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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Today we’re all about the visuals

All around this great nation you will find chapters of 826.  Which is to say, storefronts converted into free tutoring facilities for local kids.  There’s an 826NYC (in Brooklyn, inexplicably), an 826DC, an 826 Valencia, you name it.  They encourage folks to volunteer in their cities.  They also encourage artists to get a little freaky with their advertising creativity.  Each storefront has a faux store going on.  In New York it’s a superhero supply store, in Valencia it’s for pirates, Michigan is robots (naturally), and Boston is for bigfoot.  And in LA it’s a time travel mart.  So this art was created to advertise it.  As you can see to the left here, they’re cautionary time traveler posters.  You can purchase them at their online store.  Wow.  Well worth checking out.

Over at the Lee & Low Blog, folks are polling for an answer.  Say they, “It’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, and we’re wondering what our readers would think about picture books portraying the growing number of families led by same-sex parents—would you buy or review picture books featuring same-sex parents, whether for your library, classroom, kids, or personal collection?”  You can vote your answer on their site.  Mind you, I do agree with what Cynthia Leitich Smith says when she writes that, “I can’t think of a title that features characters who aren’t white folks.”  Um . . . huh.  Feeling a little bad I haven’t noticed that before.  Talk about a gap.  I suppose you could argue that the parents in Mommy, Mama, and Me and Daddy, Papa, and Me might be interracial.  But it’s hard to say.  Guess we’ll all have to wait for the picture book versions of Dykes to Watch Out For instead.  That definitely has some non-white gay parents in it.  Thanks to Miriam Newman for the link.

  • Random Thought of the Day: I want Mac Barnett to do mock Mac and PC ads with either Patrick Carman or Christopher Paul Curtis.  They’d stand in a white space and Mac could say, “Hi!  I’m Mac” and Christopher Paul Curtis could say, “And I’m Christopher PC.”  Then they could talk about their latest books and banter.  This is the kind of stuff that occurs to you when you’ve been cataloging books all day long.
  • Author Mark Nobleman provides a scientific analysis of what the best time to speak at a conference is.  These numbers don’t lie.  Take heed, oh ye upcoming speakers at ALA.  He’s dead on about what happens at 2:00.
  • So I’m puttering around a website showing Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club images, and I run across this:

You may have click to enlarge it, but when you do, take a gander at the upper right hand corner there.  Holy cats, is that a twenty-year-old image of Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka?  Wow!  You don’t often see such pics used in contemporary ads for their older books.  Update time!

  • “I really miss being number one. I’m going to catch Harry one way or another.”  That would be John Grisham talking about Harry Potter and the fact that until J.K. Rowling came along he was, by his own definition, “number one.”  You may be aware that he tried writing a children’s book recently.  I say “tried” because after reading Monica Edinger’s hilarious encapsulation of Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer, I want nothing to do with the thing.  Except, possibly, to get Leila Roy‘s take on it someday.  Oh, Leila  . . . .
  • Daily Image:

Certain things in my life make me happy.  One of them: The Hark, A Vagrant webcomic.  Another: Its creator, Kate Beaton, recently created this poster for Janus Films.  Click on it to see a larger version.  You’ll be glad you did.

I want her to illustrate graphic novels for kids.  Someday . . . someday . . .

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Antonio’s Card and Best Best Colors have non-white lesbian moms. Absolutely, we need more.

  2. One of the lesbian moms and one of the gay dads in EVERYWHERE BABIES are people of color, and there are also gay parents of color in Arthur Levine’s forthcoming MONDAY IS ONE DAY (Spring 2011). Not that that makes up for the lack of books focused on such parents, but they are being represented in larger parenting titles.

  3. Cheryl said was I was gonna say! One of my favorite things about the delicious illustrations in Everywhere Babies is that a gazillion kinds of families are represented. Kids being raised by a grandparent or older relative, kids in mixed-race hetero families, kids with one parent, kids with lesbian and gay parents of color…they can all see themselves in this book. I would definitely buy a (good) book with LGBT parents in it, but I also think it’s important for publishers to show a wide variety of families in books that aren’t specifically about LGBT parenting.

  4. Thanks, Besty, for posting the link to our poll! And extra-thanks, Laurina and Cheryl—now I have more books I know I need to look for and read (we’re *supposed* to have ever-expanding piles of to-be-read books, both at work and at home, right?)

  5. 826 posters are everywhere today! The Paper Cuts blog at the New York Times is featuring this awesome “Are You Ready to Publish Your Novel” one:

  6. This Fusenews reads like the inside of my head: 826, homosexuals in books (been thinking about this a lot lately, what with the gay characters in my new novel), Mac Barnett, puppets, Lane and Jon, and Kate Beaton. Not sure what John Grisham’s doing in there, though.

  7. I dunno. What’s so wrong about taking my eyes off the road on a highway to watch faux muppets lure me to my death?

    Loved the Chaplin stuff too!

  8. Adam: 826 homosexual puppets in books?

  9. Genevieve says

    There’s no 826 in DC (yet, she says hopefully?). Those posters are so much fun and so compellingly drawn!

    What Marjorie said about Everywhere Babies – that’s one of the reasons it’s my go-to shower gift.

    Grisham seriously, seriously thinks he can overtake Rowling with this series? Yeesh. It sounds like part Encylopedia Brown, part Pleasantville, and not in a good way at all.

  10. If I remember right (don’t have it in front of me) both of the parents in ASHA’S MUMS are people of color, as is Asha. And it’s not a picture book, but one of the two gay dads in my new favorite chapter book, THE POPULARITY PAPERS by Amy Ignatow, is Asian. But yeah, it’d be nice to see more.