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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.

Fusenews: All the news that’s fit to fuse

ABCofIt

Boy, howdy. I haven’t done a good old-fashioned Fusenews in a long time. How do these work again? I just sort of throw up the recent children’s literature news from a variety of sources with comments of some sort? Honestly, I used to do these pieces fairly regularly. That is, until I realized that PW Children’s Bookshelf basically had this game in the bag. They know what they’re doing over there. Still, there are always some interesting tidbits that catch my eye. On beyond the usual suspects:

Review of the Day: Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

Eventown

To the year 2019, I hand this middle grade novel. In Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu, you’ll find a marvelous defense of messiness, mistakes, and uncomfortable conversations. We all want to run away from our problems, but it’s like that old phrase says: Be careful what you wish for.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: 2019 Caldecott Contenders

Blue

Last year Kate and I discussed three potential Caldecott winners, and two later received medals. This year, Kate and I are discussing Dreamers, Blue, and We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. And as per usual, Kate brings up stuff I never considered before. Questions like, how exactly does Penelope Rex eat her classmates so quickly (does she unhinge her jaw?). What does “caminantes” mean? And does the guy in Blue rename his girlfriend’s dog? Stay tuned!

Newbery / Caldecott 2019: Final Prediction Edition

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At this point in the proceedings, after doing a mess of reading, and reviewing, and contemplating, and pondering, you have a sense of how the year has shaped up. What kind of an award year will this one be? Will there be a lot of surprises or familiar faces? What are the dark horse candidates? This year, as with every year, I am going to make my predictions.

Review of the Day: Let’s Have a Dog Party! by Mikela Prevost

LetsHaveDogParty

In her debut picture book, Mikela Prevost dares to question what happens when we thrust our own wants and needs upon others without their consent. Maybe some dogs like wild parties, but not all dogs are the same. Some dogs are a bit quieter. Some dogs are like Frank.

Cover Reveal (and Q & A!): Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

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When Sterling released the debut author’s middle grade novel novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, the people who actually went and read the book found it to be rather extraordinary. But where the heck did this book come from? Who was Dusti Bowling? And was there any chance that there would be a sequel? You want a sequel? You got a sequel, my friends. But first, let’s just lob some questions in the direction of Ms. Bowling.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, ill. Lillian Hoban

BreadJam

In the course of things, Kate starts looking up what the USDA recommendations are for children, we consider the wackadoodle utensils of the Badger household, what exactly a lobster salad sandwich is, etc. And as Kate points out, this is a perfect New Year’s Resolution book because in the story you are encouraged to try new things and break out of your comfort zone.

Cover Reveal: Mira’s Curly Hair by Maryam al Serkal, ill. Luciani, Rebeca

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On April 4th, Lantana Publishing will release Maryam al Serkal’s tale about a little girl that wishes her curly hair were straight like her mama’s. Filled with vibrant art and images, it’s about embracing your natural hair, no matter where you’re from. I had a chance to ask the author, an Emirati writer in Dubai, about the book’s origins and art.

Guest Post: Brian Lies presents Got to Get It Right

GotToGetBears

Guest post author/illustrator Brian Lies discusses the choices he made to both art and text when creating GOT TO GET TO BEAR’S!, and the implications and importance of gender choices in even the sweetest of picture books.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Picture Books

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Oh. We made it, readers. We made it. That was 31 days, all right. 31 days that covered loads of books. Good ones and weird ones, but all of them worth reading in some way. Not a bad book in sight. Nothing to yawn at. And so, as a reward, here are the best beloved. The picture books. The titles closest to the heart of the children’s book community.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Middle Grade Novels

FrontDesk

The penultimate list! I’m so excited! This year I did a bit better than in 2017 in terms of reading middle grade fiction. Thanks to a system of following starred reviews, the recommendations of readers I trust, blogs, Twitter, Mock Newbery lists, the whole kerschmozzle, here are the 2018 books that I think are great.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Fiction Reprints

MoominsGreatFlood

My 7-year-old daughter wondered what precisely constituted a “fiction reprint” when I told her about today’s list. After she asked, I found myself scrambling to make a concise definition. Simply put, these are books (chapter books, mostly) written for older children that either have new editions with new illustrators, or were out-of-print and are now back. Phew! Bit of a mouthful, that.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Nonfiction Chapter Books

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I should clarify before we begin that calling these “Chapter Books” is a bit misleading. Think of them, instead, as works of Nonfiction for slightly older children in the 9-12 year-old range. Or, in the case of books like The Faithful Spy, 10 and up. A beautiful bevy of facts.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Nonfiction Picture Books

Thirty-Minutes-Over-Oregon

At last! It’s finally time to list the last Top Five lists of the year. This is the first of the biggies, my friends. These are the picture book nonfiction titles that truly stole my heart in 2018. The cream of the crop. The apples of my eye. The metaphors in my aphorisms.