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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Someday we’ll look back on all of this and sleep

numbersThe Plan: I’m only revealing the countdown number on weekdays. Weekends are when I get to sit back and take it easy . . . getting the countdowns ready for the next coming week. *sigh* If you count down by fives, how far is it to #20 from #60? Math too hard for this English major’s brain.

By the way, I will indeed eventually have a contest to see who can guess the Top 10 books, once we get a little closer to the end. I suspect you’ll do better on this than the poll I conducted regarding the Top Picture Books. That doggone Millions of Cats . Threw tons of people off, it did!

  • Speaking of the poll, I’ve always found Barnes & Noble’s website to be useful in terms of professional reviews of books. Sometimes that’s where I cull them. In doing so for this countdown, however, I was surprised to see the opinions of Common Sense Media front and center on each of their pages. Someone (besides busy me) needs to interview Common Sense Media and figure out who does all this arbitration *cough* Rocco Staino *cough cough*.  Here’s the original announcement from Cynopsis Kids :

"Barnes & Noble partners with non-profit/non-partisan Common Sense Media, to assist its customers identify age-appropriate books, movies, games and music for their kids.  Under the partnership, Barnes & adds a "For Parents" area at the top of the page of their online kid’s section that will provide Common Sense Media’s Decider Slider, which offers age-appropriateness ratings for products, as well as further specific information for parents.  The bottom of the page will feature a more complete breakdown of Common Sense Media’s review  including a range of positive and negative content information."

  • MockingjayMind you, the biggest news of the past few days was the reveal of the new Hunger Games cover.  That’s big time news.  I was surprised by it at first.  Then decided that as each of the covers progressed the mockingjay became more lifelike and real.  Did they plan that from the start?  Hellooooo, foresight. 

  • Did y’all know that I review for Kirkus?  Yup. And anything I review there I do not review on my blog here.  For a second there it looked like my professional reviewing days would be done, when Kirkus looked like it was going belly up.  Then, SURPRISE!  Somebody bought it up!   Somebody who?  Oh, I dunno.  Maybe just the owner of the Indiana Pacers.  Yup.  Jokes about basketball’s affects on children’s reviewing in five . . . four . . . three . . .

  • Strangely enough there were two instances of plagiarism in the news this week.  In Case #1: Not cool dudes. A good example of a big company taking advantage of a little artist. Makes the blood boil. All was eventually resolved here and here. In Case #2: Plagiarism isn’t plagiarism after all. It’s creative writing, at least when the author is 17 and makes no bones about what they did.  Um . . . ooooookay.  Something tells me that while this works in Germany, it won’t play in Peoria.  Thanks to Neil Gaiman for link #1. 

  • It’s sort of a trend.  A children’s literature blogger gets some attention then migrates to a nicer blog site that suits their needs better than a Blogger or WordPress template might.  It happened when Pam Coughlan went to and now it has happened again as Travis Jonker switches gears and arrives at the gorgeous, not to put too fine a point on it,  Wow.  I’m seething with envy right now.  The design of my blog is its greatest flaw, as I see it.  If I could look like THAT my dreams would be made real.  *sigh*  Someday.

Okay. . . . it’s almost midnight for me now.  Double quick time reporting!

  • Just in time for Black History Month, Cheryl Willis Hudson has a great post going over at the PBS Parenting site called Celebrating Black History All Year Long!  Consider it your required reading of the day.

  • Imagine the pivotal scene of When You Reach Me reenacted faithfully by delicious graham crackers.  Oh.  You know you’re curious.  And well you should be.  Thanks to Monica Edinger for the link!

  • How do you turn the picture book Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems into a successful stage production?  Clever set design doesn’t hurt.

  • Sure, Mark McVeigh can edit.  Sure, Mark McVeigh can agent.  But can Mark McVeigh blog?  Sure looks like he can.

  • Wanna own art by Shaun Tan?  Nope.  Not kidding you here.  An awesome auction is going on and illustrator Wilson Swain told me some of the awesome details. "…the headliners from the children’s world this time include Shaun Tan, David Catrow, Peter DeSeve, friends Lee White, Catia Chien and a number of brilliant (!) character designers…also muppet master Carroll Spinney has painted 2 postcards featuring his characters."  Here’s the official info:

shaunTan_sc"Two colleagues at Blue Sky Studios, David LaMattina and Chad Walker, have created a feature-length documentary about a pen pal program between a group of at-risk sixth graders living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and orphans from the war living in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This Postcard Art project is an extension of the their film "Brownstones To Red Dirt" which features children from both schools. The kids in both places have inspired us all to want to do more and so we’re putting together an art auction of original postcards based around the same central theme of the film in a fundraising effort to build a school for the orphans in Freetown, Sierra Leone and create a library for the youth at their school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn."

Thanks to Wilson for the link!

  • I just couldn’t make this up.  To wit: "Fantasy and sci-fi scribe Neil Gaiman, whose credits include ‘Sandman’ and ‘Coraline,’ will be a character in an upcoming episode of the WGBH kids cartoon ‘Arthur’."  Presumably this will be the episode where Arthur starts trying out a Goth lifestyle and D.W. styles her hair like Death.  That Gaiman’s a pretty busy guy these days, what with getting to write a Dr. Who script.  Thanks to Mom for the link.

  • A new blog or two has caught my eye recently.  For example, there is the blog Young Books run by Rebecca Young, a librarian who has been reviewing children’s literature for a good twenty years now.  Good stuff!

  • -1I never report on my own activities in the library because . . . well, because I’m running the programs and don’t seem to be capable of telling if they’re any good or not.  That’s why I was so grateful to proseandkahn for summing up the NYPL Literary Cafe – Book Jacket Conversations with the Artist and Art Director.  I had invited Laurent Linn and John Rocco to come in and speak a bit about what they do in terms of book covers and they graciously accepted.  Many thanks to the two of them, and to everyone who attended last Saturday.

  • Those of you who like graphic novels, both for kids and adults (but, admittedly, mostly adults) need to go to this site and scroll down until you find "The Ultimate Graphic Novel (in Six Panels)" by David Lasky.  It is every adult GN since the history of time.  Hee-larious.  Thanks to Matt for the link.

  • An amusing Amy Krouse Rosenthal article is here for the reading.  And, after all, everybody likes Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  Thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg for the link.

  • Aw, what the heck.  One link to Cynopsis Kids is never enough.  Have another:

PorchLight Entertainment adds the new Flash animated series Agent A to Agent Z (52×11) to its development slate.  Created by Andy Rash (author/illustrator) and Dan Yaccarino (author/creator, Oswald, Willa’s Wild Life) and based on Rash’s kid’s book of the same name published by Arthur A. Levine Books, Agent A to Agent Z is a comedy/mystery that revolves around the misadventures of a father and son (12-yr-old Aaron) spy duo and their secret missions.

  • Daily Image:

I just saw the musical Wicked last night for the first time, so I’ve Oz on the brain. jlbellwriter linked to a site called The Oz Enthusiast (love the banner) and they in turn had this photograph up.


The description reads: "While poking around on my computer the other night, I ran across a web page (here)
with this photo of characters from a 1950’s puppet adaptation of  The Land Of Oz. These puppets were designed by Burr Tillstrom, the creator of Kukla, Fran and Ollie."  Follow either of the two aforementioned links for more information.

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. Huzzah for Dave Lasky!
    What a great suprise to see him here! I once tried to lead him into the world of Kidlit, but I don’t think his mind works that way.
    Have you seen his work on the Carter Family graphic novel?

  2. My Boaz''''s Ruth says:


    So 8 days of posts between 20 and 60

  3. Kirkus lives! Yay!

  4. Scope Notes says:

    Many thanks for the link!

  5. Brooke Shirts says:

    I’m trying to imagine Neil Gaiman as an animated aardvark. (Squints.) Nope, can’t do it.

  6. They’re not always aardvarks. Sometimes they’re bunnies.