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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

ALA Chicago 2013: What’s There to Do?

This isn’t going to be quite as comprehensive as it might be, but I tried to put together a little info sheet for folks trying to figure out what’s going on where in the children’s literary realm at this week’s American Library Association conference in Chicago.  Here’s something I’ve cobbled together, though it’s missing a [...]

A Summer Reading Theory: A Cockeyed Query for the Edu-ma-cation Types


Yesterday I spent the bulk of my working day engaged in an activity that I suspect many of my fellow librarians deal with each and every summer.  As the summer reading lists start walking into my branches I’ve been encouraging my librarians and information specialists to copy these little beauties and send me copies of [...]

Cover Reveal: The Quantum League by Matthew Kirby


I’m don’t run what you might call a blog that revels in cover reveals. It takes a special kind of author or illustrator to get me interested. Someone like, oh say, a Matthew Kirby. Thus it is with great pleasure that I present to you one of his upcoming books. This September we’ll be seeing [...]

Notes from The Nonfiction Dialogue Stickler of Doom


If you had told me as recently as a year ago that I was doomed to become The Nonfiction Dialogue Stickler of Doom (copyright pending) I would have said . . . . well, honestly I would have asked where you came up with that term.  Then, once you’d defined it (Nonfiction Dialogue Stickler of [...]

Newbery/Caldecott 2014: The Summer Prediction Edition


ATTENTION!!!  If you are planning on watching the live feed of the Newbery/Caldecott announcements during the ALA Youth Media Awards presentation, come half an hour earlier and check out my pre-game show where I will join cohort Lori Ess in discussing the potential winners.  Afterwards we will note which Mock Newberys, Mock Caldecotts, Mock Printzs, [...]

Kwanzaa in June: When Holidays Fall Out of Favor


Welcome to mid-June.  That stellar time of year where librarians everywhere try to decide whether or not it’s too early in the season to put on display their five Fourth of July-related picture books (admit it – it’s true).  The way my mind works it logically follows that there’s not better time to start lamenting [...]

A Mexican Conundrum


The other day I sat down with one Karen Coeman to discuss the state of Mexican children’s books today.  Working as she does in Mexico with the hope of bringing more Mexican titles to American shores, she filled me in on a lot of the difficulties facing Mexican books for kids.  Between the difficulty of [...]

Show Me the Awesome: Children’s Librarians Can Do Anything


If you traverse the interwebs on a regular basis then you may have spotted the catchy “Show Me the Awesome” posts that have been springing up hither and thither.  Thither and yon.  The initiative was started by Kelly Jensen, Sophie Brookover, and Liz Burns. Designer John LeMasney was, in turn, responsible for the kicky graphic [...]

BEA One Stop Shopping: What to See and Do That’s YA & JUV


Howdy, folks! I can’t take full credit for today’s post since it was my ineffable co-worker Alison Hendon who took the time to cull together all the stuff at this month’s upcoming Book Expo that is children and YA book related.  If you have any interest at all in attending but you’re not quite sure [...]

The Mighty Lalouche Contest (which I don’t normally do, but this one is sort of too cool to ignore)


Hidy-ho, faithful readers. A blogger might field any number of requests to host contests for new books on their blogs.  And generally speaking, you could be forgiven for almost always politely declining. “No”, you might say, “I just don’t run that sort of blog”.  It is the rare book that snaps me out of such [...]

2013 Middle Grade Black Boys: Seriously, People?


So I’m in the office talking with my colleagues about A Girl Called Problem by Katie Quirk and how awesome it is. Then the topic shifts to books with African-American protagonists published in 2013 for kids between the ages of 9-12.  You know.  Middle grade fiction.  And in the midst of my lamenting how few [...]

Here’s to You, Mrs. Berenson


A treat for you today. Yesterday I had the very great pleasure of sitting down with author Dr. Chitra Divakaruni, illustrator Susy Pilgrim Waters, and their editor Neal Porter.  You may be aware of the remarkable collaboration these clever folks have concocted.  The book is called Grandma’s Great Gourd and it’s a Bengali folktale of [...]

From Blogging to Books: A Tour of Child/YA Lit Bloggers

The road to publication is not a straight line.  It’s not even a single line.  Sometimes it feels to me that there are as many ways to publish a book as there are books to publish.  I started out as a children’s librarian. From there I started to blog.  Then from blogging came some books.  [...]

The Unreliable Narrator in the Picture Book Format


I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour where employees of NPR dissect some aspect of pop culture in a smart and funny way each week.  The show works for me because as I age I become worse and worse at knowing what is out there and this show allows [...]

Chicago, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo: I’m Gunnin’ for Ya

Folks, I’ll be stepping away from the desk/office/city/state for the next few days as I do a tiny little self-propelled book tour.  In fact, if you happen to live in Chicago or Grand Rapids, MI or Kalamazoo then you are in luck.  I’m nigh!  Here are the appearances for the next few days: April 25th [...]