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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Best of the Underrated Middle School Books


In the world of children’s literature we are creatures with short memories.  The new and shiny is always far more preferable to the old and worn.  I’ve been in the children’s book reviewing game for roundabout eight years now and I’ve fallen in love with a fair amount of titles.  But time goes on and [...]

Un Cri de Coeur: The Masses Demand New Book Jackets (Please?)


Here we are on the cusp of summer.  It always surprises me when the weather gets warm and yet the kids are still in school here in NYC.  Still, they’ll be out soon enough, running into my libraries with their summer reading lists clenched in their hot little hands.  Here in New York City each [...]

Benjamin Chaud: You Know Him. You Just Don’t Know You Know Him.


Tell me and tell me true, what do the following have in common? From the title of this post you have no doubt concluded that they all share the same illustrator.  However, had you asked me prior to my recent meeting with French artist Benjamin Chaud, I don’t know that it would have necessarily occurred [...]

We Interrupt Our Regular Blogging for This Special Announcement


How was your Friday yesterday?  Cause here’s how I spent mine: Ain’t he just adorable?  So forgive the spotty blogging in the coming weeks, folks.  I’ve a son to raise. Woot!

“How I Met Julie Andrews” or “Braggy Braggy, Name Drop, Braggy”


Don’t say you weren’t warned. I don’t want there to ever be a single day where I don’t realize how lucky New York City public librarians can be.  Ours is a weird, privileged, one-of-a-kind world.  When I moved to this city, I knew it believed itself to be the center of the universe and that [...]

We Need Diverse Books . . . But Are We Willing to Discuss Them With Our Kids?


For my birthday my husband picked me up a copy of the bestselling book NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.  To be frank, I hadn’t heard of it.  Though it’s been called “The Freakonomics of child rearing” and lauded by reviewer after reviewer it’s from the world of adult books.  I traipse there but [...]

Why We Need More Spacegirls. Preferably By the Name of Zita


On February 15, 2011 I wrote up a little post about a girl by the name of Zita.  It’s not a particularly common name.  Look through the stats of girl names in a given year and I’d wager “Zita” doesn’t even make it into the top 1000.  Yet when you talk to kids and mention [...]

Announcing a New Challenge: Re-Potterfy Harry Potter!


Well folks, we do this about once a year and so far it’s been nothing but delightful.  Now we ratchet it up a notch.  It’s a fan art challenge and one I hope you’ll enjoy. As you may recall, in the past I’ve offered two odd little projects.  First there was the Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge.  [...]

World Book Night and a Proper Celebration of the Day of Shakespeare’s Birth


In terms of folks who share my birthday today, it’s a mixed bag.  On the one hand I got Shakespeare.  So . . . y’know.  That’s nice.  By the same token 4/23 was the reported date of the death of Cervantes.  On the other hand, I share my birthday with President James Buchanan.  Oog.  But [...]

Children’s Literature Online at a Glance: A Look Back at Friends Long Gone


So I was listening to an episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour the other day.  If you happen to unfamiliar with the show it’s just your basic pop culture based podcast where they dissect the trends and news of the day so you don’t have to.  In a recent episode called ‘Captain America’ And The [...]

On Beyond Haiku: New Forms for Poetry Month


Back in 2011 I wrote a post called Poetry Month Ideas: Try Something a Little Different (note the conspicuous disappearance of ALL the images from said post and sigh along with me).  Well, time has passed but my quest to find new and interesting ways to teach poetry, aside from the standard set of haikus [...]

Press Release Fun: Author Morph App from


Innovative apps are difficult constructs to come up with, particularly when you feel like everything’s already been done.  That’s why I was so intrigued by the Author Morph app.  Now we have one that combines the convenience of an immediate learning experience with what can only be described as an author/illustrator’s worst freakin’ nightmare. Here’s [...]

iPad Use and Babies: Throwing a Wrench in the Works


I think we all uttered a collective scream as one when news of this particular Fisher Price toy came to our attention this holiday season past: It’s called the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat and out of curiosity I wondered if it was still on the market.  Indeed it is, and the comments on Amazon make for [...]

Newbery / Caldecott 2015: Spring Prediction Edition


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Yes, folks, it’s that time of year again.  Just when you had a spare moment to catch your breath after all that award craziness, I come in with my wheelbarrow of 2015 predictions ready to dump them on your proverbial lap whether you want them or not.  And on a holiday [...]

Always Bridesmaids, Never Brides: Caldecott Almosts

There is a phenomenon that I have detected in the wide world of Caldecott Awards.  A phenomenon to which one cannot ascribe blame, but rather occurs in a bubble outside of any logic or comprehension.  It’s something I’ve noticed for a little while but have never put a name to. Inspiration for this post came [...]