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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Day of Dialog 2015: Putting the Chaotic Past Into Some Kind of Order


Book Expo’s a funny beastie. For years it existed for the booksellers of America.  Librarians?  Sure, they could go but we weren’t exactly encouraged to attend.  We had our ALA Conferences and that was nice and well and good. But times, they change.  The internet appeared. The bloggers congealed (I’m trying to find a better […]

What Makes a Picture Book Mega-Hit?


It’s not that it’s impossible to predict the “next big thing” in children’s literature, but it’s also not exactly a hard science.  Indeed, whenever a publisher starts spending beaucoup de bucks on a given title (hardcover f&gs, a serious marketing campaign for a debut author, etc.) I cringe a bit.  They’ve made their bets and […]

Five Questions with Kids Comic Authors: Dan Santat!


I’m so pleased to be participating in the Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour.  Today I’m happy to also announce that our interview is coming to us via the multi-talented Jorge Aguirre and Raphael Rosado (they of the books Giants Beware and this year’s Dragons Beware).  They’re coming over here to chat with a fairly well-known […]

In Search of the Elusive Lesbian Mom


On a typical day at work I might be called upon to come up with a list of children’s books pertaining to one topic or another.  Recently I decided to pull together a GLBTQ list for grades K-3 and one for grades 4-8.  Easy peasy.  I know a lot of the books, both old and […]

What Are the Great Children’s Literature Writing Retreats?

Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop (OCCBWW)

This one’s for the writers, but could be of just as much use to those folks who want to be published authors and just haven’t gotten there yet.  In my time as a roving children’s librarian I’ve spoken at two different but enchanting writing retreats.  I should probably define my terms, though, so when I […]

When Illustrators Surprise You


Brinton Turkle: Purveyor of Terror. For that statement to strike you funny you have to first be familiar with the collected works of a man that, I would argue, was the most successful Quaker author/illustrator in the business. Today I want to tackle the phenomenon of what happens when you discover a new book from […]

The Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala or I’m Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. Scieszka


Subtlety was never my strong suit. And speaking of suits, how crazy is that one?  Yes, if you happened to be at this Monday’s 8th annual Children’s Choice Book Awards gala then you may have cast thine peepers on this understated little ensemble.  Twitter at the moment is vacillating between whether or not it belongs in […]

Ben Hatke and the One and Only Miracle Molly


I’ve always been a particular fan of author/illustrator/cartoonist Ben Hatke.  From the moment I first laid eyes on a little graphic novel by the name of Zita the Spacegirl, I was well and truly hooked.  Now Ben’s working on a couple different projects and he’s been making the internet rounds talking about them.  Today, here […]

Cover Reveal: Sweatherweather by Sara Varon

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 11.43.56 PM

Cover Reveal Day is here once more!  This time it’s a true doozy.  A Sara Varon (and you know how the kids clamor for her).  Here’s a bit of a description and the book itself.  And I know my mom would approve of how they’re holding their knitting needles: Back before Odd Duck, before Robot […]

“Smart girls are funny girls”. Announcing FUNNY GIRL at long last


Call it fate. Call it kismet. Call it the stars aligning, the moon in ascendance, the converging of the planets, whatever you like. When I saw last week that there was a topic trending on Twitter called #WomenWriteFunny, started by Angie Manfredi, it was clear that the hour had come.  For a long time a […]

Christian Children’s Literature in the Library: A Quick Accounting


So I’m sitting at my desk the other day, paging through some children’s books I was sent from who knows where (my records are spotty at best and comparable to what happens when a raccoon is set free in a paper factory at worst) when I stumble across this book Stories of the Saints by […]

Displays Every Day! An April 23rd Sampler


Yesterday was Earth Day, and I suspect a fair number of you librarians out there did some killer Earth Day displays of books for the kiddos, teachers, and parents out there.  I love thematic book displays.  But who says you need an official holiday to create one?  Let us say, for the sake of argument, […]

Searching for the Real: Children’s Literature When Fiction and Reality Intersect


Eventually it will become clear that the bulk of my posts these days are inspired by Radiolab discussion topics of one sort or another.  In today’s case, there was a recent show that made a close examination of those moments when fiction and reality intersect in interesting ways.  The show began with a look at […]

If you could change any rule . . .


Let us say that the gods have decreed that you shall now be The Supreme High Muckety-Muck of the American Library Association, hitherto allowed to command your librarian minions throughout the Americas.  Let us say that in your infinite wisdom you have decided to use this power for only good, and not evil.  Now you […]

Of Bunnies and Blood


Morning, folks!  I’ve two spring-like things to draw your attention to today.  Nothing particularly heavy or consequential.  Just light, airy, early April tidbits. First up, New York Public Library is doing a wonderful 30 Days of Poetry feature where every day of the month a different staff member reads a selection from one of their […]