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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

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 […]

The Rise in Latino Children’s Literature: A 2015 Accounting


So we need diverse books, which at this point in the proceedings shouldn’t really be news to much of anyone.  You know it.  I know it.  But ascertaining progress can be tricky in these matters.  Anyone who works in publishing knows that it takes years and years for books to reach publication.  Read through any […]

And All Our April Fool’s of Yesterday


It sort of defeats the purpose to write a post that reminds folks that it’s April Fool’s Day in the post’s very title, doesn’t it?  I guess I can’t go about claiming wild and wacky things, like Peter Sieruta used to.  Remember his 2012 post on “Selznick syndrome” or 2011′s Charlie Sheen Lands Children’s Book […]

Where the Wild Books Are: Addressing the State of Global Publishing in America

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It’s amazing what a blog post can do. About a year or so ago I wrote some thoughts about picture books created in other countries, and how they are received when they are brought to American shores.  I’ve a great deal of experience with librarians considering some types of illustrations too “weird” to promote to […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2016: Spring Prediction Edition


There are traditions we adhere to because they are what we know.  And what do I know?  I know how much fun it is to predict Newbery and Caldecott winners WAY way way before I oughta.  Why do I do it?  Because it’s fun.  Mind-blowingly ridiculous on some level.  But fun. Each year I also […]

Off to Slumber Slumberland: Little Nemo at the Society of Illustrators


If you’re going to sit down and study the history of children’s literature, you cannot skip the Little Nemo section of your textbook.  Maurice Sendak’s wild imaginings, for example, would not have had their distinctive flavor if a certain little boy had been able to keep his dreamlife under control.  Cartoonist Winsor McCay kicked off […]

The Worst Mother or Father of 2015: Cast Your Votes Now


It’s a little unfair posting this request in early March, of all times of the year.  After all, I’ve only read a smattering of the 2015 books for children, and I haven’t even seen the bulk of the fall list! But what I have read has definitely stood out.  Bad parents are a children’s book […]

Too Fun to Be True?: The Amusing Side of Nonfiction Illustration


In the six or so years I’ve held NYPL’s Children’s Literary Salon (a monthly gathering of children’s book enthusiasts) I’ve seen it all. Epileptic fits. Audience members whose questions after a talk consisted entirely of just a series of insults aimed at my panelists. But the thing that gets under the skin the most is […]

What Are the Best Literary Apps Available Today?


The question came to me and I admit I was a bit stumped at first.  A colleague was looking for recommendations of the best literary apps for kids.  Put another way, apps with a distinct tie-in to specific children’s books.  So I thought about it. I’ve toyed about with several apps for years.  I could […]

Cover Reveal – Mr. Puffball: Stunt Cat to the Stars


It is my infinite pleasure to present to you today a middle grade novel’s cover that amuses me in a way that really speaks to my particular proclivities.  Humor is so subjective.  Still, it is beyond me how anyone could look at this and not be immediately charmed.  And so, ladies and gentlemen, I present […]

Bring It Back! Out-of-Print Crimes Against Humanity: Adios, Oscar


Let’s try something a little new.  I’m only human.  I like to rant and rail about various children’s books being lamentably out-of-print as much as the next guy.  But I also acknowledge that in the current publishing state in which we live it is simply not possible to keep all books in print. That said, […]

The Official CBC Bookmark Reveal

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WHAT TIME IS IT, AMERICA!!!????!!! If you answered that it was time for Children’s Book Week, you’d almost be right.  Actually, Children’s Book Week (now in its 96th year) isn’t until May 4th – 10th.  In preparation, I have a bit of a treat planned.  On Sunday, April 26th at 2:00 p.m. the following program […]

The Unlikable Female Character: Thoughts on Middle Grade Literature


While making the rounds through the old internets I came across a recent New Statesman piece entitled Why I want more unlikeable female characters. The premise pretty much boils down to a desire to see “women who are every type of humanity – assholes and all” in our literature and popular culture.  And while the […]

African-American Experience Children’s Literary Reference Guide (2010-2015)


We’re in the thick of the month of February now and recently I ran into an interesting problem.  It being Black History Month and all I was looking to create a list of Black Experience children’s books for my librarians to pull from for displays and purchasing and such.  So I trolled about online looking […]

2015: The Year of the Spiders and the Flies


Let’s face facts.  When doing a trendwatch piece, it’s almost impossible to top Travis Jonker’s 2014 bit of brilliance 2014: The Year of the Whale. Prior to that piece I had done The Year of the Chloe, The Year of the Jackalope, and The Year of the Raven.  And now, in 2015, I’m calling it […]