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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: The Case of the Unwitting Albino

  • xSee what a couple sharp-eyed bloggers and an intrepid reporter can do together? According to this article that appeared on SLJ yesterday (and to my mind, the title Little, Brown in Sticky Situation Over ‘Whitewashed’ Book Covers is straight out of a 1930s newsreel) LB&Co. has said of the jackets of the three Mysterious Benedict Society books, “We are adjusting the covers of all three titles immediately as they reprint in order to offer a more faithful rendering as soon as possible.” Woot! Happy times are here again. A tip of the hat to Leila Roy and Travis Jonker for making the call.

  • Highlighting interviews with authors or illustrators is tedious work.  Doggone folks like to talk!  Who can keep up?  But Carin Berger is still a relative unknown (in terms of, y’know, the vast scale of the universe) and since I like her work so much I’m recommending to you this interview she conducted over at Aqua Velvet.  The preview of her art on a William S. Burroughs book is just one of the many enticements.

  • Over on the English side of the pond, supermarkets are making movies.  Yup.  That’s the word on the street, anyway.  Supermarket behemoth Tesco is going to make films out of works of literature.  Says this article  from The Guardian, "The Jacqueline Wilson title The Worry Website will be filmed in Britain, as will the selected Dick Francis thriller. A screenplay of the revered American children’s author Judy Blume’s 1981 novel, Tiger Eyes, is also in development, as is one of the novels from Pullman’s Sally Lockhart children’s adventure series."  Tiger Eyes ?  Really?  Well, I’ll admit it hasn’t be done before . . . Thanks to Mitali Perkins for the link.

"Neil Gaiman (Coraline, The Sandman, Stardust) reports that the movie adaptation of his book The Graveyard Book is not set up at Miramax any longer, per an interview with the author in the LA Times .  The movie was to be written/directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire).  However, Gaiman says that isn’t the end of the movie, ‘But it looks like almost all the pieces are on the table again.  They have a studio, they have a distributor and they are putting stuff together and I’m not allowed to say anything else.’ So … stayed tuned."

  • And in your final movie news, I finally convinced my husband to blog another movie for youngsters.  Never Cry Wolf wasn’t based on a work of literature for children, it’s true, but for a lot of folks in my generation it was a touchstone.  Check out his thoughts on the matter.

-1If there’s only one thing I like more than book jackets it’s foreign book jackets.  Recently Jacket Knack had a truly inspired post when they took the recent Batchelder Award winner (for best translated children’s book), A Faraway Island by Annika Thor and compared its American face to those from Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and France.  Man!  Is that smart or what?

Educating Alice recently made just the loveliest round-up of Rebecca Stead interviews and written pieces the other day in the post Bit-O-Stead.

  • I don’t think I need remind you to regularly read your Collecting Children’s Books.  With all those essential vitamins and minerals it’s part of a daily breakfast.  Recently someone asked Peter, "How big was the first printing of When You Read Me?"  Along with striving to answer the question, this post also displays what different authors have said about writing for adults vs. writing for kids.

  • Author Ellen Potter discusses a heart-wrenching process an author must live with on a regular basis when it comes to seeing the covers of their novels for the very first time over at the Macmillan Kids blog.  Then she reveals the jacket for her latest, The Kneebone Boy, and HOO WEE MAMA  . . . it is taking all my ethical energy not to reprint it here.  That. Is. A. Good. Cover.  Ellen Potter must have sacrificed a particularly large goat to the Cover Gods this time.

  • Did you know there was a Twitter tag called #jadedkidsbooks where folks come up with dark versions of classic titles?  They’re generally touch and go (mostly touch), though I do harbor a warm spot for "When Sophie Gets Angry… Really Really Angry… People Die" and "Richard Scarry’s Cougartown".

  • Oh, Brown Bear.  Will you never renounce your Marxist ways?  Never mind that the Texas State Board of Education recently excluded Bill Martin Jr. from the state’s third grade social studies curriculum standards because he shares his name with a guy who wrote Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.  I mean, excluding anyone for that reason is awful enough.  What I love is that they pulled him initially because a fellow board member had gone to, saw the two books under the same name (all online booksellers merge authors with the same names, y’know), brought it up, and the response was, "’Fine with me. It’s a good enough reason for me to get rid of someone."  Gah!  Thanks to @HUnderdown for the link.

  • One of the great joys of my life was reading the bookshelves of doom encapsulations of ten different Nancy Drew mysteries.  And now (oh joy!) she’s going to read the rest of them.  Dare we hope for more summaries?  Only time will tell.

  • Daily Image:

It’s what happens when designers get their hands on books.  They start thinking things like, "What if they made dustjackets that acted as bookmarks too?"  The result?


You can see even more children’s titles here.  Thanks to Hi, Miss Julie 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. In using the term albino, I’d just like to remind people that albinism is a real conditon that children have; with few depictions in TV or film that isn’t “teh evil guy”. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a children’s book that accurately depicts a child with albinism.

  2. The need for someone to dummy up “Red Bear, Red Bear” is now almost overwhelming.

  3. I read a great story (fiction, I mean) in Sassy magazine about an albino teenager when I was a teenager… oh, Sassy, always filling in the gaps. I wonder where that author is now.

  4. R.J. Anderson says:

    Liz B: In Susan Cooper’s The Grey King, Bran Davies is an albino and has to wear dark glasses to protect his sensitive eyes. Admittedly it turns out those eyes are golden rather than pink, which is a touch of pure fantasy — but he is described as an albino otherwise and I think the book handles it very well.

  5. Elric of Melniboné!

  6. oooh, we have the start of a booklist! and i totally forgot about Bran, even tho its my favorite series ever.

  7. It’s a good point, Liz. I thought about the title but decided to keep it since a person born with a lack of pigment is an albino, and the pigment of Sticky’s skin has been entirely removed from his covers. Unwittingly, no less.

  8. Jonathan Hunt says:

    There was an early Iain Lawrence novel with an albino main character . . . gosh, what was the name? GHOST BOY? Something like that . . .

  9. Karen Gray Ruelle says:

    Thanks, Betsy! So glad you enjoyed the book and the guest post. That Paper Tigers is pretty darned cool, isn’t it.

  10. Don’t forget that YOU, Betsy, mentioned the Benedict issue Way Back When…

  11. Yeah, but I forgot to follow up on it in the intervening years. So no credit to me.