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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: I’m a Traveling Man, I’ve Made a Lot of Stops All Over the World

I was seven different kinds of thrilled to hear that David Almond (UK) won the Hans Christian Andersen Award alongside illustrator Jutta Bauer (Germany) two days ago.  Thrilled, you see, because on Thursday, April 29th at 7:00 I will be moderating a discussion with Mr. Almond as part of the PEN World Voices Festival.  Called A Gathering of Voices, Mr. Almond is not the only person I’ll be speaking to.  As the description reads, "A unique appearance by British author David Almond, winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen medal, the world’s most prestigious prize in children’s literature. He joins Francisco X. Stork, Janne Teller , and Ed Young to talk about their work and its sources. Each author is rooted in and has found inspiration from a specific culture—in England, Mexico, Denmark, and China. How do their roots influence how they speak to children? Which subjects seem right? How have influences from other cultures affected them, and in what ways do they approach universal themes—and taboos? This lively panel will be moderated by Elizabeth Bird, author and senior children’s librarian with New York Public Library’s Children’s Center at 42nd Street."  It’s free too.  How can you pass that up?  Now to figure out how to make it "lively".  Hm.  Perhaps fire eating is in order.

  • Lest you feel I’m ignoring the other big award, the Astrid Lindgren Award was given out yesterday to Belgian illustrator Kitty Crowther.  Almond was up for that one as well, you know, and it’s the one you want to win.  Coming in at a whopping 5 million kronor, that’s $620,000 in our own dollars and cents.  Probably more money than any other children’s literature award out there, too.  Past winners have included Maurice Sendak, Philip Pullman, and Katherine Paterson.  I like the international aspect to it, though.  Though Yanks have won, they don’t do so as often as all that.

  • If I’m feeling a little international today it may have something to do with the fact that half of the agents and editors in New York are overseas at the Bologna Book Fair.  Half is a bit of an exaggeration, but each year the librarians and reviewers are left behind to stare disconsolately at the ocean while they imagine the wonderful time everyone else is having overseas.  Even my agent’s over there.  How fair is that?  At least we can visit vicariously thanks to Through the Tollbooth.  This week Sarah Blake Johnson is reporting what it’s like to be there.  So far she’s posted here and here and here.  *sigh*  So jealous.

  • Okay.  So much news and so little time to give it.  Here are three quickie bits of info from Cynopsis Kids, then.

Quickie Bit o’ Info #1:
"Real life father and son actors Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, mama Mia!, Angels and Demons) and Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood, Zoolander) will lend their voices to 3D animated father and son characters (Moominpapa and his son Moomintroll) in the family-targeted 3D animated movie Moomins and the Comet Chase."

Quickie Bit o’ Info #2: "Bedrock Studios , Cary Granat and Ed Jones’ partnership, has tapped Jeff Stockwell to adapt Madeleine L’Engle’s fabulous 1962 young adult sci-fi book A Wrinkle in Time for the big screen, per THR .  Stockwell previously served as co-writer on several other young-adult novels including Bridge to Terabithia, which Granat and his then Walden Media produced for Disney . . . Stockwell also has movie adaptations of the books Kiki’s Delivery Service and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane in development."

Quickie Bit o’ Info #3: "Reading Rainbow plotting a return?  In a tweet last week actor LaVar Burton , the host of the series for its full 23-year run, said, ‘You heard it here first … Reading Rainbow 2.0 is in th[e] works! Stay tuned for more info.  But, you don’t have to …’, per Huffington Post."

Discuss amongst yourselves.

  • Chad Beckerman has done us the great honor of presenting us with a peek at the Abrams Fall 2010 list   for our viewing pleasure.  It looks lovely, but all I know is that if I don’t get my hands on that Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Tale Moderne by Steven Guarnaccia, I’m going to pitch a hissy fit. I mean, come on.  That’s an Arne Jacobsen "Egg" chair circa 1958, by gum.  Unless it’s by Fritz Hansen of course.  And thank YOU, oh Senior year of college 20th Century Design class.  I knew you’d come in handy someday.

  • Should you ever run out of ideas for a blog post of your own, take a page out of ShelfTalker’s book.  Elizabeth Bluemle’s recent blog post Favorite Childhood Books No One Else Knew (Picture Book Edition) is just a great idea all around.  I’ve highlighted my own favorites over the years but never in a single post.  It might be fun.  Kudos for the idea, Elizabeth!

  • Under the Green Willow you are one class act.  If you have not heard, author Sid Fleischman died recently, leaving us with one less Newbery winner in the world.  His publisher has been posting different stories of people remembering Sid at different times.  They also encourage folks who have their own memories to include them on the site.  I do not think I that I ever had the pleasure to meet Mr. Fleischman, except possibly at the 2008 Newbery/Caldecott Banquet very briefly.  I like reading what other people have to say about him instead.  Be sure to check it out yourself.

  • Uber-fantasy publishers like to blog too, y’know.  For example, take the case of The Wizards of the Coast.  They’ve just started blogging on their very own and on Tuesdays one Nina Hess will write about various children’s literary topics.  Old school fantasy writers are readers, take note. 

  • There’s a new Dav Pilkey book on the horizon and it makes me all kinds of happy.  The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future is described in this manner on the Scholastic blog On Our Minds @ Scholastic : "In this book, George Beard and Harold Hutchins present the sensational saga of two silly caveboys named Ook and Gluk who battle evil corporations, befriend a martial arts instructor and time travel."  All that I care is that Gluk has a moustache and afro with sideburns.  This may officially be the best thing ever.

  • Over at 100 Scope Notes, Travis has been compiling an impressive collection of various examples of spine poetry.  I find that I tend to like the short ones best.  My favorite is actually by Travis himself: "Meet Addy / The Toothpaste Millionaire / Terrific / Teeth / Addy Learns a Lesson / Never Smile at a Monkey."  Inspired.

  • Just a gentle re-reminder about the upcoming Library-Loving Blog Challenge.  Just to jog your memory here’s what it’s all about: "A group of bloggers, most of them writers, are using their blogs, Facebook accounts, and other social media to raise money for local libraries, bookmobiles, and literacy causes.  Last year, this effort raised over $1600. This year’s challenge will run from March 23-27, 2010.  Participants are pledging money for every comment received on their blog, Facebook page, etc., during the challenge.  To leave a comment costs you nothing, but will increase the participants’ donations, so please visit and comment on the participating sites!  For complete information and a list of the participating sites, please see"

  • Daily Image:

Typewriter fetishists amongst you take note.  There is a site out there dedicated entirely to Antique Typewriters.  I kid you not.  And gorgeous doesn’t even begin to describe them.  I love that the keyboard was not immediately a part of old typewriters at the start.  Imagine what our laptops would look like today if some of these caught on.

Thanks to BoingBoing 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. I’ve been wondering if Dav Pilky had been put in witness protection. He has been uncomonly silent the past few years. It’s good to know that there will soon be another book that will get the stuffing loved out of it, to put on my shelves.

    I make me uncommonly happy that the the Astrid Lindgren Award comes with a big cash prize. What I want to know is: is paid out in gold coins taken from a chest?

  2. Goldilocks is a reprint, it was originally published by Abrams in 2000.

  3. Reprint what? Aw goldurnit. Now I can’t review it. Pfui.

  4. Brooke Shirts says:

    No no — the gold coins are paid out from a SUITCASE. It would be a rockin’ way to get a prize, right? Assuming you had the arm strength to drag it away . . .

  5. Another Wrinkle in Time adaption? Well, it can’t possibly be as bad as the Disney version a couple of years ago, can it?

  6. rockinlibrarian says:

    Since I went into it expecting nothing would ever measure up to the actuality of my favorite book, I actually rather liked the Disney Channel Wrinkle in Time. Some parts were awful (huge melodramatic thunderstorm on Camazotz, what?), but other little details I was actually pretty impressed with. Like Calvin asking Mrs. Murry about starfish regeneration, and the nobody-would-notice-this-but-still-awesome casting of Mr Jenkins who could totally still be the much bigger character of Mr Jenkins if they made Wind in the Door with the same cast. Sure, I always liked Meg with glasses and braces like me, but I thought their Meg captured the MEGNESS of Meg pretty nicely. And somehow they cast a Charles Wallace that could pull off being Brilliant without being Annoyingly Precocious!

    But the thunderstorm did seriously bug me. Also the Meg saves the planet ending, which oddly cheapened the whole Meg saves her father and brother and that was hard enough ending of the book.

    I think movie adaptions can be much easier to take if you don’t expect much to begin with. Still curious about the new one though.

    I also wondered where Dav Pilkey has been lately. I’ve always had a weird crush on him.

  7. Chris Barton says:

    The antique typewriter fetishists remind me of Ian Frazier’s terrific profile of a repairman, Typewriter Man, published in The Atlantic several years ago. It begins, “I write on a manual typewriter, but don’t bug me about it, okay?”

  8. Hy Elizabeth,
    I know it’s a smaller prize at the BCBF Show, but a new very talented illustrator received the Bologna Children’s Book Fair – Fundaciòn SM International Prize for Illustration. More information at “The Tea Box” blog if you wish.