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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Baby you can fix my car. Yes I’m gonna be a star.

Yesterday I had a bit of surgery done on the old body that required my doctor to drill into my belly button.  All is well and right with the world with me, but I figured I’d keep you updated on the state of the bod, just in case any of you stop by the library today.  I won’t be there if you do, but expect me to be hopping and singing for Monday’s storytime as per usual.

It will come as little surprise to some of you that the man responsible for the iconic Diary of a Wimpy Kid covers is the same man behind Tom Angleberger’s fabulous The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.  Best of all, Chad Beckerman (the man in question) has recently posted onto his blog the cover evolution of this book.  Sometimes you look at a cover evolution and you think to yourself, “Aw, man.  If only they’d gone with the sixth incarnation of the cover instead of the twelfth.”  That is never a feeling I have with Chad’s covers.  They are consistently wonderful final products.

  • New Blog Alert: How much do I love the blog Book Scout?  Whole heaping helpfuls of amounts.  Created by Andrea, a former library associate turned children’s bookseller, her posts are just the right combination of variety, creativity, and intelligence.  This would be my new favorite.  Check out her review of Kate Milford’s The Boneshaker for an example of what I mean.
  • Speaking of bookseller blogs I like, I am a longtime fan of  the bookseller blog, ShelfTalker (be sure to check out Elizabeth’s round-up of The Stars So Far for 2010!).  Hosted by Publishers Weekly, the blog was originally started by Alison Morris.  Since its inception, however, it has been handed off for the most part to Elizabeth Bluemle and Josie Leavitt.  Now, Alison has announced that starting September 1st she will be the Senior Editor of Acquisitions and Merchandising at Scholastic Book Clubs. “In this newly-created position I’ll be working with David Allender, Vice President of Scholastic Book Clubs, to select and merchandise trade books for the Clubs’ monthly catalogs, which are sent home throughout the country with kids ages toddler to teen.”  Which means, of course, that’s she is moving to NYC.  Woo-hoo!  We got another one!  Anytime a great author of any sort, be they blogger or writer, moves to town I consider that a win.  Very pleasing news.
  • I am ashamed to say that while I had a vague notion that Lisa Brown and her husband Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket (who, in the interest of time, we shall simply refer to from here on in as DaHaLeSn or, rearranged, Salad Hen) had written The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming together, I was unaware of their other books.  Books like How to Dress for Every Occasion, by The Pope and the Baby Be of Use series.  Fortunately, Margo over at The Fourth Musketeer has my back, reporting on their recent visit to The Skirball Museum.  Lots of good info there, particularly on Ms. Brown’s upcoming Harper Collins picture book (of which I was ENTIRELY unaware!).  Thanks for the info, Margo.
  • Look, Manor Park Public School, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job but when you hire the author of a book like Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger to speak at your school, you can’t up and get all surprised if the book has ridiculous language in it.  And yes “Mrs. Imavitch” could indeed rhyme with the “derogatory word” you’re thinking of.  It could also rhyme with “witch”.  Guess it’s silly season again.  Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link.
  • Books are greatly interesting to me when their characters are based on real world characters.  However, had you asked me to name the character in The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy with a real-world doppelganger, I do not think I would have selected The Belgian Prankster.  Kennedy spills all, and gives us a glimpse into the world of truly satirical Belgian prankstering.
  • Guess what I’m doing in July!  Speaking at Hamline University as part of their Residency Speaker series.  Yup yup!  The Storyteller’s Inkpot announced it on their blog the other day.  Woot!  I’m going back to Minnesota.  At least for a little while.
  • I was merrily reading this nice Chinook Update interview with Gennifer Choldenko the other day, when I hit upon my name.  Ms. Choldenko, you will recall, is the fantastic author behind Al Capone Does My Shirts and Al Capone Shines My Shoes.  Says the interview, “a third is in the works, and despite Betsy Bird’s excellent suggestion, will not be called AL CAPONE DOES MY NAILS.”  I don’t remember saying that but it sounds more than plausible.  I would read that book.
  • The American Library Association Conference is next week (note to self: purchase color toner for tattoo paper) and I bet you’re all gearing up.  I’ll make a nice and dandy little post with links to the various publisher previews of stuff they’ll be offering there.  However, the Albert Whitman Company alerted me recently to a problem with one of their authors. Sheila Bair is a financial expert who has written a picture book.  Fair enough, but under federal law, her government job doesn’t allow her “make money from use of her government office.”  She can sell her books, fine.  But her publisher isn’t allowed to . . . um . . . well, put her title on any of their promotional materials essentially.  So as a public service, I just want to let y’all know that she’s signing books on Saturday (11am – 1pm, Albert Whitman Booth #2616).  And here’s an NPR piece on her (FDIC Chairwoman Suddenly a Star) just in case you need some proof that she’s actually a real person.
  • Daily Image:

Had I known about it at the beginning of the year I’d have let you know sooner.  In any case, behold!  The Overdue Book Calendar 2010!

That just makes good clean sense.  You can usually purchase a PDF of these from auntjune on Etsy.   However, it doesn’t look to be on sale at the moment.  Forward thinking libraries then may wish to consider creating their own versions, though this one is clearly the most attractive.  Thanks to Book Scout for the link.!

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. Regarding Sheila Bair: I am in the same position with my job. It’s not that uncommon, ethically speaking. I need either to just say “librarian” or can describe my library (a library for the blind & handicapped) but for me to use my specific job/title requires permission. Of course, it’s different if other people say it, LOL!

  2. What a nice surprise to see Chad’s hand (and Origami Yoda) here this morning.

    I think it was Fuse herself that alerted me to the Power of The Chad. Then when I realized he would be art directing the cover of my book, I knew good things were about to happen. And they did, especially when designer Melissa Arnst and artist Jason Rosenstock got involved.

  3. I think that is Al Capone “Shines” My Shoes instead of Al Capone “Does” My Shoes. (Just to get technical) 🙂

  4. I’m afraid I’m picturing a new Handler/Brown medical series, starting with Baby Drills Belly Buttons…

  5. Thanks for the post and I hope all is well with you. May the force be with you.

  6. Betsy- is there any way to access your older blog posts? I am having trouble locating them, and am wondering if it is just my computer or if it is impossible to read them since your site changed over.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Yep, they’re all there. I tend to find them using my new Search bar. However, if there’s anything you can’t find just email me and I’ll send you the URL. Hopefully this is just a temporary problem.

  7. Feel better, Betsy!

  8. now i am blushing. (being a person who is a touch paler than translucent, and a huge fuse#8 fangirl, i should really say i am CRIMSON.) thank you. gah. you are too sweet.

  9. Hoping the BB of BB heals up soon. As for New York stealing Alison away from Boston, I don’t want to talk about it.

  10. I’m so glad my New York news excites you, Betsy! Would finding me a magic apartment excite you too??

    Looking forward to us being neighbors!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Well, you know the illustrator Sophie Blackall is looking to sublet . . .