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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Readalike Conundrum: What Netflix Can Tell us About Predicting Predilections

Netflix

Fond as I am of podcasts, I do have a tendency to view them as conveyance systems for blog fodder. I plug in my earphones, walk home from work, and get ideas for posts. That’s the hope anyway, but nine times out of ten a podcast is just a podcast. Even the most inspirational ones […]

The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant: Fuse 8 n’ Kate Transcription

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This week Kate and I didn’t release a new episode of our podcast. In lieu of that, she’s typed up a transcript of our Babar episode, for those of you that would prefer our banter in written form. Here then is the episode in full. Many thanks, indeed, to Kate for doing the dirty work […]

It’s All In the Wrinkle in Timing: Changes Are Afoot!

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I figured it out. If this whole librarianship ship doesn’t pan out for me (I’ve held down various library jobs for 14 years but nothing in this life is certain) I’ve decided on my back-up career: Film critic of children’s books-to-movies. Granted, I’ve no film background (aside from being married to Matt) but I’ve noticed […]

Building a Better Bundo: The History of Picture Books, Politics, and Wiggly Noses

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Like most of my information, I heard about Bundo via an oblique tweet that raised more questions than it answered. Then came the press release from Chronicle Books. It read: “Chronicle Books and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver present A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo ―― 100% of Last Week Tonight’s proceeds […]

Insufficient Nostalgia Milking, or, Why The Three Investigators Aren’t Voltron

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A couple weeks ago I was asked to interview screenwriter and podcaster John August at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago. John has a new middle grade fantasy series coming out called Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire which is basically Boy Scouts plus magic. It’s not half bad, actually. Since John is best […]

Guest Post: Happy Birthday Lore Segal! Ellen Handler Spitz Celebrates the Return of “Tell Me a Mitzi”

TellMeMitzi

Dr. Ellen Handler Spitz is back! Today’s guest post celebrates a picture book classic, now back in print after decades of disappearance. Dr. Spitz puts the book in the context of not just its times but the canon of children’s literature itself. It’s too marvelous not to share widely. Consider it your required reading of […]

Problems We’d Like to Have: Where Do I Fit All My Medals?

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When I lived in New York City, publishers were a dime a dozen. Big publishers, little publishers, a whole slew of them are located in Manhattan (with a couple in Jersey and a few in Brooklyn). You get jaded when you live there. Then you move away and it’s a whole new ballgame. Oh, you […]

Like a Cover Reveal But Wordier: An Excerpt from Susan Cooper’s The Boggart Fights Back

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Looking back at the recent slate of award winners, I view them through the lens of someone that has lived in Trump’s America for a little more than a year. As a result, I see things a bit differently. Taken a certain way, every book becomes a kind of protest. Consider the Caldecott. I’ve mentioned […]

Guest Post: A New Consideration of Elena Ferrante’s The Beach at Night by Dr. Ellen Handler Spitz

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You guys know my penchant for children’s books that fall outside the usual norms. And nothing strikes fear in the good American heart faster than picture books from other countries. I’ve seen even the most sophisticated of readers wrinkle their noses at translations they deemed “weird”. And nothing caused such wrinkling better than the 2016 […]

In Memoriam: Dr. William H. Teale

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In August of 2015 I took two small children and got on a plane leaving LaGuardia Airport in NYC, now headed for the Midwest. After dropping my kids off with my parents, I took my mom and dad’s car and drove to Evanston, IL for my first day of work. My husband was following with […]

Not In Any History Books: Digging Deep Into the Past of the New York Times Best Illustrated List

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Leave it to the experts, that’s what I always say. Some time ago I was contacted by librarian Cecilia Horn, currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library in Northern Kentucky. Cecilia was researching the New York Times Best Illustrated List, which is presented yearly to ten different picture books. It’s […]

Weeding the Formerly Famous

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Is it wrong to wait patiently, patiently, patiently, for a popular series you loathe to die? I’ve always been very interested in the longevity of children’s books. The other day I had a conversation with someone who told me that word on the street has it that many of the committee members on the Newbery […]

Everything Old Is New Again: Fantastic Picture Book Bios You May Have Forgotten

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Folks, I’ve been in this game a long time. Not as long as some, but if you take into account my blogging years I’m a verifiable crone. I started back in 2003 and it’s been nothing but typing ever since. Now this year, in 2018, I’ve been very encouraged. A lot of the picture book […]

The Inexpensive Way to Keep Up With the Oscar Contenders

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Yesterday, on Tuesday, January 23rd, the Oscar nominations were officially released. There was good news (yay, Get Out!), bad (boo, Three Billboards!), and everything in-between, but all in all it was a lot of the films folks had already been discussing as award contenders. If you’re anything like me, it can be hard to keep […]

Merry Christmas! Celebrating Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas With Editor Frances Gilbert

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Ran into these two the other day at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta : If this duo means anything to you then it could be that you too were raised on one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas. Produced by Jim Henson it was a sweet Gift […]