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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: Blogging, I Am. Everything, I Post.

Time to brush up on your high school German meine Damen und Herren.  Yes The Strange Case of Origami Yoda got its own pretty impressive fan trailer straight outta Germany the other day.  It’s interesting, but I was even more taken with the German name of the book.  Yoda, I Am!  Everything, I Know! As overseas titles go, that’s gotta be one of my favorites.  I also like the description of the book that accompanies the video: “Eigentlich ist Dwight ein totaler Loser.”  No matter where you go in this world, “total loser” is a universal. (NOTE: Author Tom Angleberger just wrote in with a suspicion that rather than being a fan trailer this was made by the German publisher. The world may never know.)

I swear I didn’t mean for this to happen, but by complete coincidence the Germans have the floor today.  This next one is actually a small filmed version of a picture book called Vom Kleinen Maulwurf, der Wissen Wollte Wer Ihm Auf den Kopf Gemacht Hatte by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Eribruch.  You can debate what the best possible translation of this might be, but I think my favorite has to be Wikipedia’s The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business.  See it and you’ll comprehend why.

Needless to say, this book has yet to be published in America.  Not even the Plop-Up version.  Jules brought to to my attention after her fantastic post on Maurizio Quarello’s take on Bluebeard led to a fascinating discussion in the comments of what Yanks do and do not find squeamish.  Thanks for the link, Jules! (NOTE: I am wrong!  As DaNae pointed out in the comments this book WAS published in America.  In 2007 by Abrams no less.  Check out her comment to see the new title.)

Ruh-roh.  I heard that someone wanted to do an “updated” musical take on Alice in Wonderland for Broadway.  Of course, that brings to mind another musical as well: The Wiz.  Updating classics isn’t as easy as all that (though I’ll forgive many things for “Ease on Down the Road”).  Here’s an interview with the woman playing Alice.  Join me as I wonder if it’s possible that the music was written in 1982.  Hoo boy.

Yeah.  That ain’t good.  Here’s a bit from the Playbill blog post about it as well.  Thanks to @MrSchuReads for the link.

This one’s interesting, and related to children’s literature in that much of my own childhood was spent reading New Yorker cartoons.  Cartoonist Liza Donnelly and I have something in common.  We both attended Earlham College (fight fight inner light, kill, Quakers, kill!!).  We also both have an interest in humor and women.  Here’s a talk she gave at TED on the subject.

Food for thought.  Thanks to Children’s Illustration for the link.

The more I read author/illustrator Meghan McCarthy’s blog the more addicted I become.  For one thing, she had a recent post where she paired two videos together from my youth that I would have bet good money that no one else on the planet remembered.  Occasionally I’ll turn to someone and scream, “THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION EXISTED!!!” but when I describe the plot they doubt me.  And who can blame them?  Thank you for vindicating me, Meghan.  She also recently highlighted a video of a dad reading In the Night Kitchen which is one of those books that I will defend to my grave without ever really liking all that much.  However, I liked the dad (part of the group DadLabs) and found this video of him and a bunch of other fellows recommending bedtime stories for their offspring.

Always interesting to hear how they butcher Mr. Scieszka’s name.  That particular dad makes up for it with the reading though.  I just want to watch of video of him reciting all of Baloney P now.

As for the final off-topic video, Valentine’s Day is near upon us.  No better time to post this sweet and sad little love story between sand and snow.

Bottle from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Thanks to Swiss Miss 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. Oh German Day, is it? First of all to be high school teacher pedantic, it is “Damen und Herren” as Germans capitalize nouns. Secondly, yay for der Kleinen Maulwurf! I came across that book years and years ago in Germany and recall some fun child_lit conversations about the fact that it exists in translations all over the world, but not here.

  2. Oh….and notice my silence about your next item. Black hole silence.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Silence noted and agreed upon. Capitalization invoked (if Cabaret taught me anything it should have taught me that). Mind you, I took French in school so I’m playing the ignorance card on this one.

  3. lisainberlin says

    Hooray for German day! Still waiting for the scratch and sniff version of “Der Kleine Maulwurf” to arrive.:)

  4. Danke for posting the Origami Yoda video!! I know not a thing about it and was totally surprised to run across it. I think it was actually made by the German publisher of OY.

  5. Hey, wait a minute. I’ve had that mole book in my library for 4 years. The US title is THE STORY OF THE MOLE WHO WENT IN SEARCH OF WHODUNIT. And yes, it makes a great read-aloud.

  6. Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for posting my TED talk! btw, I also wrote a bunch of children’s books for Scholastic about dinosaurs. When were you at Earlham? cheers, Liza

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Hi Liza! Ah, I was the class of 2000 so we probably lack much in the way of overlap (except we may have both have had Lincoln Blake or Tony Bing for English, eh?). But I didn’t know about the dinosaur book! I believe I shall email you sometime. Your video has fit in beautifully with a personal project I’ve been ruminating over lately.

  7. Elizabeth Bird says

    A-ha! DaNae I’m pleased to hear this. You are absolutely correct. Abrams published it in 2007 and it looks as though it’s still in print. So if anyone here today wants to get their own copy . . . .

  8. Hurray for Abrams! I just looked back in the child_lit archives and see that our discussion of this book was in 1999. I mentioned it in a larger thread about cultural comfort levels. And I totally forgot that Nina Lindsay wrote that there was a US edition titled “The Story of the Little Mole who Went in Search of Whodunit”, published by Stewart Tabori and Chang. We then went on to discuss the relative degree of coyness in the different translations.

  9. Seems like fodder for your book:)

  10. DaNae, who knew? Unfortunately, both libraries I use don’t have it. Bummer.

    The smart Cristiana Clerici, by the way—not I—wrote that Bluebeard post. She plans to follow up on this topic of What Folks Find Squeamish, both here and across the pond, so to speak.

  11. I point out with pride that the late, great Sassy magazine reviewed The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit in 1993 when I was books editor. Poop rulez!

  12. Of the many attributes of my little library I am smug about, is the fact that if you do a search using the word poop in the catalog – eight titles pop up.

    You are clearly using the wrong libraries Jules. Stop by anytime.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Wow! Eight titles is impressive. Ten titles come up when I try it with the children’s portion of my own library system, but I don’t think a lot of them count. For example, The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan is one of the ten, but only because there’s a chapter in that book with the title “I Scoop Poop”. I think your system beats my own in this way, DaNae.

  13. Hey, Betsy, have you seen the Julian Smith video on YouTube for “I’m Reading a Book”? My son showed it to me last night when he couldn’t get the song out of his head. “Don’t you ever ever interrupt me when I’m reading a book!”

    Your post makes me wish I still lived in Germany so I could get a German copy of Origami Yoda. (I have the first 6 Harry Potters in German. And Puh der Baer. And some Cornelia Funke and Michael Ende in the original. Winnie-the-Pooh doesn’t come out nearly as good, but that title for Origami Yoda is just perfect.)