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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: I figure if I write a book called “Shiny Chimes” I’ll have it made

  • If I’m not too incorrect I believe that today is the last day for SLJ editor Brian Kenney before he steps off and joins the White Plains Public Library as their Director.  It was Brian who first tapped me to become an SLJ blogger, and who, in effect, “discovered” me.  He’s been a wonderful editor ever since, always having my back through thick and thin.  I’m terribly sorry to see him go but I hope he has a wonderful tenure in White Plains.  You be good to him, you guys!  Brian’s the kind of guy you want to hold on to.  Roger Sutton offers his own farewell here.
  • So how ’bout them National Book Awards, eh?  *ducks under a flying tomato* Okay, okay, don’t fear.  I’m not going to rehash what’s been hashed into a fine tasty paste by the many others before me.  I recommend the SLJ article Lauren Myracle Drops Out of National Book Award Consideration for those of you who haven’t a clue as to what it is I’m yammering on about (though the most brilliant encapsulation of them all is clearly here).  Let’s shift gears a touch and look at who the judges in the Young People’s Literature category were.  They included Marc Aronson (Panel Chair), Ann Brashares, Matt de la Peña, Nikki Grimes, and Will Weaver.  Under normal circumstances the judges keep utterly silent about any other books they might have seen and liked, but Nikki Grimes has actually blogged a list of Nine Not-to-Be-Missed Novels as well as multiple titles she saw, liked, but that didn’t get nominated.  If your reading list is feeling a bit paltry and you’d like to see some 2011 titles that aren’t getting a lot of discussion, check this post out. Thanks to Carol Saller for the link.
  • Sidenote: There’s a Teen Press Conference in the works for those nominated in the Young People’s Literature category.  FYI.
  • Ah, Earth Day.  It only comes but once a year and then we can forget about it for the remaining 364, and continue to toss our soda straws in the Seine.  So while April has long since gone, perhaps some of you writerly types out there would like to know about this here “Authors For Earth Day” thing going on.  Dan Gutman told me about it recently, saying, “Basically, we donate our fee from one school visit to an environmental organization–which the kids at the school vote on.”  Aw.  That’s sweet.  Check out the site if you’re curious.  Gotta say, there are a lot of great authors and illustrators involved.
  • There’s an absolutely riveting post over at Playing By the Book about Herve Tullet’s Press Here, the suspension of disbelief in children’s books, and a homegrown Press Here-inspired activity with kids that librarians everywhere might feel inclined to copy for the next upcoming craft program.

Recently I’ve been seeing a mess of great ideas turned into books for kids and teens.  Seems like every time I turn on the news I find the subject matter in a book six months later.  Well, if it pleases the jury, I would like to name Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph my please-please-pretty-please-can-we-have-a-YA-version? book of the year.  Full disclosure: Jamal’s a friend of my husband’s and we’ve known him for years.  I’ve secretly wanted him to write a biography about his life for teens since he was known as the youngest Black Panther and he works with kids all over the city these days.  It’s a great story, a great guy, and a killer idea for a book for teens.  Just sayin’.

  • There’s a call for submissions for for the 2012 Scott O’Dell Awards going on!  Makes you wonder what might win this year, eh?  Will they consider Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul fiction?  What about Icefall?  Will Jefferson’s Sons stand out for them or is the committee more the Wonderstruck type (remembering, as we do, that it was Roger Sutton’s committee that gave Hugo Cabret a Caldecott)?  I’m positively giddy!
  • I’ve read a lot of Sendak interviews in my day.  A lot of them, and this may be the best.  Odd about his opinion of Dahl, though.  Wouldn’t have pegged him for it.
  • Scratch and Sniff books may be the last great frontier of the novelty children’s book.  Sticker books will enter library systems before some people allow those of the odoriferous variety in the door.  Maybe it’s because the smells fade.  Dunno.  All I can do is wonder if the upcoming New York, Phew York: A Scratch and Sniff Adventure will be coming to my own library system anytime soon.
  • I have to say, I’ve really been enjoying the posts at Brian Pickings that have been given the tag of “Children’s Books“.  They’ve a great eye for what’s out there, including the latest Richard Dawkins book for kids, Andy Warhol’s history as a freelance artist for Doubleday, classic fairy tales, and more.
  • Recently I read an article in the New Yorker about singer/songwriter Taylor Swift.  The piece said that Swift made country cool for the pre-teen demographic and I saw that statistic in action soon thereafter when a friend polled my children’s book group and found that all the girls claimed to like “country”.  Why?  Because they like Taylor Swift.  All the more reason to be happy about the fact that Swift recently donated 6,000 books to a library in Reading, Pennsylvania. You have to wonder how she made the choice of what to donate. Thanks to Kate for the link.
  • Doing anything tonight?  Want to join a Twitter party about Digital Storytelling and Libraries?  Want to get some prizes in the process?  Better preregister while you can then.
  • Daily Image:

I know 100 Scope Notes provided a link to this long ago, but it’s just so nice you’ll need to see it twice.

It just makes me happy.

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. Thanks so much for the link to Authors for Earth Day – it’s inspiring. I’d love it if there were something similar over here in the UK. I shall have to start putting the flea in people’s ears. And thanks to for linking to my Press Here write up. On Friday I took it into school and read it with small groups of 5/6/7 year olds and unfailingly they were all bewitched and delighted in entering into the book’s magic. Everyone wanted it read again!

  2. AAAAGHHH, I was TOTALLY going to WRITE a post ALL ABOUT Press Here and the suspension of disbelief TODAY and I do NOT have anything like that to compare. I HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY SCOOPED. I don’t know what to do with myself now.

  3. I think librarians actually got to choose the books Taylor Swift donated. What a concept! I read it here

  4. There was an article on Taylor Swift’s donation, and it said the librarians were able to select the books from Scholastic, that they got five copies each of each requested book, two for the collection, two to give away and one for reserve. I like this idea because it gives the libraries some say in the donation and how they use it.

  5. Bear in mind that Sendak is Jewish (as if we could forget, reading that interview!) and Roald Dahl was a notorious anti-Semite.