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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Sibling Reality: When Picture Books Stop Being Nice and Start Getting Real

cookinghenry

I love it when a blog title makes me sound old. Now that my kids have reached the ripe ages of five and two, I’m finding myself more interested in picture books that pick apart the nature of sibling relationships in interesting ways .  I don’t mean fighting.  I mean that crazy pushmepullyou of loving […]

Famous Illustrators’ Depictions of Knitting Ranked in Order of Competency

garthwilliamsknit

Two years ago I wrote a piece called The Scourge of Upside Down Knitting in which I raged unto the heavens against picture books where the artists put little work into bothering to figure out if knitting needles should be held up or down.  Well, it’s time for me to apologize to those illustrators.  If […]

Press Release Fun: Meanwhile, Back in NYC . . .

stand-up_facebook2_0

So I’m no longer in New York City anymore as you might have noticed but that doesn’t meant there aren’t some fantastic events going on there.  Free events.  Free events at my old stomping grounds, NYPL.  It’s all in conjunction with Banned Books Week and the guests are a bit on the famous side.  Gene […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2017: Fall Prediction Edition

cloud-and-wallfish

Mmmm.  It’s that time again.  The summer is beginning to cool its jets and with fall on the horizon I need to present the third in my yearly four-part prediction series.  What was that fantastic quote Travis Jonker came up with the other day?  Ah, yes. “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, […]

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature: Ramona invented the original Portlandia

libertariansprairie

Ooo.  Lots of adult books with smatterings of children’s literature littered about the pages today.  Don’t even know where to start with this one.  Let’s see, eeny meeny miney . . . MO! Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books by Christine Woodside This […]

The Nuanced Picture Book Biography

SpiritSeeker1

Last week I was sick.  Sick as a dog sick.  Sick in that way where you feel the cool breezes coming through your window and have a fleeting glimpse of how lucky you are to be sick at the end of the summer rather than even a week earlier when your misery could have only […]

Cover Reveal: Catstronauts

CatstronautsMission

Folks, let me level with you.  I only love two things in this world.  Cats.  And astronauts. Okay, that’s a lie.  I love a whole lot more than just those two things.  But let’s say I was stranded on a desert island somewhere and I was told that I could have a book about only […]

RIP Gene Wilder: Children’s Literature’s Avatar

YellowBrick

Consider, if you will, the life of Gene Wilder.  Since his death, many people have been doing precisely that.  It makes me happy, but since I’ve harbored a not-so-secret crush on the man for decades (a quick search of this blog will back that up) I felt it necessary to point out that for all […]

The Picture Book in 2016: Social Themes and Lessons

ImGirl

I recently received a very interesting, if puzzling, question.  A friend of mine needed to know, for professional reasons, what I would consider the top themes in picture books these days.  By “themes” I don’t mean trends but rather emotional or social lessons for young readers.  You might even go so far as to call […]

When Celebrity Picture Books Go Kuh-kuh-kuh-KRAZY!

FoxSay3

Celebrity picture books.  The gift that just keeps on giving. Now in the past I’ve had my say about CPB ah-plenty.  Heck, there was an entire chapter devoted to them in Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature. Today, we’ll switch tactics and tackle a topic that no one ever discusses. Weeeeeeeeeeird celebrity picture […]

Monster Mash: Aaron Zenz Goes On Tour

LilyMonster1

Blog tours.  Generally speaking I don’t really do them.  Nothing against them personally, they just don’t always speak to the tenor and distinctive tone of individual blogs.  It takes a particularly keen one to get me out of my hidey-hole so that I’ll participate.  It takes, in short, Aaron Zenz. But first . . . […]

Stranger Things Booklist: This One’s for the Kids

childrens-books

It’s a booklist kind of week. Like many children of the 80s I’ve been just delighted by the Netflix 8-part horror fest Stranger Things.  I may not get most of the Stephen King and John Carpenter references but the E.T., Aliens, and Akira stuff hits home hard.  For work I decided to put up a […]

The Hamilton Reading List: For Those Kids That Just Can’t Get Enough

HamiltonFelted

This summer I was walking about the Printer’s Row Book Festival in lovely Chicago, IL, passing a group of about twelve 16-year-old girls.  All of whom were singing “Satisfied” from the musical Hamilton.  It reminded me of similar past experiences walking by large groups of 8-year-olds singing Frozen two years ago.  Now Hamilton is slated […]

Pimp My Nursery (Kidlit Style)

HarryPotterNursery1

So I’m sitting at the reader’s advisory desk today (it’s a small library so I do 2-4 hours a week) with a co-worker and we get to talking about nurseries.  She has a friend who turned theirs into a paean to hunting.  We’re talking arrow theme, faux bearskin rug, and antlers antlers antlers.  This leads […]

Beyond a Snowy Day: Out-of-Print African-American Children’s Book Classics

BabySays

Recently Slate decided to create a “pop-up blog” of sorts with a concentration on children’s literature. They’ve called it nightlight.  A good name.  We would have also accepted “flashlight under the sheets”.  In any case, I was initially worried that this would be another case of writers who have just found themselves to be parents […]