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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Just me and my ginormous head

Let’s start off with the me stuff since it’s quick.  First and foremost, if you’ve thought to yourself, “Boy, I’d really like to watch Betsy talk about the Core Curriculum and then mention all the 2012 nonfiction books for kids she really likes and why they stand out,” you are in SUCH luck.  The Highlights Foundation is hosting the Books That Rise Above workshop.  Attend and you’ll hear folks like Patti Lee Gauch, Linda Sue Park, Leonard Marcus, Deborah Heiligman, and an alliterative librarian/blogger.  And yes, I do know all that Core Curriculum stuff now.  And boy, it’s a doozy.

  • Speaking of Patti Lee Gauch and myself, the great editor visited NYPL the other day and spoke at my Children’s Literary Salon.  SLJ covered the event as well.  And the woman, if I do say so myself, was an undeniable hit.
  • Finally, there’s a lovely Joan Aiken event coming up celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.  I’m going to be a part of it (you can see me mentioned here as the “& more”.  Very very exciting stuff.
  • “So, to introduce 3- to 6-year-olds to the notion that there’s an inevitability to death . . . ”  Is there anything better than a good Marjorie Ingalls Tablet piece?  With Yom Kippur present and accounted for I’m grateful for Ms. Ingalls article on introducing kids to death with books, as mentioned in her piece Don’t Fear the Reaper.  As for Rosh Hashanah and atonement, check out her Teaching Kids to Apologize.  You can tell she doesn’t write her own titles for her written pieces, can’t you?
  • The Caldecott blog Calling Caldecott is up and running yet again, which is fantastic.  I couldn’t be more pleased to see them discussing works of photography as well.  Does my creaky old photography loving heart good, it does.  Plus Robin Smith gets extra points for ending her post with, “I hope the committee will step gently out of the box and consider this one.”  BOOM!  That’s how you do it, folks!
  • Photography is no stranger to designer Chad Beckerman.  It was through his site Mishaps and Adventures that I learned about Abrams cool new abecedarian fun.  To quote: “We over here at ABRAMS KIDS have started a campaign on Instagram and Twitter called A for ABRAMS ( #aforabrams ) We are collecting A’s that are artful, well designed, or just plain cool from anywhere that you might find them. The idea is whenever you happen to see one of these artful A’s out and about you can join us by hash tagging your A #aforabrams as well as including our Instagram or twitter handle @abramskids or @abramsbooks.  Have some fun and we hope you all get to see the world around you a little better.”  Head on over to Chad’s blog to see a whole smattering of fine and fancy A’s.
  • Now let’s see what those crazy Antiquarians are up to. I admit that I don’t make it out to Antiquarian events as often as I’d like. That’s why it pleases me to see the following: “The bicentennial exhibition, ‘In Pursuit of a Vision,’ consisting of 150 items from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society (including some 35 children’s books) is now on display at the Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th St., New York.  The exhibition is free and open to the public Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. until November 17, with the exception of Columbus Day, Oct. 8.” The exhibition was reviewed in the Sept. 12 edition of the New York Times and the American children’s books on display range from James Janeway’s Token for Children (1700) to the McLoughlin Bros. picture books and artwork produced in the late nineteenth century.
  • Who are Britain’s Top Ten Children’s Literature Superstars?  No, this isn’t a reality show competition (images of Philip Pullman balancing a pie plate on his chin suddenly pop uninvited into my head).  The Independent has presented such a list and we are free to act very American and say, “Who is that?”  Many is the Yank who would say those words when confronted with Jacqueline Wilson, Alan Garner, and Enid Blyton (Famous Five, famous schmive).  Tolkien, Pratchett, and Gaiman need not apply apparently.  Zoe Toft wondered who the American Top Ten Children’s Literature Superstars would be.  I’m sure we all have our own lists, but I guess I’d have to go with Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, E.B. White, Madeleine L’Engle . . . um . . . help me out here, people.  Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.
  • Daily Image:

Until Alison Morris introduced them to me, I was unaware of the delight that was the Little Free Library system.  You can read the New York Times article about them here.  Basically they’re these adorable little boxes that you can fill with free books for folks to take.  So for those of you with too many galleys in a given year, voila!  Your solution.  Here are some particularly cute ones (I like the prominent Going Bovine in the first):

Thanks to Alison Morris for the links!
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. Kristi Hazelrigg says:

    I’d say Lois Lowry and Beverly Cleary both belong on the Top 10 Children’s Literature Rock Stars list.

  2. As do James Marshall, Walter Dean Myers, Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems.

  3. What they said (Kristi’s answers were the first that came to my mind, too). Also Judy Blume. I’m not even a huge Judy Blume fan, but she certainly belongs on such a list.

  4. We plan to have our Little Free Library in the ground in front of our house by this weekend! We’re near Madison, where there are already a gazillion, but it’s still very exciting.

  5. Thanks for supporting #aforabrams !
    Be sure to follow ABRAMSkids on Instagram @abramskids

  6. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lois Lenski, Wilson Rawls, Richard Paul Curtis

  7. Did no one mention Eric Carl? And I’ve read 3 of Alan Garner’s books and they’re very good. And Enid Blyton is very popular in countries associated with England. One of our volunteers grew up in Canada and she said that all girls read Enid Blyton back in the day. But the only Jackie Wilson this American ever heard of sang “Lonely Teardrops.”

  8. How about Robert Lawson for having both a Newbery and a Caldecott?

  9. Tania Granoff says:

    Dame Jaqueline Wilson visited our elementary school about five years ago and charmed boys and girls alike. We own fifteen of her fiction titles as well as her biography, Jackie Daydream. I can’t keep her books on the shelves!

  10. I would love to hear you speak Betsy. But, the price tag is a bit steep. What a shame.

  11. Well, you already did your poll, and that’s why I’m compiling the top authors and illustrators! Um, I haven’t gotten very far yet, but so far, I’ve posted about Maurice Sendak, E. B. White, Mo Willems, Lois Lowry, Dr. Seuss, Madeleine L’Engle, and Eric Carle. The only non-American so far is J. K. Rowling, on top of the chapter books, so clearly it’s an American-heavy list.