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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: Oscar Edition

Tonight, if you’re anything like myself, you’ll be cuddling up to a big bowl of popcorn to watch the Academy Awards get handed out.  This year the animated short films are where you can find the most familiar name in children’s literature.  First and foremost would have to be Shaun Tan (of The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia) and the filmed version of his picture book The Lost Thing.  Haven’t seen it?  Well thanks to Dan Santat’s detective skills, now you have.  Failing that you can just locate the newly printed version of this and two other tales as published by Arthur A. Levine this year.  Go wild.

The other nominated children’s book adaption is a title that is inescapable in Britain and virtually unknown (or known to a relative few) here in the States.  The Gruffalo was recently featured on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, where Jules managed to track down not just the trailer but also the Making Of.  Watch, behold, and then be better prepared for placing your Oscar votes.

Speaking of England, here are some reasons to live in London.  #1: You get to live in London (so there’s that).  #2: You have access to The National Theatre and their new production of Frankenstein starring everyone’s favorite Sherlock Holmes: Benedict Cumberbatch.

This next one was a cool idea.  Illustrator/animator Pete Whitehead recently wrote of this one, “This animation was created for the Young Writers Contest held by The Reading Reptile Bookstore, here in Kansas City. Local illustrators get the opportunity to read through hundreds of stories and poems written by kids, ages 5 thru 12. We each choose a winning story and create an original piece of art which is presented to the young author at a public library event. Last nights broke records for attendance. This is always a meaningful night for the illustrators involved.  This animation was my winner this year.”  Well played, Paul.  It’s a nice piece.

Thanks to Bridget Heos for the link!

The most blogged/tweeted/Facebooked video of the week in the literary community had to have been this one on organizing your bookshelf.  As a kid I carefully alphabetized the family books, particularly in the dining room.  Then I went to college.  When I came back, I found that my little sister had reorganized them . . . by color.  I may have to send this link to her.  It’s like my own personal nightmare set to snappy music.

Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.

And for the final off-topic video, I confess my weakness for this faux trailer.  I’m convinced that they actually got Henry Thomas to film those scenes, though if someone can locate the films they were lifted from I’ll bow my head accordingly.  WARNING: May be scary for young kids (ironically).

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. Benedict Cumberpatch in Frankenstein? I am so there! I live California, not London, but one of my local movie theatres subscribes to the national theatre live which transmits the performances at national theatre in London to cinemas near you. They do a similar thing with operas at the Met (I believe the Met did it first actually). Here’s a link to their website: If you go to the venues tab you can see if they’re playing it at a theatre near you if anyone is interested. It’s also being directed by Danny Boyle, FYI. Sounds like a good production!

  2. While I’m, of course, rooting for THE LOST THING to win some of the other nominees are pretty darn terrific too. You can see something about all of them here:

    And folks who are interested in seeing the NT production of Frankenstein may be interested in knowing that there are going to be a couple of live broadcasts on March 17th and 24th (so you can see Benedict playing both the Monster and Frankenstein). More information here: (I saw the NT’s production of Terry Pratchett’s Nation last year and it was excellent.)

  3. The live broadcast of Nation, I meant.

  4. You could BUY the lost thing, instead of just watching it for free online.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      You could indeed. You could also do both. I think it would make a lovely gift for the Shaun Tan fanatic in your life.