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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Now with more earthquaky goodness

The fabulous Colleen Mondor and Jackie Parker-Robinson have come up with a clever notion.  Kidlitcon, the yearly conference for bloggers of child and teen literature, fast approacheth and this year, things are getting a bit switched.  As Colleen says on her blog, “What we decided was to shift things just a bit, both by moving away from publisher donated ARCs as raffle prizes and also toward a long term partnership with one organization. Ultimately what we came up with made sense in so many ways that in retrospect it was one of the easiest things we decided. I am delighted to announce that KidLit Con is now entering into a partnership with Reading Is Fundamental which we hope will extend for many years into the future and make a powerful difference in the lives of many.”  There’s more information to be found here, including info on how to donate to RIF yourself.  So far the fund has reached $1,056, which is fantastic though more is needed.  And a cheer is going out to Carol Rasco for her mention of me in a recent thank you.

  • And now let’s raise a glass and toast my profession.  Isn’t it nice to have a profession that can, without so much as a stray drop of guilt, be toasted?  Lucky that.  In any case, the I Love My Librarian awards are starting up again and that means you need to get out there and vote for your beloved holders of MLIS degrees.  You may nominate a school, public, and academic librarian if you like.  Doesn’t cost you a thing and maybe your one true library love will get the credit they so richly deserve. Stranger things have happened, no?
  • Speaking of honoring folks, the Eric Carle Museum Honors have been announced.  Each year four categories are filled with folks who have done some good in the name of children’s literature.  This year the recipients include:

Lois Ehlert ▪ Artist
Jeanne Steig ▪ Angel
Michael di Capua ▪ Mentor
Karen Nelson Hoyle ▪ Bridge

On Thursday, September 22nd the Honors will be at Guastavino’s here in town.  The usual auction that takes place at that time is seeing a bit of a shake-up as well.  According to the website, “Our fourth annual art auction will feature original works of art donated by some of the industry’s most celebrated artists. This year also offers the opportunity to bid on ‘experiences’ with authors and artists.”  If one of those “experiences” can include a chance to go pubbing with Tomi Ungerer I am in!  At last year’s event I discovered that I was pregnant mere hours before attending.  This year will have to top that, right?

  • Back in the day when I was young and foolish I had a chance to interview Frances Hardinge on my blog.  Years have passed and Ms. Hardinge has yet to become the household name here in the States that I know she is capable of being.  While I wait then I’ll continue to read other interviews of her, like this one from Playing By the Book.  There are many choice moments in it, as when Ms. Hardinge states that in her next book you will find that, “It’s set in an underground city, and features luminous Venus fly traps, magic based on cheese and a heroine who can’t lie.”
  • If Kidlit Drink Nights are the children’s literary sphere’s answer to discussing the profession in alcoholic venues then Desk Set is a version made up entirely of librarians of various backgrounds.  I had always been under the impression that they were solely New York based.  Not so!  Looks like there’s a Toronto equivalent as well.  Too cool.
  • Too much fun.  Across the sea the 2011 Best Book Guide from an outfit by the name of Booktrust has just been released.  And though some of the titles have yet to make it to the States, many should be familiar to the folks here.  It’s hugely enjoyable to notice which books have slightly different names.  For example Little Owl Lost now becomes the uber-English A Bit Lost.  Adorable.  By the way, my husband once wrote a screenplay about the life of Alan Turing so if anyone wants to bring Taff in the WAAF by Mick Manning to the U.S. (you can rename it, I won’t mind) I’d be mighty grateful.  Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.
  • First Second’s doing something I’ve not seen the other children’s lit imprints attempt.  Aware that serializing a comic series profits a company since it can both build a fanbase and then profit in the end with a print edition at the end, they’re publishing Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks.  The book is slated to come out February 2012.  Considering how most kids read their comics online anyway, it’s a clever notion.
  • While hanging out with a friend the other day they happened to ask, “So… did you hear that Sherlock Holmes got banned?”  I did, as it turned out.  Funny it wasn’t even one of those graphic novel adaptations but the book proper.  Huh.
  • Hanging out with friends the other week I found myself in the presence of a children’s literature scholar.  I urged her to consider blogging about her profession.  “After all,” I reasoned, “we only have one who blogs.”  “Yes, but he’s so good,” she countered.  We were both, of course, talking about Philip Nel.  There really isn’t anybody else.  And now Phil has written an eye-opening piece entitled Professional Autodidact; or, How I Became a Children’s Literature Professor.  I rather like the notion of bloggers writing posts on how they entered the field in this manner. I can think of others I’d like to see write similar pieces.
  • Speaking of scholars, credit to Salon.  Or, more specifically, to Emma Mustich.  Knowing full well that we are about to be inundated with a slew of awful fairytale based films (oh . . . you have no idea) she contacted Jack Zipes, our resident fairy tale scholar, to comment.  I love that he’s into the film version of How to Train Your Dragon (my husband would concur).  Thanks to Educating Alice for the link.
  • By the way, did you happen to check out the Cockeyed Caravan Ultimate Story Checklist?  Ostensibly for screenplays it works beautifully for works of fiction.  I actually use it myself.  Good stuff.
  • This is more for the NYC folks.  I happen to find it fascinating.  From Cynopsis Kids:

The New York Times, in partnership with WNYC, New York City’s public radio station, will launch SchoolBook ( and ), an interactive education website offering news, data and discussions about the city’s public and private schools, on September 7, 2011.  SchoolBook will feature coverage by the NYT and WNYC reporters, interactive tools to help analyze schools, as well as conversations, and customized pages for each school and a home page with daily refreshed content.  SchoolBook will be free and exempt fro the NYT’s digital subscriptions.  In order to participate, users must register via Facebook, which will then also allow them to share documents, photos and video, and ask and respond to questions about specific schools and issues with others including editors and experts.  The site expands on the searchable test score database already available via

  • Daily Image:

Book Patrol recently did a great post on painted librarians throughout the ages.  Amongst the paintings included is this  engraving called Arcimboldo’s ‘The Librarian,’ by Georg Philipp Harsdörffer. Says Book Patrol, “It was included in Harsdörffer’s 8 volume work ‘Frauenzimmer Gesprechspiele’ that was published through the 1640s.”  Alls I know, tis cool.

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. Love Book Patrol’s post – thanks for sharing. And I have just shared with you via twitpic a pic of Frances Hardinge reading from Fly Trap last Sunday – she read round the camp fire after dark on the last night of the Just So Festival. Very atmospheric! She wore her trademark hat and was just super! I though of you as I listened 🙂

  2. Thanks for passing along the Booktrust list; I’ve enjoyed looking at it in years past. My personal favorite title in the Sheer Britishness category has to be “Does and Igloo Have a Loo?” There’s no way to bring that to the States without losing an essential funky awesomeness.