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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Nuanced Picture Book Biography

SpiritSeeker1

Last week I was sick.  Sick as a dog sick.  Sick in that way where you feel the cool breezes coming through your window and have a fleeting glimpse of how lucky you are to be sick at the end of the summer rather than even a week earlier when your misery could have only […]

Cover Reveal: Catstronauts

CatstronautsMission

Folks, let me level with you.  I only love two things in this world.  Cats.  And astronauts. Okay, that’s a lie.  I love a whole lot more than just those two things.  But let’s say I was stranded on a desert island somewhere and I was told that I could have a book about only […]

RIP Gene Wilder: Children’s Literature’s Avatar

YellowBrick

Consider, if you will, the life of Gene Wilder.  Since his death, many people have been doing precisely that.  It makes me happy, but since I’ve harbored a not-so-secret crush on the man for decades (a quick search of this blog will back that up) I felt it necessary to point out that for all […]

The Picture Book in 2016: Social Themes and Lessons

ImGirl

I recently received a very interesting, if puzzling, question.  A friend of mine needed to know, for professional reasons, what I would consider the top themes in picture books these days.  By “themes” I don’t mean trends but rather emotional or social lessons for young readers.  You might even go so far as to call […]

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

FoxSay3

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

LilyMonster1

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

childrens-books

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

HamiltonFelted

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)

HarryPotterNursery1

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

BabySays

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

GratefulAmerican

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

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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)

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 11.33.43 PM

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!

Bill_&_Ted

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

TribeKids

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 […]