Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: More cowbell/maracas

Happy Monday to you, everyone.  I’ve plenty of tasty treats to bestow on the good little boys and girls this morning.  First off, the only thing that I can figure when I look at the baby versions of various Harry Potter characters by Artful Babies is that whomever the creator is they must spend a lot of time skulking about maternity wards.  How else do you manage to capture that brand new ugly/cute look of newborns?  Of all the characters, the Snape amuses me the most.  Anyone who has ever seen a pissed off baby will recognize the look on his face.  And for those of you reading this with your morning coffee, I will spare you the baby Lord Voldemort.  Needless to say, be prepared to spittake.  I liked my friend Marci’s suggestion that someone take the Voldemort baby and put him under a bench in a train station somewhere, though.

  • I love Leila Roy of bookshelves of doom, but I think I love her best when she’s taking down a bad book.  Whether it’s Flowers in the Attic or her recent smackdown of John Grisham’s Theodore Boone sequel, nobody snarks like she does.
  • A hitherto unknown Arthur Rackham drawing has been discovered in an obscure book?  Hot diggety dog!  That is awfully cool to me.
  • New Blog Alert: Well, as I live and breathe.  I hereby declare myself unobservant.  Since March of this year there has been a group blog of middle grade authors called Smack Dab in the Middle.  Group blogs are a perfect way for authors to blog without having to distract themselves from their real jobs.  In this particular case it’s a great line-up of folks and I’ve taken a great deal of pleasure checking out some of their upcoming books.
  • I know you all read your Morning Notes from 100 Scope Notes without fail.  Be that as it may be, how can I not link to a man who knows when to use the phrase, “This cover needs more maracas“?
  • Seems a bit unfair.  I complained some time ago about the fact that Kadir Nelson somehow managed to be able to write AND illustrate his books with aplomb.  Hey, Kadir!  Save some talent for the rest of us!  Now I feel the same way knowing that not only did illustrator Leo Lionni make some of the greatest picture books of the 20th century, he could sculpt as well.  Great article on one of his sculptures arriving at The Carle.  I had no idea that Eric Carle was his protege too.  Small world.
  • Bloody blooming fascinating this.  7 Obscure Children’s Books by Authors of Adult Literature contains its fair share of surprises.  Of course many of us won’t be surprised by T.S. Eliot or Oscar Wilde but Tolstoy?  Mary Shelley?  Amazing.  Makes me wonder when some of the great authors of today will try their hand.  We already got Salman Rushdie several times over, so how about A.S. Byatt (those fairy tale collections of hers do NOT count)?  Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link.
  • Are you productive in church?  No?  Shouldn’t you be?  Seems to me that some of our best illustrators probably are.  That’s just a hunch though, mind you.
  • Author Erica Perl let me know about a little deal she’s got going on at the moment: “Get this: buy a copy of When Life Gives You O.J. from Politics & Prose this month and First Book will provide two books to kids in need!”  That’s fairly interesting in and of itself, but I link to it as well because Ms. Perl’s deal is something other authors might want to get in on with their own titles.  Read how Ms. Perl set this up.  As she says in her post, “Fellow authors, take note – you can do this, too!”
  • While I would argue that calling it “teen” is a bit much, I’m so incredibly thrilled to see the delightful Raina Telgemeier winning the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens.  Since we don’t have an ALA Award for graphic novels (*cough, hack, cough cough*) this is really one of the very few out there acknowledging GNs for kids.  And Raina’s book Smile is more than deserving of the win.  Way to go, girl!  Pity about Tiny Titans winning in the kids category though.  I mean, seriously?  Best for kids?  Have you guys even seen Hereville?
  • Daily Image:

Why yes, I would like a home made entirely out of bookcases!  How kind of you to offer.

Thanks to Mental Floss 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’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who draws in church. Perhpas there is artistic hope for me yet! 😉

  2. Thank you for the link to obscure children’s books. I am a big fan of the musical Cats and I really enjoy TS Eliot’s work but I never knew they were at all connected! Can’t wait to order that book from Amazon!

  3. But…but…Harry didn’t get the scar until he was a toddler! (Then again, Tonks probably wasn’t born w/ purple hair…)

  4. If you didn’t know Lionni’s sculptures, I wonder if you are aware of his wonderful book “Parallel Botany”:

  5. Sam Bloom says

    We really do need a graphic novel award, and pronto. Lunch Lady has swept the 3rd/4th grade category in the Children’s Choice Book Awards for the last few years. We see kids every day who check out nothing but comics. I almost think an award would give the form a little more credibility with teachers and librarians (and parents), which would be nice – I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain to a parent that it isn’t a “waste” for Johnny to read Tsubasa or Rapunzel’s Revenge or whatever. Maybe we can commission some graphic artist to create an appealing, pleading short comic that we can send to the powers-that-be to try to goad them into creating the Art Spiegelman Award, or the Hayao Miyazaki Medal, or the Hugo (named after young Mr. Cabret), or something like that. Matt Pheland or Brian Selznick, do either of you dudes have any time to spare on such a project? =)

  6. Absolutely – wouldn’t it be great to have an ALA award for graphic novels!?!? Smile was one of the top circulating books in our elementary school library (yes, teen was a bit of an odd category), and we were thrilled to find out it won the Eisner Award. Hooray! Odd about Tiny Titans – seems very TV cartoon inspired/derivative. All of the other nominees seemed to have much better substance: Walker Bean, Amelia Rules, Amelia Earhart.

    What did you think about The Return of the Dapper Men? Have you seen it? Beautiful, but wondering about the audience.

  7. At first glance I was hoping for a new pic of the Lily Bird. Glad I took a second glance.

  8. For months I’ve been procrastinating on a post about obscure books by adult authors … I was foolishly trying to read each book before I wrote the darn thing. Have to say that a part of me is relieved that Brainpickings let me off the hook!