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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Chubby little cubby all stuffed with RAGE!!!!

On Saturday, August 7th at 2:00 p.m. I will be moderating a talk with Stephen Roxburgh of namelos and Jennifer Perry, the Assistant Vice President & Editorial Director of the Book Publishing Group at Sesame Workshop, about ebooks, digital literature, and the current children’s literary industry.  As preparation, this article from Publishers Weekly called The Digital Revolution in Children’s Publishing could not be better timed.  I was particularly taken with this quote from Kristen McLean (executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children) regarding interactive content: “Early reports indicate that this content is not replacing traditional books. It’s replacing games . . . Parents would rather see their kids engaged in book content than in game content.”  For my part, I hope that in the future more authors will be directly involved in the interactive aspects of some of these books.  Or that we get more designers that study exactly what works and doesn’t work with our kids from a storytelling standpoint.  Whatever the case, I’m inclined to suggest to attendees of my panel discussion that they read this article before attending.  It’s sure to answer a lot of questions, and raise even more.

  • Whoopsiedoodle (yes, I just wrote that word and yes, I regret nothing).  Looks like I missed talking about ShelfTalker’s latest Stars Thus Far posting.  You’ll remember that Elizabeth Bluemle takes it upon herself to accomplish the Herculean task of collecting all the starred children’s book reviews for a given year on a regular basis.  In this latest one I see that I missed that Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce achieved the very rare SIX STAR level!  Even When You Reach Me never accomplished that.  Well done, Mr. Boyce!  Pity you’re ineligible for a Newbery, eh?  Now if I can only convince Harcourt to send me a copy of Ubiquitous . . .
  • I was enjoying the Jacket Knack post The Unexpected Ordinary anyway.  Then I saw the picture of the new paperback jacket for How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier.  Oh man.  I am suddenly in love with some unknown Art Director. Of course, it immediately brings to mind Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairies, but that is not a bad thing.  That book particular book is due for a YA revival anyway.  Or maybe we’ll just wait for the current crop of Rainbow Fairy enthusiasts to hit their teen years.  Give it 5 years or so.

Can you identify what these two books have in common?

You will need to know a little bit about the books to answer.  20 points to the person who can figure it out.

  • Apropos of nothing, that which Roger says is correct.
  • My Librarian Previews are all well and good but if you really want to get the scoop on what’s coming out in Spring 2011 (aside from some mentions of Greenwillow books, I haven’t even TOUCHED on this topic yet) check out this jaw-dropping post from Publishers Weekly called Children’s Books: Spring 2011 Sneak Previews.  Better read it in small doses, though, or you’ll end up like me, foaming at the mouth for all the cool looking new stuff.
  • “The Moomin Heir” would be the great title of a middle grade novel, if there weren’t already such a person.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been working so hard on my book with Jules and Peter, but sometimes I feel like every time an article comes out about a big name in children’s literary history, their lives are full of sorrow and woe.  Not Tove Jansson, though.  The niece of the Moomins’ creator tells all, and it’s a really happy story.  One I certainly enjoyed reading too.  Thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg for the link.
  • There are times when an American ear might have a problem with the sheer Britishness of a posting.  I confess that though I was raised on Danger Mouse and Bananaman like any good little 80s anglophile, it took me several paragraphs before I could get the gist of what this review for The Railway Children at Waterloo Station actually was saying.  Me no talk so good.  Sentences like “A Fabian. How Shavian,” make little Yankee mind hurt.  In any case, it appears that a staged production of the E. Nesbit book The Railway Children is being performed at Waterloo Station and is a big time hit.  Brits love their trains anyway.  Put a real one into a show and they are instantly mesmerized.  I am now off to find out what a Fabian is.  Either that or to finally finish my copy of The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt which has taken up permanent residence on my sidetable for about a year now.  Thanks to Fran Manushkin for the link.
  • If I do nothing else in this world, I should really read Picture Book Report with more regularity.  Nowhere else can you find artists reinterpreting classic works of children’s literature on such a huge scale.  At the moment I am going back and reading all the Jeremy Sorese comic posts he’s done for A Wrinkle in Time.  Which *cough cough* some enterprising *cough* publisher who owns the rights to the book should really LOOK INTO PUBLISHING.  I am not good with subtle hints.  Thanks to bookshelves of doom for the reminder about the blog.
  • A couple things from Cynopsis Kids today.  The first doesn’t make a lick of sense to me, since I’m pretty sure the charm of Moore’s book is entirely due to its LeUyen Pham illustrations:

“A musical adaptation of actress/author Julianne Moore ‘s kids’ book, Freckleface Strawberry , will open Off Broadway this October 3, 2010 at the New World Stages in NYC, per Variety .  Directed by Buddy Crutchfield, the family-targeted show was adapted for the stage by Rose Caiola and Gary Kupper and features music/lyrics by Kupper and choreography by Gail Pennington Crutchfield.  Previews begin for the show on September 9.  Casting for the show was not announced.”

This one’s more fun:

“The ensemble cast of Martin Scorsese ‘s live-action 3D adventure movie Hugo Cabret rounds out with two new members Emily Mortimer (City Island, Shutter Island) and Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man).  Based on Brian Selznick’s kid-targeted book The Invention of Hugo Cabret , the movie also stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz, Ray Winstone, Helen McCrory, Frances de la Tour, and Richard Griffiths.  The movie is penned by John Logan (Rango, Sweeney Todd, Gladiator), and produced by Scorsese, GK Films’ Graham King and Tim Headington, and Johnny Depp, with executive producers Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Charles Newirth and Christi Dembrowski.  Currently filming at London’s Shepperton Studios, Hugo Cabret is scheduled for a December 2011 release in North America from Sony Pictures.”

  • Recently my children’s room received a whole mess of brand new Arabic children’s books from Scholastic.  Someone in our purchasing department wanted to know if we wanted them and we gave a very enthusiastic “YES, PLEASE!!!” as a response.  I swear that aside from Spanish and Chinese, Arabic and Russian are my two most requested languages.  The L.A. Times noticed what Scholastic was doing too, since they recently wrote the article Scholastic makes inroads into Arabic children’s book market.  A really remarkable piece that touches on the difficulties of these new translations.  Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • Hey hey!  Persnickety Snark has started the countdown of Top 100 YA Novels as determined by her poll.  Here was her first post and she’s already down to #75-71.
  • The Albert Whitman & Company folks have given a royal overhaul to their blog, and it couldn’t look better.  Boxcars, Books, & a Blog is following the lead of so many other publishing blogs, posting each and every weekday.  There are podcasts and pumas at fancy luncheons.  What more could one ask for in this world?
  • Woah.  Um.  Well, in the event that you find you are not reading enough librarian blogs and you wish to find some new ones, perhaps you might want to hear Lloyd the Llibrary Llama sing The Blogga Song.  No children’s literary bloggers that I recognize, except Tiny Little Librarian, who I love.  Now I gotta go find that Slytherin Librarian.  Thanks to mom for the link!
  • Daily Image:

My only objection to this comic by Andrew Harkins is that he is inspired by the Disney Pooh rather than the Shepard.  Have you seen this yet, Lisa Yee?

Thanks to BoingBoing and John Peters 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. Ok, Betsy you’ve stumped me! What DO the jackets for BOBBY THE BRAVE and THE KNEEBONE BOY have in common? A boy and a girl on the cover? The presence of a cat? Trees in the background?

    The palette, the overall feeling, the expressions, the typography are all quite different. And the things I mentioned as being in common are all…well, common place. 🙂

    What am I missing??? (Maybe it’s caffeine…it’s not even 9:00 am yet…)

  2. Kelly Fineman says

    Love the comic (and post title). And the casting for the HUGO CABRET movie sounds phenomenal! Christopher Lee? Ben Kingsley? Jude Law? I am so there. (Gosh, I hope the movie doesn’t turn out to suck!)

  3. The cats in both books (Bobby and Kneebone) both have extra toes on their paws. Now, about my 20 points… Could I get them as two fives and the rest as singles?

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      And the winner is DAN! Which is not entirely fair since he drew cover #2, but we’ll give it to him anyway. Your points are in the mail, Mr. Santat.

  4. Christine Bird says

    A brother, a sister, and a possibly dangerous cat.

  5. Hey . . . I was gonna say, “the cat.”

    I will say that the Pooh/Hulk was, er, um, interesting?

  6. dotdotdot says

    If you win the lottery, you too could be a Moominaire!

  7. Marianne Follis says

    Can you even see the toes on the cat in Dan’s book? Can I mention how disturbed I am by all the garden gnomes lately? (Ok…maybe there are just 3 covers I can think of, but that is still 3 too many!)