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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody’s gonna jump for joy

61sGqaAazwL._SS500_[1]Years ago there was a fantastic article in a children’s literary periodical (Bookbird, maybe?) about the various translations of Hans Christian Andersen and how they affect your reading of the text.  It really made me think about how we translate our children’s literature.  Unfortunately, I’ve never found the piece again.  The next best thing?  Book Aunt recently had up a very cool blog post called The Snow Queen: A Wintry Gathering where she considers the fairy tale (one of my favorites, probably because of the robber girl . . . and where’s her middle grade fiction adaptation, I ask you?) and all the various editions available in the United States.  Check out covers, like the one I’ve stolen and placed here.  Ye gods.  Invaluable little post.

  • The Brooklyn Public Library recently compared their Mock Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz lists to the actual winners on their blog.  That’s interesting.  More interesting to me by far?  The name of the blog.  Love it.  Thanks to Andrea Vaughn for the link.

  • Well.  Just about time to start placing bets on the 2011 Caldecott choices . . . I kid.  Sorta.  Just the same, if you’ve ever wondered what the upcoming crew of Caldecott committee members have gotten themselves into, Nell Colburn has written a fun (and accurate) piece called Caldecott Confidential.  And the good advice in there is applicable to more than just committee members, y’know.

  • It is depressing when your library system’s budget is slashed by your mayor.  It is slightly more depressing when that slashing motion is so interesting that it makes the news in American Libraries Magazine.  *sigh*

  • Oh, excellent!  I tend to have Video Sundays.  I wish I had enough material to create something like Radio Wednesdays.  This desire comes upon me when I hear things like Rebecca Stead’s interview on WNYC, New York Public Radio.  Dunno if I’d necessarily agree with the interviewer that most YA is basically of the Gossip Girl ilk, but otherwise it’s a charming piece.  If you haven’t heard Rebecca speak before, pour a little of this into your ears.  It’s just three minutes long anyway.

  • FYI, someone needs to write a new Madam C.J. Walker picture book biography.  Seriously.  I like what we have, but we need more.

  • All sorts of fantastic articles are up and readable in the new edition of Hunger Mountain, the VCFA journal of the arts.  The theme is Confronting Controversy, and it includes everything from Kathi Appelt in Blurring the Lines discussing the ever shifting audience of books for children to Deva Fagan and Erin Dionne who talk about princesses in contemporary children’s literature.  And, of course, there’s all the original fiction too.  Can’t believe it’s all free, quite frankly.  Ah, the times in which we live.

  • 188787796_f0c8332f83Happy news for all you Flora fans out there.  Jim Flora, that is.  This illustrious illustrator of the past once wrote a picture book in 1957, The Day The Cow Sneezed.  Well happy days are here again, since the book will now be reprinted thanks to Enchanted Lion Books (the same folks who recently won a Batchelder Honor for Big Wolf, Little Wolf).  Those of you interested in taking a sneaky peek inside, check out this magnificent post the multi-talented Ward Jenkins did a couple years ago on the topic. The book should be out in Spring of 2011.  I’ve had that book on my old blog‘s “BRING IT BACK! Out-of-Print Crimes Against Humanity” sidebar for YEARS.  Now that just leaves The Noisy Counting Book and The Winged Girl of Knossos to go, I guess.  Big time thanks to Ward Jenkins for the info.

  • Hm.  It seems that The New Republic has an online book website called The Book.  Hm.  Ellen Handler Spitz, an Honors College Professor at the University of Maryland, will now write regularly about children’s literature for The Book. Hm. She has a piece up right now called Postmodern at Bedtime about Wiesner’s The Three Pigs.  Hm. Someone on the child_lit listserv then said of Ms. Handler’s piece that perhaps she hasn’t done quite enough research since, “she says that Wiesner imitates Crane and Caldecott, yet Wiesner’s own commentary on his style (in ‘Pigs in Space,’ an interview by Anita Silvey) states he was influenced by Howard Pyle, L. Leslie Brooke, and Arthur Rackham.  Spitz mentions Macaulay’s Black and White as an early postmodern text and seems to imply that’s the reason Wiesner dedicates Pigs to Macaulay — but Macaulay was actually one of Wiesner’s art teachers at RISD  (and I’d suggest that some of the tiny drawings in the scene with panels from multiple books are an homage to Macaulay’s Cathedral).  Spitz speculates about children’s reactions to the Three Pigs, but seems unaware that there are articles documenting real children’s responses to the book, most notably those by Sylvia Pantaleo.” Fascinating.  Thanks to Patrice Sherman for the link.

  • I honestly thought this was just a PR move when I heard about it.  I’m still not convinced that it isn’t, but according to this article in Publishers Weekly,  “a shipment of more than 12,000 copies of Flanimals Pop-Up by actor/comedian Gervais went missing last week en route to Candlewick’s warehouse in Indiana. Police are investigating the incident as grand theft (the books are valued at more than $240,000).”  Gotta be a gag, right?

  • FYI, for those of you out there still interested in the “How To Make A Great Preschool Series” Three-Day Intensive at Little Airplane Academy, they will still be conducting their preschool television workshop. Say they, “Participants will learn the fundamentals of creating a preschool series from pitching through writing, character design, directing and producing both live action and animated shows.”  You can get the down and dirty details here if that’s what floats your boat (and you happen to be in New York between February 13 through 15th.

  • Daily Image:

So a pal of mine links to Anthropologie since their new 50s proper line is sort of library-based.  I don’t tend to care for Anthropologie’s stuff, but I like vintage and I like librarian chic (though ironically I’ve never been able to pull it off myself) so I head on over to check it out.  And what the fuzzy wuzzy heck?  That’s my library they did the shoot in!  Of course, I can’t post any of the pictures here, but if you follow the link you can see it for yourself.  It took me a second but that is clearly my workplace.  So where are my free cute clothes?  Thanks to Lori Ess 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. MandalaDreamer says:

    I waited and waited for someone else to point this out, but I think you mean “affect” in the first paragraph….

  2. Never assume that another person will catch a mistaken term when you can catch it yourself. Much obliged. Corrected.

  3. Jaime Temairik says:

    Ooo, bring on more Jim Flora! Thanks for the head’s up, Betsy & Ward. Also, lady, I think you could pull off burlap and rope dresses, don’t be silly.

  4. Ahem. Obviously the middle grade novel of Snow Queen is Lindgren’s Ronia the Robber’s Daughter. Although, strictly speaking, Ronia is a re-imagining of the robber tale genre. But if the little robber girl had her own story, it would be Ronia.

  5. I thought of that, since I love the Trina Schart Hyman cover. I suppose that that’s the closest thing we have. Still, I like direct adaptations too. Heck, I’d love to see a middle grade fantasy series that takes side characters from fairy tales and gives them their own stories. The upcoming “Toads and Diamonds” does a bit of that too.

  6. rockinlibrarian says:

    Oh! Now I want to WRITE the side-characters-from-fairy-tales middle grade fantasy series!

    Not that you’re likely to see it in your library anytime soon… but it would still be fun to write…

  7. Betsy, I’d swear it was you in that plaid dress at the Anthropologie site.

    The only redoing of the Snow Queen’s tale that I’ve read recently is an adult book by Mecerdes Lackey called — The Snow Queen. She’s doing an interesting series retelling folk tales. -wendieO