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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Library Lions in Books for Kids

TopCats

It’s not widely known but here is a true fact about my current job – I don’t work in the big stone library with the big stone lions anymore.  Surprising, right?  I still have my job, it’s true.  But about a year ago I was moved with the rest of my department to Long Island [...]

Cover Reveal: Dave Barry’s Return to Middle Grade

worstclasstripever_comp copy

I’d just graduated college when a book came into my possession that was to have a surprising amount of sway over my life from that point onward.  Its title?  Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs.  The year was 1997 and it may well be that I’ve never enjoyed a book quite as much since. Fast [...]

Translating Picture Books: Why Don’t We Care?

GermanWimpyKid

So I’m having lunch with author Jeff Baron (I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN) the other day and we’re talking about his play VISITING MR. GREEN.  It’s a remarkably popular work, and has had debuts all over the world.  The topic naturally turned to translation and Jeff mentioned that he takes an active role in reading and [...]

Happy Halloween Ephemera

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This marks the first year my daughter (now three) actually cared what her Halloween costume was.  She wanted to be a princess.  I brought home The Paper Bag Princess in response.  No worries.  She won’t be wearing a paper bag or anything.  I just wanted to combat the princess notion any which way.  And now [...]

Cover Reveal: The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents . . .

StratfordZooRomeo

One of my favorite graphic novels this year was the awfully ambitious (and awfully good) The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents . . . MacBeth.  Any book that uses that much ketchup in its plotting has my instant love.  So when the folks at First Second asked if I wanted to present the cover reveal [...]

Is It Rude to Ask?

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There are questions in this world that it is always safe to ask a children’s librarian about his or her children.  Prominent amongst them: “So what are your kids reading these days?” The “kids” in question here would be the librarian’s children.  Yet I’ll admit that when I’m asked, there’s always that brief moment of [...]

The 9th Annual Carle Honors – 2014

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Traditionally I tend to attend the Carle Honors secretly pregnant.  I’m not sure why this is but at least twice I have walked about, discretely refusing any and all alcoholic beverages.  One of those times I’d discovered the pregnancy mere hours before the event. No hidden incipient heirs were on display this time around, and [...]

Historical Accuracy in Illustration: Shifting Standards or Stubborn Certainties?

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There’s been a lot of talk about accuracy in children’s nonfiction recently (which is just a fancy way of saying that there’s been a lot of talk on this particular blog).  Everything from invented dialogue to series that are nonfiction-ish.  One element we haven’t discussed in any way, shape, or form though is the notion [...]

Columbus Day? Direct Thine Attention Hence

Columbus

So I’m sitting at a Tri-Library Book Buzz event in NYC the other day, which is basically this massive librarian preview event where publishers of every stripe hock their wares in a lickety-split fashion.  I like to go because it lets me see a lot of the little publishers who don’t get a lot of [...]

Cover Reveal: Who Was Steve Irwin?

WhoWasSteveIrwin

Have a seat, children.  Let me tell you a little tale. The year was 2000.  I was a recent college graduate making her way in the world, fighting the good fight against an inevitable career in librarianship (a fight that I happily lost in the end).  While tooling around Portland, Oregon I came across the [...]

Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light Apéritifs

HickoryDaiquiri

There’s this fellow I know. Tim Federle is his name. You might know him from his rather extraordinary and charming middle grade books BETTER NATE THAN EVER and FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE. Both books focus on a theater kid finding his way on Broadway. They are charming, effervescent, and irresistible, much like their author. In [...]

Trendwatch: Tweet Tweet. Year of the Bird.

BeyondLaughing

I don’t do all that many trendwatch posts on this site, if only because it’s impossible to keep track of them all.  One minute you’re seeing tons of picture books involving whales.  Another minute you’re noticing more than one book about encouraging your pet to become atheist (see this and this).  If you do notice [...]

Surprise! It’s Racist! Unwanted Children’s Book Surprises.

IfIRanZoo

I think many of us have done this at some point.  You’ve picked up a favorite old children’s book to read to your own kiddos.  Everything’s going smoothly and you’re all having a fabulous time.  Then, WHAMMO!  Surprise!  It’s racist! Have no idea what I’m talking about?  Well today we’re talking race and we’re talking [...]

E is for Esoteric: 2014 Alphabet Books Get Creative

Alphabetics

What is it about the alphabet that gives artists the license to get weird?  Historically, the alphabet book is one of the earliest American children’s book forms.  You know.  “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”  That kind of thing.  I’m certain someone has already written, or is in the process of writing, the full-blooded history [...]

Newbery / Caldecott 2015: Fall Prediction Edition

OnceUponAlphabet

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 [...]