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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: “No important books have been injured during the making of any of these photographs.”

Well the big news to come out of last week was the announcement of the titles that will be appearing on SLJ’s 2011 Battle of the Kids’ Books.  If you are unfamiliar with this event, each year sixteen books and around fifteen judges are selected by Battle Commanders Monica Edinger and Roxanne Feldman with input from Commentator Jonathan Hunt.  Like March Madness, each judge (a well-known teen or YA author) selects the “better” book between two potential winners.  This year the list of contenders includes some favorites of mine that I wish had gotten more award attention, as well as a slew of titles that I thought got just the right amount of attention (and sometimes too much).  Last year I was Team Lost Conspiracy (and we almost made it too!).  This year I think I’ll be Team A Tale Dark and Grimm.  And I pray it doesn’t get knocked out of the running on its first go round.

  • Bah.  Things change a little too much in this business for my liking.  Why can’t everyone just stay in their jobs until they die?  Since we’re dealing with publishing here, not the Supreme Court it’s fortunate that we have Harold Underdown to do a monthly wrap up of who’s moving where.  It puts my mind to rest to think that somebody’s keeping track.
  • Now some not-so-swell news.  Some, to be perfectly frank, awful news.  And that is all that I will say on that point.  Thanks to Jessamyn West for the link.
  • Oo!  I love these.  New Blog Alert!  But before I do, I’d like to mention that if I ever have a website of my own (Note to Self: Make website), it would make me happy indeed to have a picture on my site that looks akin to this:

For those of you unaware, that is author Philip Reeve.  He of the fantastic Larklight books, the Hungry City Chronicles (including Fever Crumb) and what have you.  Turns out, he also blogs.  This is because he is akin to all good and great things in this world.  I’m calling this a “new blog alert” simply because it is new to me, but there’s so much here that I really and truly enjoy.  Take, for example, the man’s opinion on Buffy.  He likes it and hates the idea of a new movie.  You see?  True class.

  • Why read aloud?” asks author Rick Walton?  You probably know Rick already, yes yes?  If you’re a children’s librarian like me you may enjoy shelving Rick’s picture books because the name “Walton” is very easy to put in the right spot (whereas the name “Willems” confuses my poor little pages to no end).  Well apparently Rick is collecting stories about the effects of reading aloud.  Do you have any?  Can you contribute?  If so, check out his blog and leave your own tale.  Rick, in turn, says that after you do, “we will figure out a way to get your stories to the administrators and teachers who need to hear them.”  Tis a noble calling.  Thanks to Susan Taylor Brown for the link!
  • Apparently it’s time to start rolling out the names of potential 2012 Newbery candidates.  On my end I’ve been hearing some rather lovely murmurs about that Small Persons With Wings by Ellen Booraem.  Anyone want to lend me a copy?  I’m good for it.
  • Ah, good.  It’s rare that I know the artist that wins the Art Showcase at the Mid-Winter SCBWI meeting, but lo and behold this year’s I know her very well indeed.  Leeza Hernandez is a name y’all should be keeping a close eye on right now.  She’s going places, that one.  Believe you me.
  • Monica, she of the aforementioned Battle of the Kids’ Books, has put the capper on the Today Show debacle.  As Monica says, it still matters that they highlight the Newbery and Caldecott winners.  Check out her Huffington post to see why.
  • On second thought, let’s make the article in The New Republic called Snooki Vs. Children’s Books the last word.  After all, they were nice enough to quote me, and I appreciate it.  Did any other major publications pick up this story besides The New Republic, by the way?
  • Well, I don’t think you’d exactly call him edgy but Gary Ross (director of Seabiscuit and Pleasantville) will be the fellow helming the Hunger Games movie (slated for 2012).  Could be worse.  After all, at least Ross has some children’s film experience (Lassie, Tale of Despereaux) and even wrote Big.
  • Daily Image:

It’s art from old books and some of it is truly mind-boggling.

That’s a portrait carved out of a phone book.

Was that a Shel Silverstein?

This is just a small sample.  You’ll have to see the full post yourself if you want to view the true beauties.  Thanks to mom 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. It’s not exactly a major publication, but Snooki-vs.-kidlit was a question on NPR’s quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

  2. I think Penquin might have a copy of SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS kicking around somewhere. I’ll check.

  3. If Penguin doesn’t, I do! Betsy, I’d be happy to send you a copy of SMALL PERSONS!

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Aw. Thanks, Daphne. I’ve a hold on a library copy just in case. But if that falls through I’ll be sure to give you a heads up. Cheers!