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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Juggling pocket kittens

  • Full credit to my co-writer Jules at Seven Impossible Things for bringing my attention to this rather awesome new site.  Uncovered Cover Art calls itself a sketchbook of “reimagined children’s books”.  What that means is that artists are encouraged to submit their own interpretations of children’s book jackets.  The hope is that industry insiders would then see said art and commission the artists for original picture books.  Can’t hurt to try, that’s what I say.  The site’s creator, editor Heidi Kellenberger, goes on to say, “To celebrate the launch of Uncovered Cover Art, the three most popular artists will receive a copy of Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration. Voting starts today and ends August 30th.”  To submit your own art, see the details here.  I like a lot of what I’ve seen here (it reminds me of the art found at Terrible Yellow Eyes) but my favorite may be this simple image of The Three Bears reimagined with pandas by Billy Nuñez.  Pandas!  Brilliant!  Why has this never been done before (or has it?).
  • We begin with a happy post so that we might soften the blow of the sad.  I’m no fan of bookstore chains.  They pretty much cast out all the great independent bookstores of Kalamazoo, my hometown, and I remain bitter to this day.  That said, it would take a heart colder than mine to find joy in the closing of Borders and its remaining 399 stores.  11,000 people are now out of a job and, in some towns, there will be no more bookstore.  Never a good thing.
  • I don’t usually pay much attention to YA.  But that cover of Marissa Meyer’s CinderEntrancing.
  • Hm.  Today let us put all the Potter posts together in one spot for easy convenience shall we?  First off, I love me a good maze.  A Potter maze would just be icing on the cake.  Next, let’s face facts.  Harry was a swell guy but the real power behind the throne?  Hermione. I thought about putting Alan Rickman’s World Cup acceptance speech on behalf of Severus Snape in a Video Sunday, but.. ah.  What the heck.  It’s fine here.  One of the funniest links I came across was this piece in Slate where two muggles who have never read a page of J.K. Rowling watch Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  Sample dialogue: “JS: I think Dumbledore is gay. JG: I’m glad we both remembered that factoid surely pivotal to the plot of this 8th and final movie.”  Finally, there’s a great list up of The Least Successful ‘Potter’ Imitators.  Just because a movie stars kids that doesn’t make it an “imitator”.  However the list is fascinating because you can see how big the flops really were.
  • What can a children’s picture book writer do to help their submission stand out from the rest?” They don’t throw softballs at agent Jennifer Laughran.  She answers that query with a great deal of info over at Jennifer Represents.  For those of you who were curious.
  • Got a question for you: How many films based on The Wizard of Oz are currently in production.  Go on.  Guess.  One?  Four?  Nine?  Would you believe . . . ELEVEN!!!!???? Because if you don’t, you may yet keep your sanity.  Here’s my favorite of the multiple movie posters coming:

Doesn’t mean the movie will be any good.  I’m just amused by the tagline.  If I ever write an Oz takeoff I’m gonna call it And What About Scarecrow’s Brain?

  • It’s a great title: The Giving Tree: A Picture Book Without a Hero.  The illustrious Jonathan Auxier tackles the first branch in the Triumvirate of Mediocrity.  And while I’m thinking of it, the fantastic Miss Julie recently recounted an encounter (encounter recounting!) between James Kennedy and Mr. Auxier.  To my delight, she wrote it in the style of Mr. Kennedy himself.  No small feat.
  • Huh. That’s interesting.  Something about Dead End in Norvelt is different these days.  Check it out:

Old Cover

New Cover

Mighty interesting indeed.

  • In other news, Penguin covers would make great band-aids.  And your kid would be the envy of their little friends.  Who wouldn’t want to show up at school with a Marquis de Sade token on their wrist?
  • Daily Image:

Though I wouldn’t swear to it, I don’t believe I’ve ever shown you this on the blog before:

Curious?  It’s the entrance to the Children’s Section at the Cerritos Millennium Library in Cerritos, California.  Also known as a place I just gotta get to someday.  Thanks to Aunt Judy 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. I was lucky enough to speak at the Cerritos Library last year. Here’s a link about it with photos of this gorgeous place . . .

  2. Oh my goodness, I need to visit the Cerritos Library. I must turn my car around and head back to California. 🙂

  3. “Also: Hogwarts was a death trap!
    Why are they so excited to send their kids to potential doom!”

    (Snigger, Snigger)

    They can do all they want to the Gantos cover, I just want the damn book already!

    As always thanks, Betsy.


    Let’s see, they added a quote and a line about the author. Puffed up Jack Gantos’ name and made the airplane brighter. They added texture to the sign. Pinkened the clouds. Added a collar and cuffs to the boy’s shirt. Cut the picture off below his hips, instead of at his knees.

    If they were going to take the time and effort of making ALL those changes, why didn’t they just re-imagine and re-illustrate the entire cover so it wouldn’t still look like a companion novel to OKAY FOR NOW?

    Frankly, I think it would have been hilarious if they left it alone, but just added a big quote at the top saying, “A BRILLIANT BOOK.” — Gary D. Schmidt.

    Then Clarion should have amended the cover of OKAY FOR NOW to add a big quote at the top saying, “A BRILLIIANT BOOK.” — Jack Gantos.

  5. ” 11,000 people are now out of a job and, in some towns, there will be no more bookstore. Never a good thing.”

    Other than a small used bookstore and a semi-religious bookstore in a neighboring county, Borders is it for bookstores in our *county*, beautiful and mostly rural Fauquier County (VA). Our public library system was the beneficiary of one of their many book drives. The nearest full-service bookstore (a smallish and older B&N) will be about 40 minutes away. Our Borders is an anchor for one of our strip malls, which includes several independent shops and restaurants.

  6. RIP John Rollins Books. (They closed while I was living in Kalamazoo…I missed them terribly).

  7. I find it nigh impossible to discuss James Kennedy in any respect without slipping into the tone and style of his writing. Even now the urge to write ever expanding sentences making use of words such as mellifluous, prelapsarian, and indomitable is excruciatingly difficult to smother….

    And for someone of Auxier’s stature, he really was quite nimble with those tiny pocket kittens–especially since, being pocket kittens, they were much smaller than the average kitten. Oh, these multi-talented writers we have these days.


  1. […] blog by children’s book editor Heidi Kellenberger has been touted by NPR’s Fresh Air, School Library Journal and the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast […]