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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Diversity List: Picture, Easy, and Early Chapter Books of 2015


So I’m going to confess something to you.  All year long, from January onward, I’ve been keeping track of any picture book, easy book, or early chapter book I’ve seen containing some kind of diversity.  Have I missed books?  Of course I have!  You cannot make a list like this without missing something.  Books from […]

The Strangest Pinocchio I Know


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about illustrated books for children (as opposed to picture books) in all their various forms.  And since I’ve a penchant for nostalgia, I often think of my youth and the illustrated novels I read then.  The mid to late 1980s were an odd time for illustration in general.  For […]

Something Old, Something New: Reprinting Beyond the “Canon”


It’s that time of year again when Best Of lists start cropping up left and right, front and center.  First Publishers Weekly begins the process and then everyone else follows suit.  It’s a time of year I enjoy, particularly since I’m desperately trying to figure out what I should be reading before the New Year […]

A Beloved Classic: 95% Less Offensive!


Occasionally I’m sent new editions of various picture books because those titles have managed to maintain their popularity over the decades.  Often when they reach their 10 year anniversaries I feel old.  I mean, seriously.  Fancy Nancy?  A decade?  Really?  Other times it makes sense.  This year, two picture books were released with new editions […]

The Life and Death of the African Folktale in American Publishing


Walk into many a children’s room in a public library and then take a trip to Dewey Decimal number 398.2.  If the room is relatively old and has withstood regular weeding schedules then you may find yourself in a remarkably large folktale and fairytale section.  The titles, however, will probably be a bit on the […]

Even More Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature in Very Adult Places


And now it’s time for yet another edition of Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature in Very Adult Places.  This is where my job as a Collection Manager comes in handy.  I go through all the new adult titles coming out, and locate the books with a children’s book focus or mention.  And today, I’m starting […]

Asking for a Friend: Hit Me With the Right Non-Profit

Okay, Collective Brain.  You’re smarter than I.  Someone asked me the following question the other day and I found myself positively stumped.  It was this: Can you name a non-profit organization that focuses on “keeping neighborhood libraries open, especially in rural areas but not limited to that…low-income areas too.” The closest thing she had found […]

Won’t Somebody PLEASE Think of the Pixels?


The other day I asked my husband, “Am I a Millennial?”  “No,” he said.  “You’re right between the Millennials and the Generation Xers.  You don’t really belong to either.”  That’s about right.  Millennials always feel too young to me (I can’t discuss Boy Meets World with them at all) and Generation Xers are great but […]

You Have to Read the Book

Daniel Boone

I think if you’ve read any of my opinion pieces in the past then you’ll notice that I’ve cultivated over the years a somewhat namby pamby style.  This consists of the following: Step One: Ask a bunch of questions. Step Two: Answer one. Step Three: Ask a bunch of other questions based on that statement. […]

Return of the Attack of the Getty Images (Part Deux!)


Just when you thought it was safe to pick up your middle grade galleys for 2016 . . . . Remember when I posted recently about originally seeing a Barbara O’Connor book? And then later I saw this rather similar adult title? Well now I’ve found a third book with the doggie in question!  Hold […]

Hands Off, Hussy! Hot Men of Children’s Literature Under (Too Little?) Fire


As I see it, the relative success of the blog A Fuse #8 Production hinged almost exclusively on being in the right place at the right time. I started the site at the cusp of the blogger movement, a time when they were just beginning to be viewed as hip and new. I specialized in […]

Are Historical Heroes Allowed to Have Prejudices in Children’s Literature?


I don’t usually post anything aside from videos on Sunday but after attending the IBBY Conference in NYC this past weekend this topic came up and seemed well worth pursuing. Not long ago I reviewed The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. It’s a fine, unique historical novel about a 14-year-old girl who escapes a […]

Burglars, Thieves, and a Classic Picture Book Trope

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When reading a book like Mac Barnett & Christian Robinson’s Leo: A Ghost Story, one is immediately struck by the old-fashioned sensibility of the endeavor.  PW said that there was a “retro look of the art” and Kirkus went further saying, “Robinson creates a vintage 1950s-’60s feel.”  The feel extends beyond the art, however.  In […]

Finding MORE Children’s Literature in Unexpected Places


Not long after starting my new job with the Evanston Public Library system I wrote a post called Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature in Rather Adult Places.  The impetus came from the fact that within the capacity of my new job I see quite a bit more adult literature than I ever did back at […]

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 […]