Subscribe to SLJ
Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: I Can Haz Pikchur Buk?

Well, I was in the Greenwillow offices at Harper Collins the other day when my divine editor Steve Geck showed me the big white board where the date for my upcoming picture book (Giant Dance Party) was slotted.  It’s due out Fall 2011!  I’m thrilled to pieces.  For the last day or so I’ve been dancing about the library singing, "I have a date. I have a date," to the utter bewilderment and, yes, mild disgust of the general public.  Couldn’t be more thrilled.  More info as it comes.  In the meantime, this got me thinking about other librarian/authors out there.  Perfect timing then for Abe Books to post this piece on Top 10 Books Written by Librarians.  Can’t say as I necessarily knew that was L’Engle’s previous occupation.  Will wonders never cease?  Thanks to AL Direct for the link. Thanks to Monica for the photo.

  • Statistics are super cool.  Particularly statistics that concern my Top 100 Children’s Novels poll.  Eric Carpenter has been all kinds of great about compiling various stats about the winners (here was his most recent post on the subject). I mean, pie charts! The man has pie charts! Now Brooke Shirts enters the fray with a different kind of compilation.  Basically, her husband Brian noticed that in my poll, recent books fare better than older ones.  So Brian came up with an algorithm (there is no other word for it) to predict how the books would do in the future if I did the poll in ten or twenty years based on their point score, decade, etc.  The formula works out to "adjusted score = 100 x (actual score/(353 x e^(0.0146 x (year-1900))))".  So if I were to repeat this poll in 10 or 20 years (why not? I’m young) this might very well be the final ranking.  Absolutely insanely fascinating.  We’ll have to encourage him to redo the results after I finish posting the Top Ten.

  • I may have had a nice little April Fool’s post this year, but a tip of the hat to Under the Green Willow.  Their Under the Gruesome Willow solidifies them as Imprint You’d Most Want to Work For, in my mind.  Roger Sutton called it the "most UnGreenwillowy thing Greenwillow has ever done."  I think that’s a compliment.

  • Speaking of Horn Book (after a fashion) here’s a lady who knows her stuff.  That Claire Gross is rapidly becoming my number one film reviewer.

  • When I die, I want to come back as David Small.  Specifically, I want to come back as David Small as of yesterday.  Mr. Small was the official judge of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center’s 2010 Edible Book Festival.  Okay.  New dream now.  I want to become so friggin’ famous that Kalamazoo (my hometown) invites me back and has me judge it next.  I mean, look at some of the past entries!

Peas-Gnocchi-O (and the Ed Young illustrated version just behind it)

The Five Peeps You Eat in Heaven (I include that one for you, Lisa Yee)

Catsup in the Rye

Okay… maybe I wouldn’t want to eat all of them.  Thanks to mom for the link.

  • Apparently William Mayne died a week or so ago.  He was someone I read as a child (The Patchwork Cat).  It was a good book at least.  For those curious, Locus Online has an obituary.  *sigh*

  • This upcoming Sunday I’ll finally get around to seeing a new movie (believe me when I say it’s been a while).  I will be seeing Greenberg, which folks say is very good and will hopefully remind me of the fact that when he wants to Ben Stiller can actually act.  That’s why this news about a second Noah Baumbach/Ben Stiller film strikes me as so odd.  I’d be worried (wouldn’t want them to Night at the Museum it up) but I trust Baumbach, so maybe it’s okay.  From Cynopsis Kids: "The Fox big screen adaptation of the classic kid’s book Mr. Poppers Penguins , could be moving forward with writer/director Noah Baumbach in discussions to direct and Ben Stiller also talks to star, per Variety .  The studio acquired the right to the 1938 book by Richard and Florence Atwater last year, and is now in the hands of writers Sean Anders and John Morris John Davis will produce the movie under his Davis Entertainment banner.  Baumbach, who co-wrote the screenplay for Fox and Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated movie Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), directed Stiller in the newly released Focus Features’ movie Greenberg, which is not for kids."

  • I don’t know about your library branch but in my own we have a good shelf’s worth of "Dear America" books.  When kids wander in looking for historical fiction, you know that’s where I send them.  Mind you, they don’t circulate as often as all that.  I’ve been thinking of suggesting to the boss that we pare them down.  Only now I hear that they’re relaunching the series entirely with cooler covers.  I’m a little puzzled that the article says that it was about "fictional girls", though.  I guess they’re not counting the "My Name Is America" subseries of the "Dear America" books as part of the series. [By the way, as if to refute my saying that they don’t circulate all that often, I wandered over there yesterday to get the name of "My Name Is America" and found my path blocked by a girl systematically looking at each one of the books . . . so there you go].

  • Free.  I am a fan of the free (and the home of the brave, but that’s another story).  If you’re a fan of it too, happen to be a teacher, and wouldn’t mind attending a l’il ole free webinar, the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration is having a session called Award-Winning Nonfiction Authors in Your Classroom.  The authors in question are Roz Schanzer, Dorothy Parnet, and Vicki Cobb and the discussion will look for "ways to bring your science or social studies curriculum to life."  Yay for the free professional development, indeed.

  • Somewhere in the world there is a castle full of children’s books.  Yup.  It’s true.  I read about it in Bookbird years ago, then promptly forgot where it was.  Germany?  Something like that.  All was fuzzy in the brain until recently Sarah Johnson emailed me with some information.  Said she, " Another international book thing you might want to know more about (and potentially visit if you make it over here to Europe) is the Internationale Jugendbibliothek in Munich. It is the largest international children’s library in the world, with 600,000 books and 30,000 volumes of ‘secondary literature’ which must be books about books-I guess the books are all donated. Most are in the study library."  As the website itself says of the place, "The International Youth Library is the largest library for international children’s and youth literature in the world. Ever since it was opened in 1949 by Jella Lepman, it has been continuously expanded to an internationally recognised centre for the world’s children’s and youth literature."  The best part is that they have a scholarship program where you can do research there for a month.  Man.  That would be sweet.  And then there’s their publication The White Ravens which collects the names of the best children’s books in a given year.  Apparently there aren’t that many American titles.  Do we fail to submit our books?  Methinks the answer is yes.  In any case, if you’re looking to get me a birthday present, you’ve found it.  In the meantime, I think these folks deserve a post of their own on this blog someday.  Perhaps an interview is in order.

  • Obama bought some kids books the other day and the world went crazy.  All I cared, however, was that one of those books (The Secret of Zoom) was written by Lynne Jonell who shares my agent.  Woot, Lynne!  Woot, Stephen!  Oh, and speaking of my agent, Monica Edinger pointed out the other day that he’s speaking with two other clever folks (most notably fellow awesome agent Rebecca Sherman) on a Think Future Panel called Beyond Twilight: What’s Hot in the Teen Market.  Now that I’d like to see.

  • New Blog Alert: Here’s one for the dads out there.  Children’s Book Reviews looks at picture books and makes sure to always give some positive and some critical critiques of the books.  I’m a fan of critiques.  I may not always agree with them, but I like it when they’re there.  Good stuff.

  • Randomly, I just like it when folks like the same picture books I do.  For example, at Jenny Reads Books she highlights her favorite pb The Maggie B by Irene Haas.  Now THAT book is fantastic.  I actually discovered it when I was just out of college and it really grabbed me.  Sure would *cough* be nice to *cough cough* see that puppy *cough* back in print.  Ahem.

  • Daily Image:

I was trying to explain what Steampunk was to one of the kids in my bookgroup yesterday.  Sometimes showing works better than telling, though.  BoingBoing recently reported that "The steampunk maker bazaar at this weekend’s White Mischief Great Exposition night at London’s Scala boasted a raft of supremely talented vendors and exhibitors."  This, I love.  Yours for a mere $2,000.

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. David Ziegler says:

    Wow! What a diverse & fascinating (in the true Mr Spock sense) topical post. I’m excited about your book – Is the first word in the title Giant or Giant’s as the card says? The stats are intriguing. I laughed loudly at the Greenwillow post, especially the Kitten title. Saw coverage of the Edible Book Festival recently – looks delicious! Am very interested in hearing about the International Youth Library housed in Blutenburg Castle in Munich. Would have visited a few years ago had I known it existed. Would love to hear more! Nice to see Prairie Lights was where President Obama bought books. Great bookstore in Iowa City, where I attended library school. Kudos as always for keeping me informed!

  2. Fuse #8 says:

    The title is “Giant” singular. Zee card, she is no so much with the correct. Thanks, as ever, for reading!

  3. Hoooray! Harper must’ve been reading our emails ๐Ÿ˜‰ BTW “Greenberg the Sequel” is all about me!

  4. Miss Julie says:

    I love Greenwillow. When I first started teaching preschool I noticed that my favorite books–Tana Hoban’s and Dondald Crews’–were published by Greenwillow, so from then on I always checked to see if a book was Greenwillow or not.

  5. Story Pockets says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see Giant Dance Party!

    Avi, Beverly Cleary, Sorche Nic Leodas, Megan McDonald…

    Many more amazing discoveries at
    the “authors among us” section of te ravenstone press website

    ravenstonepress dot com slash libwritr dot html

  6. Happy Dancing for the Dance Party! Congrats and WOOT!

  7. rockinlibrarian says:

    Madeleine L’Engle was a librarian AFTER she was a famous writer. She worked at the library at St. John the Divine until very late in her life. …yes, I’m looking very forward to a book that I expect to show up in the countdown next week, how could you tell?

  8. Donalyn Miller says:

    I read in Forbes that you have a four book deal. Will these books be fiction books for children, compilations of some of your posts (like your Top 100 Lists) or a combination? I cannot wait for whatever you publish!

  9. Lisa Yee says:

    Lovely, lovely Peep cake. Truly divine! However, you should probably point out that those are Marshmallow Peeps, and not real ones, like my good friend Peepy.

  10. Fuse #8 says:

    Well by “four book deal” what that really meant was that I’ve published one book (a librarian professional development title with ALA Editions), I’ve sold two picture books to Greenwillow, and I’ve sold a nonfiction title I’m writing with two other bloggers for adults about the secret stories behind children’s books. I would love to make a book of the Top 100 lists. We shall see . . .

  11. Genevieve says:

    Mazel tov, Betsy!! So very cool to have a publishing date and see it up on the list!

  12. Brooke Shirts says:

    Thanks for including our nerdariffic algorithim, Fuse! Calculators are already hard at work inserting the top ten into the database (item! The Secret Garden is now at #2!).

    And I’d also like to say hello to the commenter named Story Pockets, who, if I’m guessing right, is the collective handle for the librarians at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, my former workplace, and of which Megan McDonald is also an alumni. Great work, people!

  13. Curses! I can’t believe The Maggie B is out of print – for a while I kept buying copies for myself and then giving them away, and now I don’t have one.