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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Inordinately pleased that I got to work in the term “manky” today

  • If you’ve received your latest edition of Horn Book Magazine then you may see that Roger and Co. had the clever notion to ask a bunch of folks what their favorite weirdo children’s books were.  And as luck would have it, I was asked too.  You can see my choice here if you like.   If you missed your daily dose of Freud today, this wouldn’t be a shabby place to start.  Failing that, I wrote a little write-up of my recent trip to the DC Entertainment offices, all thanks to the Women’s National Book Association.  Which is to say, I got into the headquarters of MAD Magazine.  Bucket List Objective #324: Check!
  • Speaking of Horn Book (she said, backtracking wildly) Roger’s playing with delicious fire these days.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell any of you that the Battle of the Kids’ Books is raging wildly over at my sister blog.  I’m sort of with Kid Commenter in terms of my disappointment that so many YA books were paired in the first round with children’s titles and beating them soundly into pulp.  That frustration is amended somewhat by the fact that Roger has been critiquing the critiques.  The one for Appelt v. Caletti contains the single best sentence I’ve heard in the last 24 hours: “And I wish I never knew AND NOW I CAN’T UNLEARN IT that Laurie Halse Anderson called John Green ‘a holy man’.”  Purrrr.  Gidwitz v. Billingsley is similarly fascinating.
  • Laws.  Only the New York Post would get on its crazy horse and start turning Jeanette Winter into a controversial figure.  Have you heard the latest?  New York approves war-oriented reading textbooks for third-grade classrooms.  The culprit?  The Librarian of Basra.  I kid you not.  One can only imagine what they’d do if they stumbled across Mark Alan Stamaty’s Alia’s Mission.  Of far more interest to me is this interesting censoring pushback against books recommended with the Common Core in mind.  If the Post article does anything of interest, it draws connections between these objections and the recent attempts by Chicago schools to ban Persepolis from 7th graders.  These are good books and I think we could argue that they are being recommended for the right age groups because they are done exceedingly well.  How many more similar objections are going to be raised because suddenly our kids aren’t all reading the same Johnny Tremain titles they’ve been assigned for the last fifty years?  I think anyone who reads the books, and not just the sensationalized parts, would find them appropriate for the ages.  But I suppose sometimes it’s easier to just get all Helen Lovejoy-ish. “Won’t somebody please think of the children?”  Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • Along similar lines, SLJ is getting reading for its handy dandy webcast The Common Core and the Public Librarian.  And normally I might not remember to mention such a thing (it’s happening Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 3:00 PM ET) but that Olga Nesi, our local New York City Department of Education doyenne is going to talk about it alongside Nina Lindsay.  Thing is, I have seen Olga speak about Common Core twice and I would see her do it a hundred times more.  If she took her show on the road I would follow her around like a Dead Head, selling t-shirts that say things like “State Standards 4-EVAH” and the like.  Ogla is THE number one person to listen to about this stuff and the fact that she’s going national, so to speak, is good for YOU.  She makes this stuff not only make sense but she gets you excited about it. They should pump her into theaters like they do those Metropolitan Opera productions.  She could fill stadiums.  See her.  Do.  You can register here.
  • Anne Carroll Moore may have carried about a little wooden doll and hated Stuart Little (something I admit to being totally on board with), but the lady nailed children’s literature.  That new little picture book about her, Miss Moore Thought Otherwise, is out soon and author Jeanne Walker Harvey reviews it here with copious mentions of my (former) children’s room/Ms. Moore’s old room.
You know what I love?  The Scottish.  Which is a fairly all-encompassing statement so I’ll see what I can’t do about narrowing it down.  Let’s try instead, you know what I love?  The 2012 Scottish Children’s Book Awards which have JUST been given out.  Or, as I like to call them, the upcoming Spring 2015 releases here in the States.  Thanks to AL Directfor the link.From PW Children’s Bookshelf, my early Christmas present:

“Two Lions, the picture book imprint of Amazon Children’s Publishing, has signed with Michael Hague to reissue 25 of his books in uniform editions as the Michael Hague Signature Classics Series. The books will be published in all formats: Kindle, enhanced Kindle, and hardcover and paperback print editions. The titles include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Mother Goose, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Little Mermaid, The Secret Garden, Beauty and the Beast, Numbears, and many others.”

A good start.  I grew up with Hague’s books.  And for the record, I consider his The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to be a superior product to all other illustrated versions of the tale (take THAT Denslow, you walrus-mustached, foghorn-voiced, island hopper).  And then there’s his The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Somebody PLEASE bring that back to print.  If it’s Amazon who does it, so be it.  Just get me one for my branches and stat.  Ditto The Wind in the Willows.

Daily Image:

And finally, the perfect gift for that kid who likes to read in bed but doesn’t like sitting up to do it.  Or adult for that matter.  LAZYGLAS.

Like little periscopes for your sight balls.  Thanks to Mike Lewis 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. Ahhh, yes. One of my favorite odd picture books of all time, for the same reasons as you, I’d say. Because, like, there are seven daddies. Nuff said. I would love to read it again via lazyglas… or really, any way at all!

  2. Kiera Parrott says:

    My favorite weirdo picture book of all time… The Lonely Doll! A classic. I’ve got much love for that little wacky gem.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      I confess to rather loving that one too. The photography is actually quite stunning.

  3. Neither of these are particularly weird perhaps, but I loved “The Dragon in the Clock Box” by Craig and “How To Care For Your Monster” by Bridwell.