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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Sweet Uncanny Valley High

  • chla-27-1Of all the most deserving, least lauded children’s book awards out there, my favorite might be The Phoenix Awards.  “The award, given to a book originally published in the English language, is intended to recognize books of high literary merit. The Phoenix Award is named after the fabled bird who rose from its ashes with renewed life and beauty. Phoenix books also rise from the ashes of neglect and obscurity and once again touch the imaginations and enrich the lives of those who read them.”  They’ve just announced the 2015 winner and I admit that I never read it (One Bird by Kyoko Mori).  There was a time, when I was young, when I tried to read as many Phoenix books as possible.  Someday, maybe, I’ll try again.
  • Heck, while we’re at it let’s also mention once more the Mathical Award which is given to books that “inspire young people to engage with mathematics in the world around them.”  The submission info is here.  Marc Aronson’s thoughts on the matter are here.
  • For those of you in the market for ideas for your next middle grade novel, I suggest checking out this Dunmore, PA housing advertisement.  Have at it. Thanks to Kate for the link.
  • New Podcast Alert: You know I’m just goofy for new children’s literary podcasts.  Heck, I once did an entire Literary Salon on the topic.  Well, Ms. Julie Sternberg has just started Play, Memory.  As she describes it: “I interview authors and others about the ways in which themes that recur in children’s literature–themes like the secrets we keep in childhood; the times we disappoint our parents; and the times our parents disappoint us–have played out in their lives.”
  • And in other podcast news, there’s an interview with Fuse #8 favorite Frances Hardinge over at Tor.com.  Because anything that has to do with Ms. Hardinge is awesome.  I recently found myself having lunch at the same table as Patrick Ness and, at a loss of anything else to say to him, I realized we both belonged to the Mutual Admiration Society of Frances Hardinge.  So to speak. Thanks to Sarah Hagge for the link.
  • There’s a nice big post on endpapers up and running at Nancy Vo’s Illustration blog.

105958-fullThis one’s rather interesting to me.  Folks in my family often send me links that have to do with libraries or librarians in some way.  I find some more useful than others.  Still, I was very intrigued by the recent piece called The Archivist Files: Why the woman who started LA’s branch libraries was fired. Wowzah.  Them’s good reading.

Speaking of librarians, did you know there’s an entire site out there dedicated to them dressing up and posting pictures of themselves?  Yup. Librarian Wardrobe. The more you know.

“But there’s a third set of children’s books: those that fall into an uncanny valley between enjoyable literature and ignorable junk. These are books that exert an irresistible pull on adult consciousness but don’t reward it. They are malign presences on the bookshelf. They hurt. One of them may be the best-selling children’s picture book of all time.”  That’s a hard sentence to beat and, as it happens, I agree with author Gabriel Roth every which way from Sunday.  He discusses what may be one of the worst “canonical” picture books of all time.

  • This doesn’t actually have any connection to children’s literature really (though you might be able to make a case for it) but did you know that there’s a site created by NYPL where you can look at old photos of pretty much every single block in the city?  It’s called OldNYC and I’ve just handed you a website that will eat away at your spare time for the rest of the day.  You’re welcome.
  • I was discussing this with buddy Gregory K the other day.  Can you think of a single instance where a Newbery Award winner went out, after winning said award, and became an agent?  Because that’s what Ms. Rebecca Stead has just done and I think it’s safe to say that it’s an unprecedented move.
  • Daily Image:

So there’s this artist out there by the name of James Hance.  And this, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the content he has available.  Here’s a taste:

big-a-most-bold-adventureforever-far-away-BIG

never-tell-them-the-odds-BIGnot-a-bad-bit-of-rescuing-BIGtil-luke-said-BIG

Thanks to Stephanie Whelan for the link.

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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.