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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature: Seusses and Ludwigs and Baums (oh my!)

BecomingDrSeuss

Now that we’re done with the award announcement delights of the 2018 season, I’d say it was high time to start thinking about something completely different. And what could be more different than cases where adult books mention children’s books and children’s book creators in some way? In my travels I ran across the following books. Keep your eyes peeled for them in the coming months!

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble, ill. Steven Kellogg

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It’s the Memento of the 1980s! Take a trip back in time with me to 1980 on the nosey. An era when children apparently eschewed backpacks for satchels and school lunches were just as elaborate as those in Bread and Jam for Frances. Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t taken an up close and personal deep dive into one of Kellogg’s most famous stories.

Review of the Day: Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale

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Apocalypse Taco is a wholly new creation in more ways than one. It opens the door for more kid-friendly horror. I mean, it’s got everything! Tooth monsters. School lockers full of goo. Brigadoon. You name it!

Video Premiere: Creators IRL (Part 3): Identity

CreatorsIRL

What the heck is ‘Creators IRL’?”. It’s a series Penguin created to “offer a safe space for conversations, questions, revelations, and reflections between readers and some of their favorite creators. Featuring candid discussion from some of the book community’s most beloved creators, each video will center on a particular topic and explore how that topic has influenced the creator’s life and career.” Today, I’m premiering the third video in the series. Its focus? “Identity”.

Cover Reveal – Just Like Beverly: A Biography of Beverly Cleary by Vicki Conrad, ill. David Hohn

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This August Little Bigfoot Books is kicking off a picture book biography series called Growing to Greatness starring people from the Pacific Northwest. And what’s their very first title in said series? Just Like Beverly: A Biography of Beverly Cleary. The very first picture book biography of the lady to date.

Behind The ABC of It: A Talk With Curator Lisa Von Drasek

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When I heard that Lisa Von Drasek, the curator of the Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Minnesota had given a home to a new ABC of It (the children’s literature exhibit that Leonard Marcus curated in NYC), I was intrigued. And when she allowed me to interview her about it? I was thrilled. Here’s Lisa explaining how she managed to right a great wrong, and contribute something mighty to the world of children’s literature.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Doctor De Soto by William Steig

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And we’re back to the classics. So far on this podcast show, Kate and I had tackled only one William Steig (Sylvester and the Magic Pebble). I was thinking maybe we should do Shrek next, but then I thought better of it. It seems to me that there’s a lot more fodder in this title.

The Past Is Never Static. The Same Can Be Said of Our Books

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Nonfiction has something Fiction will never have. Not really. When a work of Fiction is pilloried it can be pulled from the market or, if it’s in its earliest form, rewritten altogether. Nonfiction, in contrast, can wait years and years. Can be completely accurate and important. And then, if it chooses to do so, it can be rewritten.

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

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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

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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

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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.