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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: “So I like to think that I killed him.”

Consider the book trailer not just as an advertisement for a book, but as a short film in and of itself.  When we consider the future of online book advertising, we may notice that films for books are becoming longer and better constructed than those of the past.  This video starring M.T. Anderson is no exception.  As the description from the site puts it, “This book trailer, stitched together out of pieces filmed before M. T. Anderson’s unfortunate disappearance, discusses his new book The Suburb Beyond the Stars. It is part of a larger set of documents about the strange and mysterious sightings and deaths in the area of Mount Norumbega — all of which will be released soon on Scholastic’s website. We’re working to make them available to a waiting public.  We hope you can make more sense of this film than we can.”

Please make sure that you get at least to 4:45 on the video.  It . . . changes around then.  Significantly.

Is the future of online book advertisements short films?  I like to think so.  Thanks to Tobin for the link.

Speaking of films, they’ve just released the official trailer for the adaptation of John Marsden’s Tomorrow When the War Began. Now there’s a dystopian novel series I’d forgotten about.

The truth?  I think I got two minutes into this before I realized that I was confusing Tomorrow When the War Began with Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now.  Hoo!  By the way, fair play to the trailer.  True, most of the kids are attractive white teenagers, but please name me a movie, any movie, where a male Asian character kisses a white girl.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it’s shockingly rare. Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link.

Another movie trailer that came out recently?  The newest Harry Potter!  Check it:

Thanks to @mitaliperkins for the link!

The ALA Conference in D.C. was last weekend.  Did you miss it?  Never fear!  Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes has become our designated king of the impromptu ALA children’s literature-centric video.  Check out the man’s mad skills here:

God, he’s good.  And if Travis is the king of such videos then Katie Davis is undoubtedly the queen.  I do some work with Katie, providing audio book reviews for her regular podcast Brain Burps About Books.  Here you can see that she interviewed a TON of fantastic children’s authors and editors and the like at ALA with a burning question: If you could work for any character in children’s literature, who would you work for and what would be your job?

Alas, I never ran into Katie at the conference, so I never got to give her my response.  Probably for the best.  It’s not a healthy thing to want to be Smee.

Speaking of ALA, my ankle informs me that I still owe it big time and it would prefer to be carried about on a silken pillow, held by good-looking serving boys in linen shifts.  I tell the ankle that it’s being a baby and a Sketchers sneaker is good enough for it.  It responds by pouting.  This is a fight I’ve had with it since I sprained it a week from last Friday.  A week from last Saturday I hobbled myself into a hotel in D.C. to meet with one author/illustrator Lisa Brown.  I had not met Lisa Brown before.  She is San Francisco based, which I respect but cannot visit as New York currently has me on a tether.  However, since we were in the same vicinity we decided to meet up and she was lovely.

Now at some point, YouTube decided it would be okay to post videos longer that 10 minutes.  So if you an hour and twenty-three minutes to kill (you think I joke? I joke not) then you can watch Lisa and her husband Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) talking at the Contemporary Jewish Museum about writing for the young ‘uns.  Thatcher Hurd, Elisa Kleven, and artist/writer/art critic Jonathon Keats apparently make appearances as well.  You’ll like the Handler/Brown rapport, I think.  Or, at the very least, his shirt.

Daniel Handler: Still the fellow I am most afraid of.  Interesting that I would find him scary and not, say, Tobin Anderson.  Hm.

Another person I’m not afraid of: My own agent.  That was sort of a prerequisite, I guess.  Stephen Barbara’s mine, representing folks like Newbery winner Laura Amy Schlitz and the like.  Recently he was interviewed by Kathi Appelt about the top two agents in his office.

I’ve actually met Winnie.  Nice enough.  A little intimidating, to be completely honest.  Still, she’s never been anything but sweet to me.   By the way, Kathi’s really becoming a whiz at these videos on her blog.  Check ’em out sometime if you’ve a chance.

So I’m saying to myself the other day, I’m sayin’, “Betsy.  You have too much free time.  Why don’t you start writing articles for Time Out Kids New York?”  And so I says back to myself, “That’s a fine and fancy idea, other me.  Let’s shall!”  Batta bing, batta boom, this article.  It’s about the current window display going on at Books of Wonder (New York’s delightful children’s bookstore) and the fact that it was created by one Cynthia von Buhler.  I reviewed her But Who Will Bell the Cats? back in the day, so it made sense to report on her window dressing.  There’s even a fancy little video to accompany the window as well.  Seen here:

As for our usual off-topic video, this is a trailer for a film.  A film that has suddenly made me realize how hungry my eyes have been for traditional 2-D animation (even if a spot of 3-D is thrown into the mix once in a while).

Yes, please.  More, please.  Thanks to Tiny Showcase for the link.

Happy Fourth of July, everybody!  Have a good one.

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. Asian guy kisses hot white gal…..

    Dragon: The Bruce Lee story.
    Sixteen Candles (Long Duk Dong)
    Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (Technically, Harold kisses a Columbian gal)
    They Call Me Bruce…..

    Uh…that’s all I got.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Good call, Dan! Now notice how many of those are comedies. The only story where the guy got to be the sexy hero was the true story of Bruce Lee. Strange, no?

  2. Scholastic sure did NOT pay him enough. Best. Book. Trailer. Ever.

  3. And that last one. I think I knew Chomet had this in the works, but not that it was from at Tati screenplay. Wow.

  4. I’m so excited about Tomorrow When the War Began! Such a good series, and only recently has it really caught on at my library. I’m happy to know that it will be getting even more exposure!

  5. Do the award winners make speeches? If so, are those available somewhere?

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      They do make speeches, yes. Alas, we’ve yet to get to the point where they are recorded for posterity. However, you can read them in HornBook and all attendees receive CDs of the speeches to take home with them.

  6. Tobin’s trailer is the best I’ve seen in a while. I think the long run-up is a bold move. Lulls you into a certain state of mind that makes the stuff later all the more effective. Kind of like the lengthy establishing shots of the car driving through the mountains at the beginning of “The Shining.” It’s another example of Tobin expecting more from the audience, and in turn, delivering more.