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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Stars in your multitude, scarce to be counted

Emma Dryden is renowned as one of the finest children’s editors out there.  Heck, she did it for a good twenty-five years, after all. Now she has moved on to bigger and better things. Much like Stephen Roxburgh and his namelos, Ms. Dryden has created an entity she’s calling drydenbks. The premise behind the company? Well, it’s the kind of place that will give "freelance editorial and creative services to children’s book authors, illustrators, agents and publishers" as well as "workshops and presentations on subjects pertaining to the children’s book industry" and " consultancy services to administer direction and advice to authors, illustrators, editors, students, and anyone seeking to break into or expand their presence in the children’s publishing arena." So sayeth she.

  • I’ve just been admiring the new Randall de Seve picture book Mathilda and the Orange Balloon (it’s A Penguin Story but with sheep instead of flightless waterfowl) and I particularly liked the work of its illustrator Jen Corace. Ms. Corace is probably better known for illustrating Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s delightful trio of Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink books.  And now I see that the clever dickens of an illustrator has created her own paper doll aspect to her website.  Had I the power, I’d make this a primary link on my library’s children’s games pages.  Could spend all day rearranging her shoes, I could.  Thanks to Children’s Illustration for the link.

  • I’m actually not as surprised as I might be when it comes to the Jim Murphy outcome in the first round of the Battle of the Kids’ Books.  Making any human being choose between Claudette Colvin and Charles and Emma is inherently cruel to the judge anyway.  But the Nancy Farmer choice?  I didn’t see THAT one coming! 

  • There are all kinds of goodies lurking in the recent Collecting Children’s Books piece A Brunch with Napkins.  However, I personally believe that Peter gets extra points for coming up with children’s-novels-turned-vampiric titles like MY BROTHER SAM IS UNDEAD and THE ELEVENTH GOOD THING ABOUT BARNEY.

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The authorial trend of 2010 is writers quitting Goodreads.  Example A: L.K. Madigan’s thoughts as well as those of quite a few other writers on the program.  Thanks to Shaken & Stirred for the link.

  • I confess that I’ve grown quite reliant on the regular ShelfTalker round-ups of starred reviews given in a single year.  Elizabeth Bluemle has just come out with the Starred Reviews So Far, 2010 and it’s a doozy.  Only three books have gotten five stars so far (and they may not be the three you think).  Seven have gotten four stars (who the HECK are the two review journals that didn’t give One Crazy Summer a star??).  Twelve have gotten three stars (and I would have poured far more on Here Comes the Garbage Barge, had I been given the option).  And so on and such.  Go.  Look.  Then find the top star-earners.  I know I will.

  • Just in time for the new Alice in Wonderland movie (still can’t quite figure out why they didn’t change the name) Gregory K brought to my attention this fabulous 1963 MAD Magazine parody Jabber-Whacky.

  • Shameless spousal promotion.  If you’ve never seen the episode of the television show Black Books where they decide to write a children’s book, this makes for very amusing reading.  Particularly the dialogue that you’ll find in point #4.  A sample: "Well, instead of the Stalinist purges, it could be about [delicately] losing a balloon."

  • Daily Image:

I suppose it’s off-topic, but I am loving this Flickr set of illustrations from different moments on the television show LOST.  Like this one from Season 2:

Thanks to Drawn 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. Emma Dryden says:

    Thanks so much for your support of drydenbks, Elizabeth! And for the great work you do on behalf of all of us in the children’s book industry!