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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Prehistoric Security Guards = Instant Awe

I must say, I was more than impressed by the sheer wealth of great children’s poets weighing in on yesterday’s post about the conspicuous lack of an ALSC poetry award.  Today, we shall switch gears and instead start off the day with a fine little . . .

  • New Blog Alert: I’ve decided that I want to work at the Eric Carle Museum.  This is a long-term plan.  I’m not in a particular rush.  If 50 years down the line they have an opening in their little library (I like their little library quite a lot) I’ll apply then.  Until that time I’ll just read their brand new blog instead. The blog in question is called Shop Talk and has all sorts of goodies in it.  Visits from illustrators like Lisbeth Zwerger (she’s so young!).  Communist interpretations of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Even a first sentence quiz that stumped me (is Madame Louise Bodot from Crictor?).  They tell me that they’ll be doing an endpaper quiz soon too.  Better add it to the old blogroll.
  • New Italian Blog Alert: I don’t get to write that nearly as often as I’d like to.  In a perfect universe we Americans would be able to hear not just about the cool new children’s books from our own American blogs, but the cool new worldwide children’s books via blogs from other countries.  I know of a couple Aussie children’s literary bloggers.  At least one Brit.  A Canadian or two.  But where are the Welsh, the French, the Chinese, or the Indian children’s literary bloggers?  At least we’ve got a rep from Italy, eh?  The Tea Box recently came to my attention, and thanks to the wonders of translation you can read it in only mildly maligned English.  There are interviews and looks at new books.  And check out this image from this post on the picture book La Governante by Edouard Osmont.

Gorgeous!  I could spend all day exploring through the site’s blogroll too.  Bella bella!

  • It’s pseudo Shakespeare week over at the resident husband’s blog Cockeyed Caravan.  I eschew plugging him too often, but I particularly liked his recent posts on Why Do Hamlet and Batman Delay? and the problems with remake fever (“Who stages Thomas Kyd’s 1589 version of Hamlet today?”) as well as a look at the much maligned and very funny Hamlet 2.  In this Glee-loving world in which we find ourselves, how has Hamlet 2 not been re-discovered?
  • Peter at Collecting Children’s Books continues the discussion I started with my post Re-Illustrate That Sucker by bringing up a Zilpha Keatley Snyder title of such unparalleled poor illustration, it kinda makes your eyeballs ache.  Then he asks for suggestions of children’s books that critics love but readers hate.  Go on and send ‘im your suggestions.
  • It’s not exactly new news, but sometimes I just like to point out how nice it is that ReaderKidZ exists.  Great little literary children’s site.  Two thumbs way way up over here.

“I’ve been struggling with trying to figure out if Greg is a cartoon character or a literary character . . . If he’s a cartoon character, he should stay the same age forever. But if he’s a literary character, he needs to grow up and move on. In Book 5, Greg is at the threshold of adolescence. By the end, I answer that question once and for all.”  Jeff Kinney spills a couple beans about everyone favorite Wimpy Kid, just in time to reveal the cover for book #5.  I had a kid in my library a couple weeks ago assure me that the newest cover would be purple.  Turns out he was right.  Wish I knew whom that kid was.  He could be the soccer predicting octopus of the Wimpy Kid world!  There’s more info over at Mishaps and Adventures if you’re curious about the latest release.  Thanks to @boydesigner for the link.

  • Had a lovely drink with some children’s literature types the other day, and a photographer by the name of Mimi Ko was present.  She does a lot of different folks, but I was particularly pleased with the shots she’d taken of folks like Neil Gaiman and his daughter Maddie.  Audrey Niffenegger and Gene Wolfe too.  In the event that I ever have enough money to hire a photographer (ho ho, hee hee, ha ha) I’ll go with her.
  • I discovered them in 2006 and they have been healthy and strong ever since.  Sounis, the group for Megan Whalen Turner fans, recently had a post from one Beth Shulman on whether or not Turner’s books are for kids.  It’s a great collection of links of what different folks have said over the years.  Something to consider when we begin to discuss whether or not her latest has Newbery potential.
  • Y’all know my love of all things graphic novel (has anyone else read the graphic collection Trickster: Native American Tales, by the way?).  So you understand my interest in Publishers Weekly reporting on three upcoming gn adaptations.  Two of them seem pretty standard.  Lightning Thief and The Amulet of Samarkand.  Ho hum.  The third, however, more than piqued my interest.  The Little Prince as adapted by Joann Sfar???  Ye gods!  Gimme gimme gimme!
  • So I’m reviewing A Tale Dark and Grimm the other day and I decide to flip through my copy of Grimm’s Grimmest, introduced by Maria Tatar and illustrated by someone by the name of Tracy Arah Dockray.  Tracy . . . Dockray.  Now, that could simply not be the same person responsible for the recent Ramona Quimby re-illustrations, to say nothing of The Tushy Book?  Could the woman responsible for this poster (discussed recently on Read Roger) be the same person who drew in such loving detail pictures of chopped up maidens and other scenes of gore?  Answer: Yup.  Awesome.
  • Now I know that Pink Tentacle announced that it was posting “a collection of wonderfully weird illustrations by Gōjin Ishihara, whose work graced the pages of numerous kids’ books in the 1970s.”  Just the same, I’m gonna need some confirmation from my Japanese readers that these were actually from a book intended for kids (it’s the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters 1972, if you want to be precise) before I believe that anyone would think these pictures were intended for children.  That said, “Prehistoric man as modern-day security guard” is probably the best thing I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life.

  • The Guardian recently reported that Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books are being updated.  Goodbye, weird racism!  It’s an interesting idea but Leila Roy probably put it best when she said, “. . . on the other one hand, I understand changing the books to make them more palatable to a new generation of readers — turning more children on to reading, hopefully raising literacy rates (and, for Hodder, selling more books) — but on the other other hand, some of the proposed changes seem to be less about modern translation and more about simple dumbing down, like ‘it’s all very peculiar’ to ‘it’s all very strange’.”
  • There’s an interview with Eoin Colfer in The Irish Times at the moment.  However, when you decide to call your article “I have had a really nice life and I think my books reflect that” it sure sounds as if that person is mere moments away from death.  Which, I am happy to report, Colfer is not.  Thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg for the link.
  • Woah!  Didn’t see that one coming.  Wimpy Kid, I suspect you have much to answer for.  From Cynopsis Kids:

“The classic and adored picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is being developed as a “high-concept family comedy” by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and his 21 Laps with Fox , per Variety The Jim Henson Company holds the movie rights to Judith Viorst’s popular book, which it has assigned to Fox.  Rob Lieber (Septimus Heal: Magyk) will write the screenplay.  While this will be the first movie based on the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was adapted by HBO (1990) as an animated musical special, featuring music composer/lyricist by Charles Strouse (Bye Bye Birdie, Annie, All In The Family theme song, film score to Bonnie and Clyde, to name a few), and as a musical theatrical with the Kennedy Center (1998), featuring music/lyrics by Viorst and score by Shelly Markham.”

  • Daily Image:

My sister saw this sign in L.A. the other day.  Clearly you SCBWI folks must have put it out there for me during your recent conference.

Pity I don’t own a car.

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. Sam B. from Cincinnati says

    Okay, if you’re going to be the librarian at the Carle, then I’ll be a shelver. Or I could work at the cafeteria, which serves pretty good cookies, btw. Maybe we can get my wife a job as the program coordinator – hey, do you think we would have to run all this by Eric himself? Is he considered the CEO of the Museum? For some reason I’m picturing Lawrence Olivier as Zeus in the original Clash of the Titans, but Eric Carle seems so much nicer!

  2. lisainberlin says

    Can I put a link in here? This isn’t a blog but it is a great source for German children’s books. Unfortunately, it’s not translated, but you can look at (and click on) the pictures.

  3. I have read Trickster and liked it very much. (Thanks to The Picnic Basket for the review copy!) I think kids will like it, too! See my July 19th post at (I see it is on the YALSA’s 2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.)

  4. Hi Betsy.

    Here’s another interesting Italian kids’ book blog:

  5. Dear Betsy, I am sooooo honoured you saw my blog and furthermore that you did appreciate it… I’ve just came back from Macerata (a gorgeous town in central Italy) where I’ve been recording interviews with very important authors in the european panorama: it was an amazingly nice experience… more soon on the blog. But, mostly, THANK YOU for your words and attention.

  6. Hi again, just wanted to say that Sara Gavioli (the author of the image you appreciated) is so thrilled about your appreciation! Also, you’re absolutely right about my translations.. I know they are very far from perfect english (and french too for the french page), you’ve been too kind to just say “mildly”! 🙂 GRAZIE, GRAZIE! Cristiana

  7. I love Cristiana’s blog, and she and I are plotting an evil plan to found our own international board of children’s lit something-or-other just so we can work together.

  8. Jules! THANK YOU and Yes I LOVE PLOTTING!!!!!!