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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: I mean, a fear of tent worms isn’t all THAT ridiculous, right?

I am indebted to Jenny Schwartzberg for bringing to my attention the fact that the BBC’s extensive archives are offering up recordings of some of the great British Novelists of the past.  These are both television and radio programs and they are intoxicating.  You can hear the very voice of Virginia Woolf herself.  And on the children’s side of things, there are folks like T.H. White, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Penelope Lively.  You could get lost in there.  Thank you for bringing it to my attention, Jenny.

  • New Blog Alert: And it’s a doozy too.  If you missed the fact that the magnificent Philip Nel started a blog called Nine Kinds of Pie recently, then now is the time to know.  Mr. Nel is that nice young man who teaches as a Professor of English at Kansas State University and also writes books like The Annotated Cat in the Hat and, my personal favorite, Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature (that one was done with co-writer Julia L. Mickenberg, of course).  He updates his blog with frightening regularity as well.  Of course, it’s the summer.  The school year is only just now picking up.  Still, anything he cares to write is well worth your time to read.  Plus he wins an award for Best New Blog Title in our field.
  • All right.  Let me see what I can do with this.  Ahem.  So Beatrix Potter was friends with Anne Carroll Moore.  Anne Carroll Moore was a famous children’s librarian who worked at the main branch of NYPL.  I am a children’s librarian who works in the main branch of NYPL.  I have seen the picture Potter gave to Ms. Moore as a gift.  Ipso facto, I’m going to weigh in on the whole Emma Thompson writing a new Peter Rabbit story news item.  I feel entirely ripped in half too.  On the one hand, I love Emma.  I honestly adore her.  I think she’s a modern marvel.  I want to be her best friend and to just listen to her talk for hours on end.  On the other hand, this marks a very bad precedent: The celebrity picture book sequel to a classic work.  No.  No no, this will not do.  We can’t have Justin Bieber writing conclusive storylines to Stuart Little or Courtney Love putting the last touch on an official return to Wonderland.  Nope.  I love you Emma, but this cannot stand.  I’m sure you’re a perfectly fine writer, but you’re making it look too enticing to the others. Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link.
  • I envy not the good people charged by ALSC to regularly determine the official Great Websites for Kids as promoted by the librarians.  I’m just grateful they exist and that they’re willing to add some new additions.  Had I the power, I’d place these on my library’s children’s website pronto, if not sooner.  A magnificent resource.
  • While I’ll agree with Gawker that a leaked Paramount memo shows most of the movies coming out in the future will be awful, I have some high hopes for that Dunderheads adaptation.  Looks like they took Paul Fleischman’s is-it-a-picture-book-or-is-it-too-long title and ran with it.  Kudos, Paul.  Jonathan will be mighty pleased, or at least intrigued.  Thanks Marjorie Ingall for the link.
  • There are lots of ridiculous things to be scared of.  Open spaces.  Meteors.  People with oversized heads.  My fears are quite logical (at least in my own mind).  I don’t like bees.  I don’t like walking anywhere near tent worms.  And I have this uncontrollable fear of someday finding myself in a conversation with Daniel Handler a.k.a. Lemony Snicket.  I cannot account for it.  The man simply intimidates me more than any other (whereas his wife Lisa Brown, with her new book Vampire Boy’s Good Night, I fear not a jot).  That said, I could master my mounting panic if I saw him speak.  So one might like to see him in conversation with illustrator Maira Kalman at the Times Talk on Saturday, October 2nd.  Looks like a lot of fun.  But 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning?  Poor guy.  Somebody send him a bagel or something.
  • Over at Jumping the Candlestick, author Deborah Diesen has a fun contest up and running.  The challenge?  It’s Picture Books for a Presidential Reading List.  I know that recently Obama bought some more books for his kids, but they were just To Kill a Mockingbird and The Red Pony.  Pep that list up a bit, if you can.
  • In my review of the graphic novel Hereville I made some grandiose statements about the role of religion on children’s fantasy (something I’d love to expound upon someday).  R.J. Anderson has taken that thread and run with it a bit more on her own blog.  An interesting conversation going on there.  Check it.
  • You look like the kind of person who is reading my blog in the hopes of avoiding work.  If that is so, why not prolong your procrastination and eat up an even greater amount of time by checking out this list of the 50 Best Illustration Blogs on the Web.  Bound to waste precious minutes of your life that you will never get back.  Thanks to Children’s Illustration for the link.
  • The bad news: This may be the last one.  Boo.  The only way this can possibly be okay is if the person who wins the bookcart then takes it to the ALA Conference to compete in the bookcart drill teams there.  Then it will be, if not okay, then at least friggin’ awesome.  Thanks to Shelf Awareness for the link.
  • Daily Image:

Wow.  This is pretty neat.  Sara O’Leary recently linked to these awesome Viewmaster images of an old Alice in Wonderland storyline.  There’s something enticingly old-fashioned about these.  Here’s one such example:

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. Thanks for the plug on the blog! Speaking of: am planning a brief post on Seuss’s advertising work later today.

  2. Jennifer in GA says:

    I think Emma Thompson is one of the few celebrity-type people who could actually pull off writing a sequel to a classic book. She’s more of a writer-turned-actor than actor-who-wants-to-dabble-in-writing. She got her start as a comedy writer. I know it’s not the be-all and end-all, but she did win an Oscar for writing the screenplay adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, and she’s also adapted the Nanny McPhee screenplays. Even though she hasn’t published and works of fiction, I think her writing background is strong enough to do the job and do it well. Personally, I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt until she proves otherwise.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Oh, I don’t deny that she may end up doing a stand-up job of it. I just worry that it sets a bad example for other celebrities. They’ll eye Emma’s work, forget the whole she’s-also-a-real-writer element, and try doing the same thing themselves. *shudder*

  3. That Viewmaster Alice looks like The Lonely Doll Goes Anti-Grav.

  4. Emma Thompson already has work that sets her salary in the millions. She was “asked” to do this. Meanwhile, the usual meme for authors is that we do not make money at our profession (heard it again right there in your seminar this month BB). Publishers are telling authors to have low expectations while the jobs go to people who are not in the business and already have jobs. WTH?????? Let’s stop the poverty meme to authors and get some reality, folks.

  5. The voice of Virginia Woolf! I don’t get the feeling she’d have enjoyed making podcasts.

  6. lisainberlin says:

    The viewmaster picture reminded me tiny boxes I found at the fleamarket here with slide rolls. Held up to the light, I realized they were fairy tales! They were popular in East Germany. The artwork on the ones featured on the website above is worth a check-out. Just click on the name of the fairy tale (sorry, the site is just in German). Weiter means continue. Have fun!