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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2014


If I’m going to be honest about it, this is a list I do every year strictly for myself.  It sort of helps me get my head in order.  Figure out what I liked.  What I didn’t.  What I reviewed.  What I missed.  I recommend you make your own sometime.  The categories are from the […]

Betsy Regretsy: Books I Most Regret Not Reviewing in 2014


Babies.  They just sorta throw the whole reviewing machine into a tizzy.  When I first started blogging I was actually able to do a review a day.  That was crazy.  Then kiddo #1 was born and that slowed to 2-3 reviews a week.  Manageable.  This year (2014) kiddo #2 made his debut and now I […]

Review of the Day: Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman


Hansel and Gretel By Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti Candlewick $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-935179-62-7 Ages 6 and up When a successful writer of books for adults decides to traipse headlong into the world of children’s literature, the results are too often disastrous. From Donald Barthelme’s self-indulgent Slightly Irregular Fire Engine to the more recent, if […]

Announcing NYPL’s 2014 100 Books for Reading Sharing List!


You know, folks, there are lists and then there are LISTS.  And I’m not saying one is any better than another.  Of course not.  But when we look at lists of children’s books there’s only one that truly has my heart.  Coming in at 103 years old this year, NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and […]

Review of the Day: Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy


Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands By Katherine Roy David Macaulay Studio – Roaring Brook (Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 9781596438743 Ages 7-12 On shelves now. When you’re a librarian buying for your system, you come to understand that certain nonfiction topics are perennial favorites. You accept that no matter how many […]

Review of the Day: Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers


Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters By Oliver Jeffers Philomel (an imprint of Penguin) $26.99 ISBN: 978-0-399-16791-1 Ages 6 and up On shelves now Beware ever becoming a brand, my sweet, for that way lies nothing but unhappiness and ruin. Or not. I think the only real and true problem with […]

Review of the Day: Water Rolls, Water Rises: El Agua Rueda, el Agua Sube by Pat Mora


Water Rolls, Water Rises: El Agua Rueda, el Agua Sube By Pat Mora Illustrated by Meilo So Children’s Book Press (an imprint of Lee & Low Books) $17.95 ISBN: 978-0892393251 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. Sometimes I wonder what effect the televised ephemera I took in as a child has had on my memories and […]

Review of the Day: Caminar by Skila Brown


Caminar By Skila Brown Candlewick Press $15.99 ISBN: 978-0763665166 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Survivor’s guilt. Not the most common theme in children’s books these days. Not unheard of certainly, but it definitely doesn’t crop up as often as, say, stories about cupcakes or plucky orphans that have to defeat evil wizards. Serious works of […]

Review of the Day: Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam


Fox’s Garden By Princesse Camcam Enchanted Lion Books ISBN: 978-1-59270-167-4 $14.95 Ages 3-6 On shelves now. Have you ever read a picture book multiple times, enjoying it with each and every read, and then find later that it was wordless . . . and you didn’t even notice? Now THAT is the mark of an […]

Review of the Day: At Home in Her Tomb by Christine Liu-Perkins


At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui By Christine Liu-Perkins Charlesbridge $19.95 978-1-58089-370-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves now When I say the word “mummy” what springs into your mind? Movies starring Brendan Fraser? Egypt and scarabs and rolls of crumbling papyrus? Absolutely. But what if I told you […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2015: Fall Prediction Edition


Now we’re in the thick of it.  Do you hear that?  That is the clicking ticking sound of the reanimation of the Heavy Medal and Calling Caldecott blogs.  They’re a little groggy right now, trying to get their bearings, figuring out which foot to try first.  But don’t be fooled by their initial speed.  Very […]

Review of the Day: Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

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Dory Fantasmagory By Abby Hanlon Dial (an imprint of Penguin) $14.99 ISBN: 978-0-8037-4088-4 Ages 6-8 On shelves October 9th Which of the following types of children’s books are, in your opinion, the most difficult to write: Board books, picture books, easy books (for emerging readers), early chapter books, or middle grade fiction (older chapter books)? […]

Review of the Day: Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood


Bad Bye, Good Bye By Deborah Underwood Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-547-92852-4 Ages 3-7 On shelves now As a mother who recently spent the better part of twenty hours in a car with a three-year-old and a three-month-old baby, I feel a special kinship with parents who have also engaged in the ultimate endurance […]

Review of the Day: El Deafo by Cece Bell


El Deafo By Cece Bell Amulet (an imprint of Abrams) $21.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-1020-9 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 2nd We appear to exist in a golden age of children’s graphic novel memoirs. Which is to say, there are three of them out this year (El Deafo, Sisters, and The Dumbest Idea Ever). How to account […]

Review of Day: The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg


The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee By Barry Jonsberg Chronicle Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-3351-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 9th It often takes a while to figure out when you’re falling in love with a book. A book is a risk. You’re judging it from page one onward, informed by your own personal prejudices and […]