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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

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 [...]

The Hachette/Amazon War: One Writer’s Perspective

WorseCaseScenarioAmazon

Not too long ago I linked to a letter Amazon had released regarding their spot o’ trouble (to put it mildly) with the publisher Hachette.  In my post I encouraged authors to tell me what they thought about it and they did, but not on my blog itself.  And why should they?  With all the [...]

Invented Dialogue and the Conundrum of the Picture Book Biography

NoisyPaintbox

You know, it’s not that I’m a big nonfiction reader or advocate in particular.  It’s just the nature of children’s librarianship in this day and age.  You simply cannot work in the field without encountering nonfiction and, as a result, sometimes you end up with granite hard opinions about the form.  Take me, for example.  [...]

Ben Hatke Blog Tour: Come buy, come buy!

goblins_b copy

I’m pleased as punch to be today’s stop on the Ben Hatke Beastiary of Lost Creatures blog tour (and you know I almost never do blog tours so this book has gotta be good.  Today Ben’s gonna highlight a creature for us himself and I’m gonna sit back and take it easy. Enjoy! Ben Hatke’s [...]

Historical Kids: What the HECK is Going On With Nonfiction Bios These Days?

Sacagawea

Maybe it’s Common Core.  Maybe not.  I’m not always quite certain how far to place the blame in these cases.  However you look at it, children’s nonfiction bios are getting weird these days.  In some ways it’s quite remarkable.  I’m the first one to say that nonfiction for kids is better now than it has [...]

Books to Films – Coming Soon So Be Prepared!

Boxtrolls

The advantage of having a bookstore in the library is when it has a tendency towards brilliance.  Take this recent list the employees of the Schwarzman Building of NYPL came up with.  I can take no credit for this.  It’s just smart stuff (and very useful for my ordering as well).  With mild tweaks on [...]

Film Review: The Giver

Giver1

[SPOILER ALERT: This whole review pretty gives away every plot point in both the book and film versions of The Giver.  Abandon ship all ye who wish to remain surprised.] On Sunday night I had an extraordinary experience.  I was sitting in a theater, just about to watch Guardians of the Galaxy, and seeing what [...]

The State of Children’s Literary Blogs Today (Prepare to Update Your Blogroll)

sljcover

As you may or may not have heard the offices of School Library Journal moved/are moving to a new location here in NYC.  As such, a fair number of folks have been cleaning house.  One such person wrote me an email letting me know that they had extra copies of “my” SLJ issue and they [...]

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . .

WildThings

And by “you’ve all” I mean “me”. Yes, today marks the official release of my book co-written with Julie Danielson and Peter Sieruta, Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature!!  To celebrate we’re engaged in a blog tour.  Head on over to 100 Scope Notes for our first post in which we are grilled [...]

Wikipedia, Amelia Bedelia, and Our Responsibility Regarding Online Sources

AmeliaBedeliaWiki

When I was a children’s librarian with NYPL’s Children’s Center at 42nd Street I conducted a lot of class visits with older kids (ages 9-12, usually).  Sometimes these would be groups of kids learning how to do research using the library’s resources.  For them I covered the usual databases and image library stuff, but also [...]