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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Ten Middle Grade Novels I’m Looking Forward to in 2012

The state of middle grade fiction for kids today is interesting.  Unlike YA (Bitterblue, anyone?), there aren’t any sequels on the horizon, aside from the odd Riordan, that folks are really looking forward to.  On the one hand it’s a disappointing state of affairs, implying that chapter books have sort of ground to a slow […]

Review of the Day: A House in the Woods by Inga Moore

A House in the Woods By Inga Moore Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-5277-7 Ages 4-8 On shelves now When I ask adults what their favorite picture books were when they were children, their answers tend to fall into two categories. Either they’ll name a famous classic (a Where the Wild Things Are or a Goodnight […]

What Should I Review? You Decide.

It’s getting down to the wire. I’ve eighty-one books to review and only three days to do it. Long story short, it’s not gonna happen.  So we’re reviving the old Vote For Your Favorite game.  The rules are simple.  This year I played it lazy and simply cut and pasted my To Review list from […]

Review of the Day: Drawing from Memory by Allen Say

Drawing from Memory By Allen Say Scholastic Press $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-17686-6 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. I am happy to report that there has been an uptick in options for those children handed the standard “You Must Read an Autobiography” assignment in school. Which is to say, more and more people are writing their autobiographies […]

Christmas 2011: Your bloggy fruitcake offering

Merry with the Christmas (and happy with the holidays) to one and all!  Throughout the year I collect the goodies I find along the way, until at long last I bunch ’em all together, tie ’em up with tinsel, and sprinkle the whole lot with nutmeg and present it to you.  Think of this as […]

Fusenews: Christmas is coming, the goose is getting rotund

Here we are on Christmas Eve but all I can do is point at the future like a sniffer dog and wonder what’s coming next.  I tell ya, no sooner have I churned out my 100 Magnificent Books list than I want to take a gander at 2012.  But before I let myself do so […]

100 Magnificent Children’s Books of 2011

I had a good time coming up with this list last year, so I figured I’d give it a shot again.  So here you go. If you had a horribly limited library budget and you could only buy 100 children’s books from the year 2011, here are the hundred I would insist you get.  Cutting […]

Board Books 2011: What Worked Well (a biased opinion)

Okay.  Fine.  You got me.  This is one of those posts.  The ones I’ve actively been trying to avoid all year, and until now I’ve been pretty good about it.  As a reviewer I have a duty to remember that though I now have in my home a chatterbox of a six-month year-old, she is […]

Librarian Preview: Little, Brown and Company (Spring/Summer 2012)

There are many reasons to love Little, Brown but at the moment the company has my heart because their last librarian preview consisted of less than thirty books in total.  And when you’re dealing with less than thirty books, typing up what they have is much easier on the old post-natal still-carpal-tunnely digits.  So it […]

Video Sunday: “Everyone agreed he was right to kill the publisher . . .”

Yep.  Your eyes do no deceive you.  You are looking at The World Premier of the book trailer for Mac Barnett and Adam Rex’s latest, greatest (yes, greatest) picture book collaboration.  For one day and one day only I get to be the first person to show this little vid.  Needless to say, I’m thrilled.  […]

Review of the Day: Toys Come Home by Emily Jenkins

Toys Come Home: Being the Early Experiences of an Intelligent Stingray, a Brave Buffalo, and a Brand-New Someone Called Plastic By Emily Jenkins Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky Schwartz & Wade $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-375-86200-7 Ages 5-10 On shelves now I’m feeling tetchy. Let’s set out some rules when it comes to prequels of children’s books […]

Fusenews: Hubba wha?

Oh!  This is very sad news.  Russell Hoban, the genius behind the Frances books (Bread & Jam for Frances, etc.) as well as older titles like The Mouse and His Child (relatively recently re-illustrated by David Small) has died.  Perhaps appropriate for the season he was also the genius behind Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, a […]

Child Completists: The 10-Year-Olds’ Tendency to Track Down the Out-of-Print

When I was ten the kids in my neighborhood started a rather odd obsession.  For a time the Trixie Belden series was released with new covers, giving those books from the 50s, 60s, and 70s a kick in the pants.  Note how hip and cool these covers were: Awwww, yeah. So the girls on my […]

Review of the Day: The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett

The Princess and the Pig By Jonathan Emmett Illustrated by Poly Bernatene Walker & Co. (a division of Bloomsbury) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-8027-2334-5 Ages 4-8 On shelves now The princess craze is a relatively new phenomenon. I’m sure that little girls have pretended to be princesses for as long as the occupation has existed, but the […]

Shrinky Dinks: The PAAS of Christmas

Not that any of you lack for holiday craft ideas, I’m sure, but I was recently introduced to the wide and wonderful world of a product that somehow I missed entirely in my childhood.  In all my treasure troves of useless information, how is it that I’ve missed a product going by the name of […]