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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

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.

Newbery/Caldecott 2020: Fall Prediction Edition

Do you hear that grinding and clanking of gears? That’s the ALA YMA prediction machines getting ready to blast us with the full force of their knowledge and expertise. Here then, are thoughts on the Newbery/Caldecott announcements coming this January. Whee!

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Swimmy by Leo Lionni

In this episode I discover that no one has ever written a fun background story on how Leo Lionni came up with this book, we consider whether or not Lionni was good at making art with cut potatoes, whether fish have eyebrows, and how hard it is to say the term “Mom pun” repeatedly.

Review of the Day: I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

Set in contemporary Seattle with a Suquamish/Duwamish protagonist, Day (Upper Skagit) highlights a historical injustice by writing a book a kid might actually enjoy reading. No mean task. I think I may have devoured it entirely in one sitting.

Why Do We Build the Wall, My Children, My Children?

Is there any physical object out there that carries quite as much weight and symbolism as a wall? It’s gotten me to thinking about how walls are being portrayed in children’s books in 2019. Here then is a quick encapsulation of some of the walls I’ve seen, what they’re trying to say, what they’re actually saying, and what they should be saying.

Interview: Mitali Perkins Talks of Between Us and Abuela

For 25 years, Mexicans and Americans have celebrated “La Posada Sin Fronteras” (Inn without Borders) in Friendship Park. This is a Christmas tradition, which means that Mitali Perkin’s newest book, BETWEEN US AND ABUELA, is a different kind of Christmas story. I find out why she chose to write it.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

“Nobody wants your bunny snot cake, buddy.” In this episode Kate decides to take the Wolf at his word and, as you might expect, we find some holes in his defense. This guy would never be able to hold it together if my sister cross-examined him on the stand. As you might imagine, we have a lot of fun with this one.

Review of the Day: Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer by David Shannon

I don’t know what it took to make Mr. Nogginbody come into the world, but whatever confluence of the planets allowed this madcap exercise in increasing hijinks to happen, I say let’s have more of it! In a sea of picture books that remain unmemorable five minutes after you’ve read them, Mr. Nogginbody hits the nail on the head. Hard.

Guest Post: Doing Impossible Things: Ideas for Supporting Children in Foster Care by Lindsay Lackey

Today I’m bowing out and letting an author with some chops take the reins. Ms. Lindsay Lackey, to be precise. As you may be aware, she has a book out this year called All the Impossible Things. To write this book, Lackey was inspired by her aunt and uncle. Today she talks a bit about them, and about the simple, small acts that you can do to uplift a child in foster care.

In Translation: The Marvelous Translated Picture Books of 2019 (So Far)

I believe I’ve noticed a significant uptick in translations recently. To what do I owe this marked increase? Whatever the case, I like what I’m seeing. I particularly like what I’m seeing on today’s list of titles so sit back and enjoy some international fare that’s truly worth locating.

Happy Book Birthday, Great Santa Stakeout!

Folks, I like self-promotion just about as much as I like yanking hanks of hair out of my head. But look, I can promote a book a lot better when I have someone as magnificent as Dan Santat in my corner. Today, I am pleased as punch to announce the publication of my brand spanking new picture book THE GREAT SANTA STAKEOUT! Is it too early for Christmas?

Cover Reveal of DARING DARLEEN and an Interview with Anne Nesbet

I can’t just do a cover reveal of a title without getting the lowdown on the book in question. So I shot some questions in Anne Nesbet’s general direction and she was happy enough to oblige me with answers.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, ill. Caroline Binch

A British book just snuck into the pack. When I picked it up from the library for Kate to read, I was positive that what we had on our hands was an American title through and through. Not as such. This book is not without its controversial elements, but in my own personal library the only edition available was the reprinted 2015 edition. And, as you will see, that is probably for the best.

Review of the Day: Up Verses Down by Calef Brown

By my thinking you can never have enough nonsense taking up residence in a human brain. Calef Brown’s latest just proves it.

Book Trailer Reveal: Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda Paul and John Parra

If a pile of money was suddenly plopped into your lap, what would you buy? Let’s say you had to spend the money on something superfluous. Something that wasn’t a necessity. What would you buy? I’d buy a Little Free Library. In lieu of that, I’ll do the next best thing and premiere the trailer for the upcoming book LITTLE LIBRARIES, BIG HEROES.

King of the Mole People: An Interview with Paul Gilligan (Now with 50% More Mary Worth References!)

Not all syndicated cartoonist middle grade novels are created equal, and that’s why I was rather surprised and touched when one Mr. Paul Gilligan agreed to be interviewed. Mr. Gilligan is the creator/ illustrator of the Pooch Cafe comic strip that’s been featured in outlets like the Washington Post. And as it just so happens, King of the Mole People is Paul’s debut middle grade novel.