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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: It’s the Robinson Crusoe bit, in case you were wondering

This week I reviewed Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs, a keen look at the weirdness that is Hans Christian Andersen.  At the same time the Brit blog Playing By the Book highlighted a ballet take on the Andersen story The Most Incredible Thing.  I wasn’t able to grab the video she found but I was able to find this behind-the-scenes look at this collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys.  Who knew?

Playing By the Book also recently put together what I consider an almost definitive collections of old cartoons in which literary characters come to life.  The videos are fascinating, partly because they’re a real eye-opening glimpse of what folks in the 30s and 40s considered the “classics”.  I wanted to take one and put it here.  Small problem?  It’s impossible to find one that doesn’t get horribly racist roundabout halfway through.  It’s kind of fascinating.  Things will be going great and then at the halfway mark you’ve either got a horrible interpretation of Black Beauty, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Fu Manchu.  For that reason I’ll just grab this one which STILL manages to work something racist in, but it’s minor compared to the other videos.

Funny (though you get the impression the creators had never actually read Beauty and the Beast).  Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.

Wow!  This August will be the 40th Annual SCBWI Summer Conference in beautiful Los Angeles.  The keynote speaker?  None other than Bruce Coville himself!  Lee Wind got the skinny on what Bruce will be discussing.

There you have it.  Two of my favorite fellas.  Thanks to I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? for the link.

Okay.  So this is what I want.  I want a TV show like this one.  One Angela Santomero has a PBS series called The Parent Show where, amongst other things, she gets to interview authors like Marc Tyler Nobleman.  See?  That’s awesome.  Sign me up for that.

And for the off-topic video, I adore this.  A teen came up with the rap video which he calls (and rightly so) First World Problems.  It smacks of the Whole Foods Parking Lot rap but is better written and comes right to the point.  This kid’s a genius.

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. Glad you found the old animations interesting. I have to say I had to go and look up Rip van Winkle – the name was familiar, but I couldn’t have told you the story. Perhaps the story is still well known in the US? Thanks for linking to Playing by the book 🙂

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Huh! Yep, Irving is still pretty well known here in the States. We sort of lump in Rip Van Winkle with all the other fairy tales. Interesting that his fame doesn’t extend beyond our borders. Good to know!

  2. Karen Gray Ruelle says

    Nice interview with Marc Tyler Nobleman!

  3. Thanks for the mention, Betsy (and Karen!). That First World kid is a genius – clever rhymes and the boldness to flush a dollar.


  1. […] thanks to Betsy at Fuse 8 for pointing this one out to her […]