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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

You Have to Read the Book

Daniel Boone

I think if you’ve read any of my opinion pieces in the past then you’ll notice that I’ve cultivated over the years a somewhat namby pamby style.  This consists of the following: Step One: Ask a bunch of questions. Step Two: Answer one. Step Three: Ask a bunch of other questions based on that statement. […]

Return of the Attack of the Getty Images (Part Deux!)


Just when you thought it was safe to pick up your middle grade galleys for 2016 . . . . Remember when I posted recently about originally seeing a Barbara O’Connor book? And then later I saw this rather similar adult title? Well now I’ve found a third book with the doggie in question!  Hold […]

Hands Off, Hussy! Hot Men of Children’s Literature Under (Too Little?) Fire


As I see it, the relative success of the blog A Fuse #8 Production hinged almost exclusively on being in the right place at the right time. I started the site at the cusp of the blogger movement, a time when they were just beginning to be viewed as hip and new. I specialized in […]

Are Historical Heroes Allowed to Have Prejudices in Children’s Literature?


I don’t usually post anything aside from videos on Sunday but after attending the IBBY Conference in NYC this past weekend this topic came up and seemed well worth pursuing. Not long ago I reviewed The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. It’s a fine, unique historical novel about a 14-year-old girl who escapes a […]

Burglars, Thieves, and a Classic Picture Book Trope

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When reading a book like Mac Barnett & Christian Robinson’s Leo: A Ghost Story, one is immediately struck by the old-fashioned sensibility of the endeavor.  PW said that there was a “retro look of the art” and Kirkus went further saying, “Robinson creates a vintage 1950s-’60s feel.”  The feel extends beyond the art, however.  In […]

Finding MORE Children’s Literature in Unexpected Places


Not long after starting my new job with the Evanston Public Library system I wrote a post called Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature in Rather Adult Places.  The impetus came from the fact that within the capacity of my new job I see quite a bit more adult literature than I ever did back at […]

Body Parts Blog Tour: Maris Wicks and Her Human Body Theater


Oh, I’m so very pleased today. It’s not every day when you get to be part of a blog tour AND feature a distinctive portion of the human anatomy. Thanks to Maris Wicks, now you can have both. As you may know, a certain graphic novel by the name of HUMAN BODY THEATER is sweeping […]

When Getty Images Attack


I was walking the stacks yesterday, minding my own business, when this book catches my eye: I stare at it for a moment. It looks remarkably familiar for some reason, though I know I’ve never seen it before.  Then it hits me: Barbara O’Connor fan that I am, I remember really adoring this cover when […]

Cult Picture Book Favorites


Not to be confused with picture books about cults.  *shudder*  There’s a genre we needn’t plumb. No, today I’m talking about those picture books that are released, do moderately well, or maybe not well at all, fall out-of-print, and then long after their demise accrue a kind of cult following.  The fans swell, demand that […]

Who Was Beatrix Potter? by Ellen Handler Spitz


Today I am pleased to introduce to you Ms. Ellen Handler Spitz.  Author of Inside Picture Books (Yale University Press, 1999), Ms. Spitz currently holds the Honors College Professorship of Visual Arts at University of Maryland.  She is, as you can see, a smart cookie.  She is also a Beatrix Potter fan.  Indeed, amongst her […]

Picture Book Pairings I’d Like to See


The greatest advantage to being a children’s book editor, as I see it, is the power to occasionally pair your favorite authors with your favorite illustrators on a picture project near and dear to your heart.  We know on a logical level that it is rare when an editor manages to attain the precise perfect […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2016: Fall Prediction Edition


Around this time of year people start discussing what kind of a publishing year it has become.  Is this a strong year for picture books?  A weak year for nonfiction?  An unusually peculiar year for fiction?  It’s all based on personal assessments, containing little to no empirical evidence one way or another, culminating, in the […]

Maris Wicks Cover Reveal: Coral Reefs


The other day I wrote the following on Facebook about my four-year-old: “We’re reading my daughter a graphic novel for 9-12 year olds every night (her insistence) called Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks. Basically it goes through all the different parts and functions of the body. Well, tonight she was once again swallowing her […]

App Review: The Other Side by Mental Canvas


Foof!  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these so forgive me while I stretch the old app-reviewing little gray cells for a second. There was a time, best beloved, when I thought this little blog would do it all. V-blogging.  Podcasting.  And, yes, app reviewing.  But reviewing apps is an arduous process […]

Football Season Arrives: A Quick Look at “Don’t Throw It to Mo!”


I’m two-timing you, SLJ.  Yes, the ugly truth had to come out sometime.  I admit all.  You see, I’ve been blogging elsewhere. Crazy but true?  It is, but this is a kind of blogging I’ve never really done before.  Because while my specialty is children’s literature, my new job here in Evanston, IL requires that […]