Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: “I’m no mollycoddle, I have skin!”

Matt doesn’t blog on Saturdays.  And to be fair, I’m not certain that the average reader is as interested in blogs on the weekend as they might be during the week.  That said, I know a fair number of you are librarians and that a fair number of you are also probably stuck at work today like me.  So here’s something to get you through your day.  A delightful Fusenewsian smattering!

First up, the good folks at Greenwillow (my publisher come late 2011) were kind enough to offer me the chance of a lifetime: Interview picture book legend Russell Hoban.  I have, I’ve reported accordingly, and the result is up and running on their snazzy little site The Pageturn.  Cor blimey!

  • On the flip side of the equation, Sheela Chari was kind enough to interview me on the blog From the Mixed-Up Files.  If you’re unfamiliar with the blog, their description is rather impressive: “In the spring of 2010, a group of nearly thirty authors banded together to form a website and blog like no other in the history of the internet. As writers and readers of middle-grade books, our goal is to bring awareness and enthusiasm and celebration to books for 8-12 year olds, creating a *home* for anyone and everyone who loves books for this Golden Age of Reading.”  I’m sold!  Plus I love the nice, clean layout.
  • She writes YA, but author Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s advice about how to promote your book when publishing with a small press is invaluable to authors of all stripes and readerships.  It’s called Indie-Friendly Awards and it’s a real eye-opener.  Thanks to Liz Burns for the link.
  • Sometimes an idea makes so much sense you kick yourself for not thinking of it first.  For example, the site Starry Story Art has come up with the notion of selling beautiful prints from classic books.  SLJ did a whole piece on them, and I admit to drooling a tad over the Potters.  I have a hard time with the Maisys, though, since they all make me think of this picture:

Ask me sometime and I’ll tell you where I got that.  Thanks to @MrSchuReads for the link!

  • All credit to Lee Wind.  He may have just detected the next big trend.  I had missed hearing that agent Nathan Bransford was becoming a coordinator of “social media strategy”.  Yeah, I’m not entirely certain what that means either.  But Lee points out that since a lot of children’s book editors have become agents, could this be the next shift?  In a way, I feel as if some editors went the social media route directly without having to stop by the agenting sector.  For example, Emma Dryden started drydenbks, a company that provides editorial input and author/illustrator consultancy.  Perhaps that’s the wave of the future right there.
  • I don’t tend to link to Facebook posts or series on this site since it’s the kind of place where you have to have a membership to see the material.  That does a fat lotta good, as I see it.  So when Melanie Hope Greenberg let me know about Joy Chu’s Got Story Countdown series, I decided to wait it out until it got its own website.  Now, lo and behold, such a website now exists!  Got Story says that, “Interactivity is a unique feature of The Countdown. Visitors are invited to post questions or comments pertinent to the topic being discussed. It’s all about collaboration between our Guest-in-Residence and their publishing associates (the writer, artist, editor, art director/designer, etc.) and you, the audience. And much of this happens live.”  You can see an example of this with the aforementioned Ms. Greenberg’s posts.
  • Ah.  Weirdo children’s literature from 1925 Russia.  There’s a sight to soothe a jagged nerve.  Marcus Ewert, knowing my penchant for the anthropomorphized, linked me to this conversation between a jar of raw milk and a jar of boiled milk.  The sad thing?  Raw clearly has the upper hand.  Must be seen to be believed.  Thanks to Marcus Ewert for the link.
  • Wow!  Here’s something the Newbery and Caldecott Awards don’t do.  Britain’s Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have just released their shortlists.  Here’s the one for The Carnegie and here’s the one for The Kate Greenaway.  A couple of these we’ve already seen over here, but there are a few that hopefully we’ll get a glimpse of in the future.  The Emily Gravett illustrated Julia Donaldson book Cave Baby looks toothsome.  Ditto the version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer illustrated by Robert Ingpen.  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
  • Oh wow.  The blog Booktryst has just zeroed in on a presentation of what may constitute the rarest of the rare works of children’s literature: activity books.  It seems that the Princeton Library has a show going on and the exhibits look positively stunning.  Where else are you going to find original Feodor Rojankovskys like this?  Glorious.  Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • Daily Image:

Because sometimes children’s literary shout-outs are found in the strangest of places.

Click here if you want to blow it up bigger.  Thanks to The Infomancer 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. Old school Russian children’s stuff is always THE MOST entertaining, and weird. I’m still squicked out by the pasteurized milk’s skin, though.

    And I would want that Eric Carle shout-out framed. Cute!

  2. Thanks for the Mandelshtam milk poem! Just a note on the translation: the word translated as “skin” (penka) means only the skin on milk and doesn’t, alas, have the double meaning of the English word.

    And I enjoyed your interview with Russell Hoban, but was disappointed you didn’t mention my favorite book of his, a collection of poems called The Pedalling Man. I learned about it when my daughter read a poem from it on a standardized test and liked it so much that we had to track down the book. Check it out if you don’t know it. Cheers!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      The Pedalling Man, eh? Utterly unknown to me! Delightful! I shall have to scout it out in my library when I get a chance. Much obliged.

  3. Thank YOU, Ms Bird. I love me my Google Alerts! Saw this yesterday but wastoo busy to say thanks until this morning. I hope librarians will stop by the GOT STORY COUNTDOWN and check out the fine interactive interviews going on. After crafting from scratch and from a simple idea of asking to be interviewed for Joy’s students, the Got Story interview kept growing and growing, becoming visual and interactive along the way. The Anne Rockwell interview is really informative. Learn how illustrators craft those books you love and talk about all the time from lips (fingers) of those who crafted them.

  4. It was fantastic to have you stop by the blog, and the interview with Russ is wonderful. As a point of information, the HarperCollins Children’s school and library marketing group is blogging at the pageturn – our lovely folks at Greenwillow are blogging at Under the Green Willow.

  5. Oh, that cartoon is fabulous! Especially since I’ve been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar just about daily.

  6. Won’t help you now, but Grosset & Dunlap (a Penguin imprint) has a wrestling book coming out-“The Ultimate Guide to the WWE.” Current publication date is for June 2011. I need wrestling books too, so I’ve had this in an upcoming order for a while.

    (Speaking of upcoming books for 2011-there’s an EB White biography coming out that looks spectacular, as well as a book about the Little House phenomenon…these are for adult readers.)

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Is “The Ultimate Guide” for kids or adults? If it’s for kids then I am so there! And that White bio sounds intriguing. Now where’s the James Marshall bio I want so very much?

      Thanks for the tips!

  7. Baker and Taylor says the WWE guide is for ages 9-12. I’m sorry…didn’t mean to be coy about the White book. I couldn’t remember the details. It’s called The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic, and the author is Michael Sims.