Michael Morpurgo have found yet another reason for you to visit Oxford.  "A £14m Story Museum is to be created near Christ Church, to celebrate Oxford’s links with the greats of children’s literature."  Pullman, Woodson, and Morpurgo are three of the museum’s patrons and, "It is hoped that the groundbreaking museum will open by 2014, in time for Oxford’s bid to become Unesco’s World Book Capital."  Plenty of time to plan your trip then. Thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg for the link.


  • I was pleased as punch when I heard that Philip Hoose had won the National Book Award for Young Person’s Literature for his fantastic biography of Claudette Colvin.  I keep meaning to review that one.  Guess I’ll be behind the times when I do, but that’s okay.  Better late than never.  Of course, Ms. Colvin wasn’t the only woman who preceded Rosa Parks when it came to sitting in the front of buses during the era of segregation.  There was a children’s biography of Sarah Keys Evans a couple of years ago called Take a Seat – Make a Stand by Amy Nathan that also covered similar territory.  Kirkus said of it, "Nathan strikes just the right balance of emotion and facts necessary to reach children within the context of a history lesson."  So those of you looking for similar fare, might be interested in that little bio as well.  FYI.


  • Daily Image:

Annie Leibovitz decided to take some Hansel and Gretel-esque portraits for Vogue the other day.  Some are cool.  Others, ridiculous.  This image, for example, probably belongs in the latter category.  After all, the woman playing the witch is Lady Gaga.


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I particularly like the last picture in the slideshow where Hansel and Gretel are joined by the Junior Choristers of Grace Church.  The male model suddenly turns human and looks like he’s having a fine old time.  "Gretel" on the other hand, can’t relax a jot and is a lonely outsider to the fun that everyone else is having.  Positively Shakespearean, it is.  Thanks to Crooked House for the link.

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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.