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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: As one does

I am writing this post today around 9 p.m. on Sunday.  As such, many of you will read this, knowing full well who the Newbery and Caldecott winners are.  I will be a little behind you in this respect.  Amusingly, I realized too late that I scheduled my latest sonogram for the PRECISE moment the ALA Media Awards will be announced.  I blame time zones.  Or, rather, my apparent lack of understanding about time zones.  So just picture me on the doctor’s table, Android phone in hand, watching the Twitter updates scroll past.  That’s priorities for you, eh?

  • Speaking of Caldecotts and Newberys (I always come this close to writing “Newberies”), Elizabeth Bluemle over at ShelfTalker recently figured out how many men vs. women win those two awards.  In short, boys get lots of Caldecotts, girls get lots of Newberys.  Harold Underdown points out in the comments that when he did similar research ten years ago he pretty much got the same results.  The more things change, the more things stay the same.  For her part, Kyra Hicks at Black Threads in Kid’s Lit calculated similar stats a year ago for male to female winners of the Coretta Scott King Award.  She’ll have to update those stats after today, of course.  Fingers crossed for Rita Williams-Garcia (I want her to win everything).
  • I was talking with an author the other day about the books that I’m working on.  Infinitely lucky, I’m publishing books with two of my favorite companies/imprints: Greenwillow of Harper Collins and Candlewick.  When I mentioned this and that I was trying to get all my favorites under my belt (I’m eyeing you hungrily, Chronicle) they replied, “Ah.  How about Abrams?”  Well, I’ve been very impressed with Abrams over the last two to three years, and not just because they know how to raise a Wimpy Kid.  They just do good work.  So it was with great pleasure that I learned that one of my husband’s fellow screenwriters, Jonathan Auxier, has a book with Abrams due later this year in the fall called Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes.  Keep that title in your brain for a while and check out Jonathan’s new blog The Scop if you’ve a chance to do so.
  • Yes my husband Matt is a screenwriter and he sports a jaunty blog of his own called Cockeyed Caravan.  From time to time he’ll allow friends and folks in the field to write posts there with their own cinematic recommendations.  Not too long ago our best buddy Geoff went on with his own, and danged if one of films he came up with wasn’t Sounder, based on the 1970 Newbery Award winning novel by William H. Armstrong.  I swear he didn’t do that film for me, as (I’m ashamed to admit) I’ve never seen it.  I want to now, though.  A nice continuation of our Newbery themed day, eh?
  • Hey, do you remember a couple months ago when I asked you guys to mention any books about African-American kids on the homefront during WWII and none of you could do it?  Well, some of the suggestions I received included Mare’s War by Tanita Davis, though of course that book is YA and the main character isn’t on the homefront but rather joins up with the African-American regiment of the Women’s Army Corps.  Now author Tanita Davis has an offer for anyone with a connection to homeschoolers.  Says she, “Tuesday I’m giving away books to the first twenty-five people to comment at my blog ( – that’s the announcement). That’ll keep it simple. They have to be homeschool related, or librarians who serve homeschoolers, but otherwise, that’s my only limit.”  So heads up, homeschool readers and friends of homeschoolers.  Free books may well be yours.
  • Make Pepsi do something not evil.  Which is to say, Pepsi’s running a little old contest where folks propose ideas for using Pepsi’s money and if they get enough votes they get the cash.  Rocco Staino turned me on to the fact that NYLA (the New York Library Association) really needs some moolah for their Empire State Book Festival.  All a person has to do is go here and “Vote for this idea”, preferably before January 31st.  Help us get it over Rank #60!  And thanks to Rocco Staino for the link.
  • You know, I bet that even if I myself died, this blog would be so behind in its news that it wouldn’t notice I was gone for at least a week.  I say this because I only recently learned that we lost Dick King-Smith, the author of a veritable ton of children’s books including Babe: The Gallant Pig.  Aw.  Makes me want to make a little display of all his books at once.  Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link.
  • Another thing I near missed was Rita Williams-Garcia and how One Crazy Summer just won the Scott O’Dell Award for best historical fiction.  Like I said before.  I hope she wins everything.

At this point I don’t think I need to tell you to be a good kid and eat up all your Hark, a Vagrant.  But in case you have forgotten, she’s reinterpreted Nancy Drew covers again.  Which of course causes us to question whether or not Nancy really fought the KKK in The Secret of Red Gate Farm.  The disappointing answer: Not really.

Kirkus had a bit of fun the other day coming up with the Best of 2010 Authors Pick Must-Reads in 2011.  If you didn’t get a chance to go to ALA Midwinter this past weekend this is a great chance to see an alternate list of 2011 titles that will be hitting shelves soon.  Joyce Sidman’s choices seem particularly intriguing, but then I basically worship at the altar of Catherine Thimmesh anyway, ever since Team Moon.

  • Your daily Cynopsis Kids news is here for you today: “Ricky Gervais will lend his voice to Mole, the lead character in the new indie film adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic book The Wind in the Willows, per Variety .  Set to begin pre-production this year in New Zealand, the mixed live-action and animatronic movie is being directed by Ray Griggs (I Want Your Money) via his RG Entertainment, from a screenplay by Bill Marsilii (Deja Vu).  The movie will be produced by Radar Pictures’ Ted Field.  Griggs will work on the movie with Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based special effects company Weta.”
  • Another contesty thingy thing.  I’m asked to promote them from time to time, and if they seem kind of cool I’ll put them up.  For example, y’all have a chance to have Jan Brett visit your school or library.  Best of all, you don’t have to work for that school or library to apply for this.  Basically if you “Like” Jan Brett on Facebook before April 2nd you’re in the running.  More info here if you’re curious.
  • Okay, I went back and forth on whether or not to recommend this, but now I just have to.  It’s from the WTF podcast, which is normally not . . . uh . . . well, not the kind of podcast you’re going to find recommended on a children’s literature blog.  But after listening for about twenty minutes to the podcast with Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) I have to tell you guys to check it out.  Here, just skip the whole beginning and stop when you hear two voices talking to one another.  I hate to play the uptight librarian card, but if profanity is not your friend, skip the start, pick it up later, and once Handler’s talking it’s totally worth it.  Particularly when he discusses the moment when he couldn’t get onto the Lemony Snicket movie set.  It’s delightful.
  • How well do you know your classic Australian children’s literature?  The Misrule blog went and did something cool.  Judith Ridge came up with a magnificent list of fifteen must read Australian titles.  And of her fifteen books I have read four.  Not entirely my fault since I’m fairly certain not all of these have come over to America, but not great anyway.  And for the record, I insist that someone reprint that Bob Graham book Greetings from Sandy Beach.  It looks, in a word, charming.
  • It’s happened!  It’s happened!  I wondered when we might see publishers pairing with ebook sites like NetGalley to give reviewers books for electronic devices.  Now we’ve learned that, “Candlewick Press today announced a new partnership with NetGalley to deliver galleys, promotional materials, and other content digitally . With NetGalley, Candlewick will have the ability to distribute secure, black and white and full-color digital galleys to reviewers and media contacts, booksellers, librarians, educators, and others with approved access. Readers can download files to their computers or a variety of e-reader devices, including Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and Kobo Reader.
  • Daily Image:

Oh, I’m beginning to love this comic.  If you can’t see it well here, just click on it and it’ll become 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. Betsy’s OB: Congratulations, Mrs. Bird. You’re having twins.

    Betsy: WHAT?! Oh, my God. Tell me you’re joking. For the love of God, tell me you’re joking. I cannot believe this. They picked THAT BOOK?

    I’m sorry, did you say something? My mind was just totally blown.

  2. Ahem. I actually MET Bob Graham, who has the most spontaneous teeth this side of Austin Powers (or me) and is as charming as his books, which is saying a VERY great deal. Our pick at the bookstore was always Let’s Get a Pup! Said Kate.

    And ah, Dick King-Smith. His guinea pig book (maybe I Love Guinea Pigs?) illustrated by Anita Jeram, the woman who can do Cute while maintaining little beady eyes (on her critters) almost made me love guinea pigs. Almost.

  3. FYI…the link to your older entries does not work. I wanted to reread your Newbery/Caldecott predictions, which I knew were in a recent post. Newcomers to your blog will miss out on your excellent older posts! However, I was able to search for the post. Looking forward to your thoughts on the winners. I ordered Moon Over Manifest several months ago for our library, but haven’t read it yet. That will be corrected ASAP!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Actually, it does but it’s annoying. What you have to do is to reload my blog’s page with a backslash (/) at the end of the web address. Once that’s there you can click on the “Older Entries” message and be taken to earlier posts. Failing that, just type “Newbery” into my Search box on the right and it comes right up.

      Post on the winners shall go up tomorrow!

  4. Thanks so much for the kind words, Betsy! You were missed at ALA.

  5. Kristin McIlhagga says:

    Interesting news about Candlewick and NetGalley, I’m fascinated to see how all of that will play out and what things will look like.
    LOVE the comic too!

  6. Why don’t you check out Netflix and find Sounder? I remember it being a good movie. Better do it soon, though–speaking from experience, you won’t have much time for movies in about eight months.

  7. Thanks for the heads up on the 15 picture books from down under that are must reads.

    By the way, thanks to your Caldecott/Newbery prediction post, I ended up owning a bunch of of the honor books. My daughter (5th grade) thanks you for Turtle in Paradise, One Crazy Summer, and the Castle one. She liked them all! Great picks as usual!