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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Time to class the joint up

Nice movie poster, right?  Wouldn’t look too shabby in your local cineplex.  Well, don’t get too excited quite yet.  It seems that Sean Astin (a.k.a. Sam from the Lord of the Rings trilogy) is raising money to start production on this film, to be shot in Denmark.  Lowry reports on the process, though she is understandably leery since she saw what happened with The Giver film.  Which is to say, not much.  Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the link.

There’s nothing like going viral to sell a book or two.  Though The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy came out a good three years ago, thanks to the 90-Second Newbery film of A Wrinkle in Time it caught the attention of Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing.  And I like to write reviews, but I feel true green-eyed review envy when I read someone write a descriptive sentence like, “An epic novel of exotic pie, Götterdämmerung, mutants, evil, crime, and musical theater, Odd-Fish is a truly odd fish, as mannered and crazy as an eel in a tuxedo dropped down your trousers during a performance of The Ring Cycle.”  Geez, Cory.  Make it hard for the rest of us, why doncha?  In any case, you Chicago folks might want to attend Mr. Kennedy’s Odd-Fish Art Show to be held in a creepy old mansion.  He says of one room, “full of antique printing presses, priceless art, unclassifiable knickknacks, and so much garbage it’s like the trash compactor scene from Star Wars.”  He ain’t wrong either.

  • For some reason I feel inclined to keep a close eye on children’s book apps these days.  I don’t know exactly why this is.  I just have a feeling they’re going to be more important than we initially expect later on down the road.  It’s hard to figure out what’s actually important and what’s just self-promoting dribble, though.  I mean, I’m pretty sure the new Kirkus App Discovery Engine is important, but it’s hard to say.  Monica Edinger, therefore, did me a bit of a favor when she presented her recent round-up of app news on her Huffington Post blog.  Makes for good reading.
  • Recently Mr. Mo Willems had his picture taken.  It was not the first time.  It was not even the first time he’d been to that particular photographer.  But it was the first time I’d been made aware of the photographer Marty Umans.  Mr. Umans happens to have photographed quite a few children’s literary folks, including Mr. Mo, Harry Bliss, Raul Colon, Randall de Seve, and more.  You can see a whole host of them here.  Thanks to Mr. Mo for the link.
  • In case you missed it, Travis Jonker does a stellar recap of the Children’s Literature Breakfast in Chicago.
  • There was lots to read at The Scop last week, but I think no truer truism (neither of those sound like real words) was touted than this line posted by Jonathan Auxier: “In response to my post discussing the ‘betrayal’ of discovering Christian imagery in the Narnia books, blogger KBryna pointed out how Lewis perpetrates an even greater deception:  tricking readers into thinking Turkish Delight is delicious.”  It’s true.  C.S. Lewis was like some kind of crazy Turkish Delight P.R. salesman.  Imagine if Charlie and the Chocolate Factory spent a whole chapter discussing the deliciousness of Marmite.  That’s the closest betrayal equivalent I can think of.  In any case, it’s worth reading Jonathan’s recount of how he destroyed a friend’s childhood with just a single piece of that strange little food.
  • Booktalking: It’s not for wimps.  Seriously, if you can do a verbal movie trailer for a book in your hand well, you can convince an entire room of children of the merits of the obscure title you hold in your hand.  Booktalking is a librarian’s secret weapon.  It’s what separates us from the animals.  It is also rather difficult.  That’s why I was pleased as punch to read the Tea Cozy piece on Booktalking that both offers and solicits advice.
  • Free book news!  Free book news for libraries, no less.  It appears that a group referring to themselves as the Elevensies are running a year-long sweepstakes, where they’re giving away free 2011 MG/YA books to libraries and their readers. Full details available at  So, to sum up: Free books for libraries that may have to deal with slashed materials budgets.  Even if you don’t work in such a place, I bet you know of one that could use a leg up.  Thanks to Sheela Chari for the info.
  • Press releases aren’t usually so interesting.  But when the Richard Michelson Gallery sent a recent update on their new Dr. Seuss acquisition, I was all ears.  I’m sure that some of you are vaguely aware that in the 1930s Seuss/Geisel indulged in a kind of “unorthodox taxidermy”.  Which is to say, he mounted creatures that you could only find if you wandered into a Seuss book with a blunderbuss and took home a few prizes.  Now I am pleased to state that a new “taxidermied” critter has emerged at the gallery.  Feast your eyes on the Flaming Herring:

Ain’t he (she?) a beaut?  And so Seussian!!  Thanks to Rich for the link.

  • A friend who shall remain anonymous (I got your back, man) recently informed me that if I ever wanted to get into a high-profile Twitter war with a porn star now would be the time.  I guess it’s not entirely work appropriate (panties) but generally speaking it’s on the  . . . uh . . . up and up.  And it kind of confirms what I’ve always thought about fans of the book (present husband excepted).
  • Daily Image:

All right.  Classy time.  This here’s a print from David Schwen.  Kinda gorgeous.

Thanks to the BB-Blog 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. Hey, thanks for the mention, Betsy! When I first saw the Boing Boing review I dashed upstairs from the basement, laptop in my trembling hands, before I could even read it, to show it to my wife so we could read it together. It was, dare I say, like that classic scene in “That Thing You Do!” when everyone in the band is ecstatically running around town while their song is actually playing on the radio . . .

    And now that I’ve revealed myself to be a complete dork, I will quietly withdraw.

  2. That Number the Stars news is very interesting and exciting. Sounds like Sean Astin is very committed to the story.

  3. Interesting about a possible Number the Stars movie – that is such a perfectly crafted book, wonder what the movie will be like.

    And thanks so much for the shoutout for our Elevensies book giveaway.

  4. Thanks for the mention, but I believe the correct order is Mac Barnett/Eli Horowitz/Scott Teplin/Adam Rex. If I had drawn all those complicated interiors I’d want top billing over the guy who just did a bunch of little portraits, though Scott’s a peach and would probably never mention it.

  5. I LOVE Turkish Delight! The first sample I ever tasted was chocolate-covered rose-flavored Turkish Delight, and I could easily be captured by the White Witch with it as bait! I have since had non-chocolate-covered and different flavors and still love it. My husband would buy packages any time he had a trip to England, which was quite frequently back in those days. When we saw the first Narnia movie, we smuggled some Turkish Delight into the theater!

  6. James Kennedy, you made me really bizarrely happy with that comment. Just so you know.

  7. I have always thought that Turkish Delight was the same as Turkish taffy (which I love), just that the first was the British name and the second, American.

  8. I was very excited when I first moved to England because they had Turkish Delight and of course, I had to try it. Egads it was horrible.

    A few years later we were in Istanbul and I had some actual Turkish Delight. The first words out of my mouth were “My sister is so screwed. I’d totally sell her out for more of this.”

    So, really, I think it’s Cadbury that’s committing the crime here, not Lewis.