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

Fusenews: If it has Jeffrey Tambor in it, it’s gotta be good!

Boy, I picked the wrong week to go about putting off my regular Fusenews.  What we’ve got here is a veritable fusey newsy pile-up.  I shall endeavor to separate the wheat from the chaff, but no guarantees it’ll actually work.  Let us see what all I’m able to pack in for today then:

Lucky ducks!  New York Public Library has just released the 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list for 2010.  I participated a bit this year, so you’re certain to find my favorites on there.  Of course it was a committee so the results may hold some surprises as well . . .

  • Tis also the season for booklists!  And not just any booklists.  Jewish booklists!  Two entirely different sources came to my attention recently.  First up, my favorite historical children’s literature blog (favorite blog that looks at historical fiction and non-fiction for kids, that is) The Fourth Musketeer just came up with a list of My Top Books for the Eight Nights of Hanukkah.  My library is pretty depleted of Hanukkah books at the moment (no surprise there considering the timing) but even so I can see from Margo’s list that we’ve some gaps in our collection.  I mean, there’s a Paschkis Hanukkah book out there and we didn’t buy it?  This shall not stand.
  • And into the Best Books of 2010 category comes Marjorie Ingall, who recently posted on Tablet Magazine the year’s best Jewish picture books and the year’s best Jewish books for older kids.  Great lists all around.  In terms of picture books I included The Rooster Prince of Breslov by Ann Redisch Stampler on my own Magnificent Books of 2010 list, but I wish I’d seen that fabulous looking Zishe the Strongman by Robert Rubinstein too.  On the chapter books side I’m ashamed to say I’ve read only two of the books listed, though Hereville by Barry Deutsch also made it to my magnificent books list.  Love that title.  Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the links.
  • The Guardian recently revealed a list of what it called The 10 best illustrated children’s books.  PW Children’s Bookshelf called this list “quirky”.  That’s one word for it.  We would also have accepted “freaky deaky”, “positively peculiar”, and “quoi?”  Or maybe that just applies to the first selection.  After all, it’s hard to fault a list that includes The Magic Pudding AND Shaun Tan in one fell swoop.  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
  • Who’s up for a trip to Long Island City?  Anyone?  Because, y’know, if you go you’ll get to go to The Noguchi Museum.  And heck, while you’re visiting you may as well stick around for the panel discussion on Sunday, December 12.  That’s the day when you’d get to see Neal Porter, Sandra Jordan and Brian Floca all discussing making Ballet at the Noguchi Museum.  Jordan and Floca are signing from 1:00 to 2:00 and speaking at 3:00, which someone pointed out to me, doesn’t make a heckuva lot of sense.  Ah well.  Check out the museum’s site yourself for more info.
  • Sometimes a link is so good you cannot in good conscience steal it from your fellow bloggers.  With that in mind, if you like Star Wars and if you like Dr. Seuss, you’ll find over at 100 Scope Notes that the two go hand in hand rather eerily well.
  • Um  . . . . okay.  Admittedly I have a dirty mind but . . . um.  Wow. Thanks to Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast for the link (and she actually purchased a copy so I expect her to report accordingly).
  • Holidays make for great times to set up bookdrives.  Generally I like to give my books to Project Cicero, but there are plenty of other worthy causes out there.  A recent drive that came to my attention is LitWorld, described as “filling a twenty-foot container with thousands of books to go directly into the hands of children in Sierra Leone and Liberia, two countries whose years of war have deprived many children of the pleasure and power of literacy.  Select new or gently used books of your choice for children who have never ever have had their own book before and drop them off by December 15 or mail them in by December 31!”  Seems like a darned good idea to me.  I’ll be sending a box of my own tomorrow.  Join in!
  • New Blog Alert: Yay!  Blog posts by enthusiastic kids!  Makes for a good pick-me-up/restoration-of-my-faith-in-the-future-of-our-youngsters.  The blog is Fresh Ink and it’s a product of Porter Square Books, an independent bookstore in Cambridge, MA.  A bookstore with kids who write blog reviews.  I like the notion.  Thanks to Carter Hasegawa for the link!

Ah good.  This took a little while (everyone had to get organized) but the backlash against that New York Times article about Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children has started up.  Expect to see more and more responses as time goes on, but the most prominent this week is undoubtedly the recent CBS piece Expert: Picture Books Do Still Work for Kids.  Someone at CBS had the wherewithal to actually find someone who knew what they were talking about, in this case Dr. Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.  That brings the current score to CBS: 1, New York Times: 0.

  • I don’t mean to brag, but when I was a kid I had the world’s coolest advent calendar.  You may think your calendar was nice but trust me on this one.  I mean, did your calendar reveal tiny wax figures of all the characters involved in the creche, counting down to tiny wax baby Jesus himself?  I don’t THINK so!  The thing is, each year my parents bought the same calendar so our collection of wax sheep, cows, angels, and baby Jesuses would increase.  I doubt they make this calendar anymore (it was sort of the world’s greatest choking hazard) but Molly O’Neill recently turned me on to what may well be the advent idea I will steal for Future Baby.  After all, New York City apartments have so little space, I don’t know where I’d house all my wax wise men.  So behold!  A children’s book related advent calendar.  It comes via an illustrator by the name of Sarah Jane who, like myself has a fall 2011 Harper Collins picture book on the schedule.  Cheers, Sarah Jane (and Molly too) for this magnificent idea.
  • On Friday the New Jersey Association of School Librarians was kind enough to host me as part of their conference.  I spoke on the topic of the best books of 2010, immediately following the keynote speaker.  Her name was Buffy Hamilton and, like myself, she’s a blogger.  Unlike myself, she’s a world class speaker, and a media specialist/teacher-librarian at Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia. Her site is The Unquiet Librarian and it provides some of the best information for fellow school librarians on becoming indispensable to your districts.  Her posts are funny and interesting too (I love the recent video on how to make your mother proud).  But what if the funding for your school library is super low?  What then?  Well, SLJ recently ran an article on a new website that helps school libraries find the donors they need to help their collections.  Invaluable info.
  • Going to ALA Midwinter in San Diego or lazing about the home like me?  If the latter, you still won’t want to miss the ALA Youth Media Award announcements on who got the Newbery, Caldecott, etc.  As ever, the American Library Association (ALA) will provide a free live webcast 7:45 a.m. PST on Jan. 10.  So clear your calendar and get ready to watch.  I remember that one year I was enjoying the awards at work when my 9:00 class came in half an hour early and I missed the major award winners.  That was a tough year.  Never again, I cried.  Never again.
  • Okay, enough of books.  Now let’s look at movies based on books (and comics too).  I actually saw this particular comic book a couple of years ago and was mighty impressed.  I kept hoping they’d bind up all its issues into a real book that I could circulate in the library, but that never seemed to happen.  Now Cynopsis Kids tell us:

Luximation Films announces animation production has begun on the animated movie The Clockwork Girl .  The movie is based on the graphic novel by author Sean O’Reilly and published by his Arcana Studios.  The coming of age story revolves around Tesla a robot girl, and Huxley, a monster boy, as they set out on a journey to save the world.  The Clockwork Girl stars Alexa Vega (Spy Kids) as the voice of Tesla, Jesse McCartney (Alvin and the Chipmunks, Horton Hears a Who) as Huxley, and Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix, Chocolate), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development).  Luximation Films was created by O’Reilly and producer Deboragh Gabler’s Legacy Filmworks.

That was one interesting tidbit.  The second was even more enticing in its way.  I never reviewed this book but I enjoyed reading it.  Say Cynopsis Kids:

Actor/author David Walliams ‘, creator/star of BBC’s Little Britain, first kid’s book, The Boy In The Dress , is set to be made into a TV movie by Sky , per The Sun .  The program will be produced by Hat Trick (Father Ted, Have I Got News For You), which has begun casting for Dennis, the 12-year-old boy star of the story.  Walliams has two other kid’s books, Mr. Stink and Billionaire Boy .

  • Daily Image:

At a bookfair two days ago I saw a prominent display for The Giving Tree.  Made me all the more grateful for this little cartoon (click on it to make it larger).

A billion 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. Ann Stampler says:

    I am thrilled to find The Rooster Prince of Breslov on your list, and on Marjorie Ingall’s as well. Much appreciated! Ann

  2. Er..the Noguchi Museum is in Long Island CITY (in Queens):)

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      As a non-native born New Yorker, I honestly didn’t know there was a difference. So there’s a Long Island City vs. plain old Long Island? That seems unfair. I call mistrial.

  3. I thought that the new The Taking Tree by Shrill Travesty was wonderful… this cartoon seems to agree.

  4. Thanks for the links to the Jewish books list. I was happy to see The Year of Goodbyes on the list for older children. I was fortunate enough to review it for School Library Journal, and I don’t think enough attention was paid to this book.

  5. Chris in NY says:

    For a few years running (when daughter was between 9 and 12 or so) we reread out loud The Christmas Mystery in the evening during December. It was great (and a somewhat confusing book so it kept us engaged). There was much shouting of “To Bethlehem, to Bethlehem” during the month as that repeated phrase was used as an audience participation technique. Unfortunately with high school schedules got too busy and we had to abandon this tradition.

  6. Oh, Fuse, I get an F in reading comprehension. I thought your Magnificent 100 was the NYPL’s, which I already had. Duh. My apologies. Onto CS’s big “best of” list the Mag1 goes.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Clockwork Girl is bound?!! Must purchase for library.

      And Susan, no worries. My Magnificent 100 is certainly the list of books I WISH NYPL had selected as their own. The format is the same (Poetry, Fairy Tales, etc.) and there’s plenty of overlap (particularly in the aforementioned Fairy Tales) but mine is tapered more to my own tastes.

  7. LOVE the duck cartoon!

  8. I’m no native New Yorker either so no excuse:) (I have read about the museum before and know it is just across the river in Queens.)

  9. My family reads The Christmas Mystery too! And we have been reading it every year for nearly 15 years now.
    Besides the shouting (which we also do very enthusiastically) we always competed to see who could hear the line from the beginning of each chapter first.

  10. Chris in NY says:

    Wow 15 years? That is great. Hoping we can revive the tradition some year with grandkids (the good lord willin’ and the crick don’t rise….)