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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

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


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


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


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


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)


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


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 […]

Wanted for Big Cash Prizes: American History Books


I think I need a new hobby.  I should collect, and place on a website somewhere a listing of all the high cash, little known book awards for children’s books out there.  Perhaps this already exists somewhere.  Hm. In any case, it wasn’t long ago that a friend alerted me to the Grateful American Book […]

I’m So Vain, I Probably Think This Book Is About Me


Today we’re going to talk about what happens when your name is so common, it shows up in children’s books willy-nilly without actually having anything to do with YOU.  Which is to say, me. I took my name willingly.  No parent in their right mind should name a child “Betsy Bird” after all.  When I […]

Historical Nonfiction Children’s Books I’d Like to See (Based Entirely on Drunk History Episodes)

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Recently I did a post where I mentioned several wonderful Hark, A Vagrant webcomics featuring historical figures that I’d love to see turned into picture book biographies.  Well, in a similar vein, I’m a big fan of the Drunk History series on Comedy Central too.  It’ll be returning soon for a fourth season and has […]

Picture Book / Movie Pairings: They Make Sense in My Head!


The other day I was sitting with a group of talented children’s librarians discussing Dan Santat’s Are We There Yet?  Boy, I tell ya, there’s nothing like sitting down with smart people to hear them discuss a picture book in full.  I walked out of that room with a lot more knowledge crammed into my […]

There Is a Tribe of Kids: The Current Debate


This year, in 2016, a conversation has sprung up around the picture book There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith.  The discussion has occurred primarily on blogs and listservs with the occasional mention on Twitter.  I would like to summarize the points here and explain what’s going on, since, unlike A Fine Dessert […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Books in Unexpected Places


Time for another post that justifies my current job.  As you may or may not know, as Evanston Public Library’s Collection Development Manager I buy all the adult books.  Which is to say, they apparently make them for people over the age of 12 these days.  Who knew?  Happily, there are plenty of connections to […]

Midwestern Investigative Report: NerdCampMI 2016 – Day One


There are advantages to living in New York City. Good museums. Lots of books and readers.  The sweet morning aroma of hot garbage on the street to greet you at the break of day. Consumed in such a heady aroma it can be easy to forget that there are disadvantages to the city as well. […]

The Summer Reading T-Shirt Fashion Show


I think we’ve all learned something here today.  When it all comes down to it, and when all is said and done, summer reading t-shirts that are deeply attractive are rare, beautiful butterflies and that should be treasured and honored.  Which is to say . . . . ARE YOU READY FOR A SUMMER READING […]

My Library’s Summer Reading T-Shirt is Cuter Than Yours


Or is it? Folks, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a library in possession of a summer reading program must produce a t-shirt of some kind.  And generally speaking, it is usually a walking eyesore.  Though I owe New York Public Library more than I can ever repay, I must confess that each and […]