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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature in Rather Adult Places


Reading through the most recent issue of The New Yorker, you may encounter the short story “Little Man” by Michael Cunningham.  It’s a rather cunning retelling of Rumplestiltskin that veers oddly close to the original tale.  Granted Cunningham has no idea how spinning wheels work (see: Paul. O. Zelinsky who actually put in the research […]

Video Sunday: One Video Short

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 11.55.40 PM

Been a while, hasn’t it?  Well, better late than never.  And you probably get a better level of quality videos if there’s a month’s gap, eh? Today we begin with the video of the week.  The Wall Street Journal released this article about Brian Selznick’s puppeteering work on his own book trailer.  For me, it’s […]

Press Release Fun: The Grolier Club Celebrates Alice


Because you didn’t truly think The Grolier Club would let the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland pass without a word, did you? Alice in a World of Wonderlands: The Translations of Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece A Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the Grolier Club Alice’s […]

Fusenews: And the tree was moderately amused


Here’s your SAT question for the day: “Making fun of The Giving Tree in a parody is to shooting fish in a barrel as . . .”  You may put your response in the comments below.  I’ve lived long enough to feel that I’ve seen every possible Giving Tree parody man or woman could imagine.  […]

The Quintessential Edition: If You Could Choose Only One Version of Your Favorite Classic Books . . .


I think I’m getting the hang of this whole living-in-Evanston thing.  All moves take adjustment, but you know the one thing that makes a transition smoother?  Finding a great new bookstore.  I was wondering the streets of downtown Evanston when I saw this sign advertising a bookstore down an alley.  And while alley walking isn’t […]

Review of the Day: Hypnotize a Tiger by Calef Brown


Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything By Calef Brown Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-8050-9928-7 For ages 9-12 Why do I do this to myself? Let me tell you something about how I review. Board books? Pshaw. I can take one and write a nine-paragraph review parsing […]

Press Release Fun: Middle Grade Twitter Chat!


This week I received the following piece of info: “Mighty Media Press is hosting and moderating a Twitter chat on August 18th, with six middle grade authors to discuss how middle grade fiction can teach readers about creativity and imagination; and how it helps them confront and solve real-life struggles and conflicts. Our hope is […]

Sordid Taglines: Doing Children’s Lit Classics a Wrong


Moving house, home, and family does something to a woman’s brain. If that woman is me, it makes her ponder great intricacies of life, to say nothing of ballsy marketing plans. And today it all began with this book: I suspect that we Americans are generally more familiar with The Secret Garden as our preferred […]

This Bird Has Flown


Bram Stoker had this to say about Chicago: It, “neither fears the devil nor troubles its head about him and all his works.”  So in light of my recent move, and in celebration of this (my first day), I offer the following to you: Goodbye Library (With profuse apologies to Margaret Wise Brown, who would […]

Finding the Funny: The Newbery Award and Various Works of Hilarity

New Cover

Do funny books get short shrift when award season comes ah-knockin’?  It’s not a ridiculous notion.  After all, the Oscars are notorious for consistently promoting and lauding saddy sad performances and films over their funnier contemporaries.  So I took a gander at some of the recent winners of the Newbery Award (and Honors) and determined […]

Summer Reading Lists: Worst Titles Ever


Recently I was admiring two different but certainly related articles online.  The first was Mike Lewis’s Non-Required Summer Reading List, which is just the loveliest little PDF of fun summery read titles.  A great list in and of itself. The second piece was the infinitely useful article How Teachers Can Create a Summer Reading List […]

Second Novels We Wish We Could Read


Like the rest of America I have watched, enthralled, the debate going on at the child_lit listserv as to whether or not folks should/are choosing to eschew reading Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. I’m sorry, what that? I’m being informed that despite my opinions on the matter, America does not collectively read child_lit.  I […]

Press Release Fun: Author Name Pronunciation Guide Reaches 2,000 Audio Clips

Maybe one of the more enjoyable press releases I’ve released. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Authors and Illustrators Reveal the Origins and Pronunciations of Their Names – See more at: MADISON, Wis. (July 16, 2015) – Ever wondered how to pronounce a favorite author’s name? Since 2007, almost half-a-million readers have visited to hear authors and […]

Fusenews: Containing the only Newbery 4th of July Float I’ve Ever Seen


Mm. Double quick time Fusenews today, I should think. All the goodness. Less of the commentary. As such . . . What is the scariest children’s film of all time? If you mentioned a particular film that involved decapitated heads and Wheelers, this link’s for you. I’m not a teacher so I had no idea […]

Review of the Day: Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall


Mars Evacuees By Sophia McDougall Harper Collins $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-229399-2 Ages 9-12 I’ve a nasty habit of finishing every children’s book I start, no matter how dull or dire it might be. I am sort of alone in this habit, which you could rightly call unhealthy. After all, most librarians understand that their time on […]