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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

American Cover Reveal: Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

CuckooSong

Consider, if you will, the strange relationship that exists between a book jacket created in America vs. a book jacket created in the United Kingdom. Both are appealing to an audience that speaks primarily English.  But the perception of what will sell/appeal in one country can vary widely from that of another.  Over the years [...]

Could It Be Published Today?

GoodnightMoon

This past Saturday I hosted a Children’s Literary Salon at the main branch of NYPL that discussed the past, present, and future of children’s book publishing. It was a stellar line-up, moderated by author Jane Zalben. To kick off the panel discussion, the panel was asked a question that has been posed many times before [...]

Why Is Nothing Easy Anymore?

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A patron walks up to your children’s reference desk.  Asks for books for beginning readers.  The patron has a small child who is just at the very very beginning of learning to read and needs books with simple words.  No big long sentences.  Nothing too intense.  Just the basics.  You walk over to your easy [...]

Blog Tour Stop: Children’s Literary Podcasting Loves a Winner

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On April 19th of this past year I hosted a Children’s Literary Salon at NYPL called Podcasting Children’s Books: Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs. Unlike a lot of my Salons, this one was actually recorded and turned into a podcast here.  Why am I telling you all this?  Because that podcaster, one Matthew Winner, [...]

Happy Thanksgiving! Now Go Listen to a Podcast

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Joyeux Turkey Day, my fellows!  Between bites of sweet potato and rolls, perhaps it might do the soul good to listen to a l’il ole podcast that’s actually a bit perfect for the day.  The “original” Thanksgiving was between Pilgrims and Native Americans, or so we were taught in grade school, yes?  Well perhaps we [...]

Thoughts on the Debut Author/Illustrator

Booklist

Last week Jackie Woodson won The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.  It was a win so deserved that I had difficulty processing it.  Under normal circumstances National Book Awards for children’s books come out of left field and are so blooming unpredictable that they almost always serve my perpetual amusement.  The fact that [...]

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

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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 [...]