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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: 24,800

Book trailers get based on all sorts of things, but I have never encountered one that took its cue from the book’s own cover.  And not in a cheap way either.  This rather breathtaking trailer for Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm somehow manages to be precisely the right length with precisely the right tone (difficult in and of itself) and on top of all that feels . . . professional.  That voiceover is fantastic.  Can’t wait to find out who does the audiobook.  Or did one already come out?

I’m a hands on kind of children’s librarian.  I know that I have Pages to shelve books for me, but I really like getting in there and keeping the middle grade fiction in line.  It gives me a sense of peace.  It also gives me a good sense of what’s out there (and is probably why I had at least heard of Moon Over Manifest before it won the big gold).  When you shelve fiction you begin to wonder about the folks you’re putting together.  Has Cornelia Funke ever met Neil Gaiman?  I mean their books sit right next to one another.  Does Tom Birdeye know Jeanne Birdsall?  And then there are the authors that take up large swaths of space on my shelves but that I’ve never met in person or even seen a picture of.  Wendelin Van Draanen is an excellent example of this.  I dutifully tend to her Sammy Keyes books, but who the heck is that woman?  Well, fortunately for me Mr. Schu was on hand to snap some video of the author herself as she discusses the last Sammy Keyes book and what makes her cry.

Thanks to @MrSchuReads for the link.

Dutch author Truus Matti recently won a Batchelder Honor for her remarkable book Departure Time.  Recently I learned that she happens to be married to one Wouter Van Reek, the creator of another Dutch title Keepvogel (translated in the states by Enchanted Lion Press as “Coppernickel”).  Here you can see one such story brought to life.  Pretty lovely, I must say.

Thanks to Claudia Zoe Bedrick for the link.

Librarians and teachers have one thing in common: When authors and illustrators come to visit with our kids we sometimes have no idea if they’re going to be stellar or if they’re going to make us ashamed to be members of our respective professions.  So to see Barney Saltzberg having so much fun with the kids in conjunction with his book Beautiful Oops . . . well, it does the heart good.

Uh, by the way, guys.  Thanks for watching James Kennedy’s 90-Second Newbery Film Festival take on A Wrinkle in Time.  It now has . . . um . . . 24,800 views.  Er . . . wow.

Now I thought I had my final off-topic video all picked out for you guys today, but now I see that could not possibly have been the case.  This video trumped them all.  It’s adorable French children looking at outdated technology.  Outdated French technology, I should say, since at least one of those items was unknown to me as well.  Enjoy and feel old!

Thanks to AL Direct 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. Love. It. All.

  2. I think that’s the best book trailer I’ve ever seen!

  3. I am in love with that trailer. The colors, the images…..and the closing line, “Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.”

    thanks for posting it!

  4. I watched the Beautiful Oops video a few times–their laughter is irresistible! I always loved it when I could really engage the kids during a storytime. That Barney Saltzberg is a lucky guy.

    I love the explanations the kids give for the outdated technology, and also the excitement on the kid’s face when he starts scratching the record. I’m glad this trumped the other off-topic videos today!

  5. That is indeed a kickin’ book trailer! 🙂 e

  6. That’s also an expensive book trailer. It had to be professionally done…the animation, music, voice-over. I wonder what that 30 seconds cost.

  7. Richard brings up a good point. What did that cost? And who actually will ever even see it? They should play it in movie theaters, but of course that would cost an arm and a leg, too. I’d love to find out who watches book trailers and whether trailers make a difference for sales. Whatever the case, that’s a great trailer and a fabulous book!

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      I’d love to see studies done on that very topic. How do publishers see the cost of the trailer tipping sales? In big cases where the video practically goes viral (It’s a Book) and then results in New York Times bestseller lists, that I understand. But what about on a smaller scale? Hard to say.

      And yes, this was clearly a professional trailer. What’s interesting is that it was produced long after the production of the book. Normally trailers for books are just that. Trailers. A preview of things to come. So why was this one made after the fact?

  8. I loved the Tale Dark & Grimm trailer, and I especially loved the one with the French kids. It’s exactly the reason why I stock my children’s shelves with old rotary phones and my own old Fisher Price turntable; they make really intriguing toys! Now, if I could get my hands on an old typewriter, life would REALLY be interesting . . .

  9. I saw this trailer just a few days ago and I thought it was amazing – I love that it’s animated, in keeping with the book cover. I would say that a trailer like this still has a lot of mileage – it would be a great way to start a school visit, for example.

  10. Hi everybody. I’m the director of the Tale Dark and Grimm trailer. I’m not all that familiar with the publishing/library world, but people have been sending me links to pages like this one, and I’m grateful for all the kind words about the video. Since there were some questions about the trailer in the comments, I thought I’d provide a little insight to anyone who is still reading last Sunday’s post.

    To those who called it out as “professional,” you’re right; I make a living as an animator. But it certainly wasn’t expensive. Adam (the author) and I have been friends since we were both 12, so I treated this as more of a fun project for us to work on together than a job to pay the rent. Penguin offered what I understand is their standard nominal book trailer fee, and the entire budget went to paying friends below-market rates to do animation, music, and sound while I worked for free for 3 or 4 weeks. It was a lot of fun to make and I’m very proud of it, but it’s definitely not a sustainable business practice.

    Questions about the timing of its release or the general effectiveness of book trailers are beyond my expertise. Who watches them? Do they influence sales? I have no idea. I just like making the pictures.