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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Body Parts Blog Tour: Maris Wicks and Her Human Body Theater


Oh, I’m so very pleased today. It’s not every day when you get to be part of a blog tour AND feature a distinctive portion of the human anatomy. Thanks to Maris Wicks, now you can have both. As you may know, a certain graphic novel by the name of HUMAN BODY THEATER is sweeping […]

When Getty Images Attack


I was walking the stacks yesterday, minding my own business, when this book catches my eye: I stare at it for a moment. It looks remarkably familiar for some reason, though I know I’ve never seen it before.  Then it hits me: Barbara O’Connor fan that I am, I remember really adoring this cover when […]

Cult Picture Book Favorites


Not to be confused with picture books about cults.  *shudder*  There’s a genre we needn’t plumb. No, today I’m talking about those picture books that are released, do moderately well, or maybe not well at all, fall out-of-print, and then long after their demise accrue a kind of cult following.  The fans swell, demand that […]

Who Was Beatrix Potter? by Ellen Handler Spitz


Today I am pleased to introduce to you Ms. Ellen Handler Spitz.  Author of Inside Picture Books (Yale University Press, 1999), Ms. Spitz currently holds the Honors College Professorship of Visual Arts at University of Maryland.  She is, as you can see, a smart cookie.  She is also a Beatrix Potter fan.  Indeed, amongst her […]

Picture Book Pairings I’d Like to See


The greatest advantage to being a children’s book editor, as I see it, is the power to occasionally pair your favorite authors with your favorite illustrators on a picture project near and dear to your heart.  We know on a logical level that it is rare when an editor manages to attain the precise perfect […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2016: Fall Prediction Edition


Around this time of year people start discussing what kind of a publishing year it has become.  Is this a strong year for picture books?  A weak year for nonfiction?  An unusually peculiar year for fiction?  It’s all based on personal assessments, containing little to no empirical evidence one way or another, culminating, in the […]

Maris Wicks Cover Reveal: Coral Reefs


The other day I wrote the following on Facebook about my four-year-old: “We’re reading my daughter a graphic novel for 9-12 year olds every night (her insistence) called Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks. Basically it goes through all the different parts and functions of the body. Well, tonight she was once again swallowing her […]

App Review: The Other Side by Mental Canvas


Foof!  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these so forgive me while I stretch the old app-reviewing little gray cells for a second. There was a time, best beloved, when I thought this little blog would do it all. V-blogging.  Podcasting.  And, yes, app reviewing.  But reviewing apps is an arduous process […]

Football Season Arrives: A Quick Look at “Don’t Throw It to Mo!”


I’m two-timing you, SLJ.  Yes, the ugly truth had to come out sometime.  I admit all.  You see, I’ve been blogging elsewhere. Crazy but true?  It is, but this is a kind of blogging I’ve never really done before.  Because while my specialty is children’s literature, my new job here in Evanston, IL requires that […]

Bring Out Your Dead (Reviews!): Today’s Feature – Wings by William Loizeaux

Leaving one library system to enter another can give one a sense of déjà vu.  At least when it comes to weeding the books. Back when the Donnell Central Children’s Room across the street from the MOMA had to weed down its books to fit in the new location on 42nd Street, we did some […]

Interview – Lauren DeStefano and A Curious Tale of the In-Between


First things first. Look at that book jacket. Gaze upon it. Feast thine peeper upon its delightful creepy factor. That’s a cover, my friends. And it takes a good book to live up to it. Fortunately, A Curious Tale of the In-Between hasn’t exactly been lacking for the stellar reviews. As Kirkus put it, “DeStefano […]

Girls: Beyond Eyelashes and Bows


Not too long ago The Guardian had a piece out called Picture books that draw the line against pink stereotypes of girls.  I was keen on it, particularly since in the midst of all these children’s books about breaking down stereotypes, I’ve seen awfully few “tomboy” titles.  Books about girls who won’t wear dresses or […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]