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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Warning – Contains Me

That’s what Neil Gaiman writes on Twitter whenever he links to one of his blog posts.  “Warning: Contains Me.”  Well, today’s a nice me-centric post, but let’s start off by looking at a “them” instead.  Specifically, a “them” of awesome.

  • Two years ago authors Jim Averbeck and Maria Van Lieshout had an idea.  Since the words Newbery/Caldecott Banquet are already synonymous with glitter and glam, why not do a Red Carpet Interview series?  The series was a hit, and this year Jim and new partner-in-crime Kristin Clark Venuti have a whole new crop of On the Red Carpet interviews.  Now you have 18 days to vote for your favorite interview.  They may not all be up quite yet, so be patient, but when they are you’ll have twenty-two fine and fancy names to choose from.  This year, my primary job was to grab folks as they walked past so as to MAKE THEM talk to Jim and Kristin.  I did okay.  But I was hindered by an injured extremity.  In this video, Jim sets my tale of woe against a rather convincing game of Frogger.

Beats Pac-Man.  Or Centipede, for that matter.  Go to this site to see more videos.

  • Speaking of ALA, Laura Rogers, the cute as a button girl who read all the Newbery winners, recently participated in a Mock Newbery Committee meeting at the Hussey Mayfield Memorial Public Library that sported a record turnout.  Check out the kids.  Woah.  Good readers!  Thanks to Kelli Brooks for the link!
  • Who says there are no second chances on Broadway?  Or, in the case of Mr. Frank Wildhorn, third, fourth, and fifth chances.  From the man who brought you Jekyll & Hyde (which I admit to liking in college) and Dracula: The Musical (not so much) comes Wonderland: A New Alice. A New Musical Adventure.  I’m not hep enough to my Broadway history to know how many Alice musicals have trod the Great White Way before, but I suspect that this is not the first.  Interesting.  Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link.
  • I’m about all things bird, and now Peter Sieruta has put up a post that includes an interlude on how Laura Amy Schlitz’s The Night Fairy inspired him to hang a hummingbird feeder outside his home.  Check out the video feed he got of a little surreal bee-like bird taking a sip or two.
  • This is a little off-topic, but my buddy Davin just made this killer video application for the Museum of Science and Industry’s Month at the Museum contest.  He’s created a video and MediaBistro said of it, “While we’re a bit burnt out by the Old Spice commercials and the billion sub-par parodies they launched, Coburn’s film made it all seem okay again and won us over completely with its great writing and clever visual gags.”  See the whole thing here.  It really won’t take more than a minute and I can attest that everything he says about himself is actually true.  Even the sunken ship part.
  • Recently, three different bloggers took my recent posts and took off from them in a variety of different directions.  Here’s what I mean:
  • I put up a post on my thoughts regarding the personalities of intrusive narrators last week (though, as some pointed out, there are better terms that can be used).  If you’d like to see the discussion carried along further, Monica Edinger has posted on the same topic under the clever title Whatchamacallit Narrators.  I always know if I’ve done a halfway decent post if Monica blogs about it too.
  • Speaking of posts breaking off of my posts, Wild Rose Reader’s Elaine Magliaro has continued the discussion of whether or not there should be an ALA award for children’s poetry.  The post is called Children’s Poetry and the Cinderella Syndrome and makes for good reading and even better thinking.

Finally, I was hugely amused by the 100 Scope Notes post Suckers Re-Illustrated.  Remember when I wrote that post about all the children’s books that I wished would get new interior illustrations and new jackets?  Well Travis Jonker has taken me up on the challenge and personally used his Cover Covers rules to make me some new jackets.  The results are fascinating.  I’m very taken with the new look he gave to The Winged Girl of Knossos (the hang-glider doesn’t have feathers, but who cares since it looks so good?) and The Changeling Sea.  My favorite is the one that doesn’t fit at all, though.  You know, thinking about it, maybe Ultra-Violet Catastrophe probably could do with a little “tatting up”, as Travis puts it.  I’ve had the giggle fits ever since I saw this cover of it anyway.

Former wife of Roald Dahl and Oscar winning actress Patricia Neal has died.  A couple folks have pointed out to me the interesting Dahl/Beatrix Potter additional connection here (as opposed to, say, this one).  Thanks for the tip, Peter and Wilson!

  • I wasn’t particularly interested when I heard that someone out there was planning on turning the Babar books into big multi-million movies.  Ho hum.  Seen it all before.  But that was before Margo Tanenbaum pointed out to me that the films will be produced by the same folks who produced the Twilight movies.  Oh.  Oh my.  The possibilities are just endless, don’t you think?  Twilight meets Babar (not really what’s happening here but VERY fun to think about anyway).  Suddenly the line “Jump onto my back, little spider monkey” becomes less poetic, and more instructive.  Thanks to Margo Tanenbaum for the link.
  • Author Janet Lee Carey was kind enough to interview me on the Library Lions blog the other day and she asked me, “What’s your favorite funny library story?” That’s tough.  I started thinking of all the things that had happened in my own library, but they didn’t seem quite funny enough.  Then I remembered.  My husband sometimes tells a true library striptease story that is the best thing in the entire world.  So I swiftly appropriated it and you can read it on the blog if you like.  It’s a stirring tale of amorous intentions and swift library clerk revenge.
  • Hey!  It’s that time of year again.  Do you have a librarian you absolutely adore?  One who bends over backwards for you but never gets the proper amount of recognition?  Well, The New York Times has announced that it’s accepting submissions for 2010’s I Love My Librarian Award.  So crank up your essay skills and give the librarian you love a big old wet smooch of a nomination.  I’ll try to decide on my end who I’m going to nominate too.
  • And if you happen to be a librarian yourself who wishes to be loved by their community, why not apply right now (deadline is August 15th, after all) for the Libri Foundation’s grant.  It goes entirely to small, rural, public libraries that need more children’s books.  What have you got to lose?
  • Me again.  Geez.  You sick of me yet?  I am.  But this is cute.  Over at author Kirby Larson’s blog her pup Winston has a penchant for answering tough questions from fans and writers.  In one instance he’s asked whether or not agents remember the bloggers that give their clients bad reviews and vow never ever to forget or forgive.  Winston passes the ball, as it were, to me and I answer in kind.  It’s a tough question, but one that’s worth answering and considering.
  • Yay!  I love it when a plan comes together.  A good quality webcomic for kids is a rare beastie.  Once in a while you’ll find a nugget of gold, but there’s a whole lotta pyrite to sift through first.  I discovered the SMASH comic a year or two ago, and so it is with great pleasure that I hear that it has signed a book deal with Candlewick!  Well played, my fellows!  And thanks for including my blurb.  I give it freely.
  • Okay.  Let’s play compare-the-different covers-of-Scott-Westerfeld’s-Leviathan.  Why?  Cause I wanna.  Here goes nothing:

Do you have a preference?  I’m rather taken with #3.  I like the movie poster quality it has.

  • I like lots of people. People are likable in this field.  And one of the most likable is one Judy Freeman.  If you know Judy then you know what I am talking about.  And if you don’t know Judy then you are in luck.  It just so happens that she is doing a storytelling workshop on Sun., Sept. 12, at the 18th Annual New Jersey Storytelling Festival, at the fabulous Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ (near Trenton). While there, Judy is giving a 2-hour storytelling class from 10-12 called “Once Upon a Time: Storytelling Made Simple in Grades PreK-6” and will be “chock full of stories, songs, and fun.” It’s $50 for the class, which includes a very nice handout, admission to the grounds and, from 12-6, storytelling performances by various tellers all day long throughout the park.  For registration & directions just go to I don’t talk up a lot of storytellers, but Judy’s special.  And smart as a whip too.
  • Daily Image:

Anyone who has had the misfortune to visit my office is aware of my joy of stacking.  Imagine if such stacking of books and magazines could be put to a practical use.  Well now it can!  Simply apply the following image to your wall and stack away!

Voila, instant seat.  Or, as another way of looking at it, my husband’s worst nightmare come to life.  Thanks to Swiss Miss 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. …I still cannot believe that I didn’t even see you at the New/Cal dinner. And I was SITTING WITH JIM AVERBECK. ::SIGH::

  2. KHazelrigg says

    That Frogger song at the end of your ALA video is rockin’!

  3. working illustrator says

    I’m voting for Westerfield #1 (mostly on account of its not looking like a movie poster (very backwards of me, I know, but I hate – have always hated, always will hate – photography on fiction covers, even when heavily Photoshopped). And I wouldn’t get your hopes up about “Wonderland” on Broadway… my inside-scoop theater people are mostly thumbs-down.

  4. Chris in NY says

    Loved the Tammy Pierce link. She is one of the daughters favorite authors. And I can testify that Pierce is a total hoot as a speaker- get her in a room with Bruce Coville and it is non-stop laughs.

  5. Thanks Betsy. You did a fine job of author herding this year. We have interviews with Holly Black, Ellen Hopkins, Grace Lin, Jon Scieszka, Linda Sue Park and many other luminaries of the children’s book world. And we got most of them to play a game of $20,000 Pyramid in honor of the Newbery winner, WHEN YOU REACH ME.
    All the interviews are now up, grouped by subject, and we have a bunch of things for folks to do over at the site.
    Hope your ankle is all healed.—J
    PS- Hi Tanita!

  6. Love your FuseNews posts — and this is a nice long, juicy one.


  1. […] other day when Fuse#8 was pointing out that she’d been Frogger-ized by Jim Averbeck, Kristin Clark Venuti & the crew on the ALA […]