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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: I’m gonna give you some terrible thrills

So I’m at a lovely Little Brown librarian preview earlier this week and the first special guest star of the day turns out to be none other than Daniel Handler a.k.a. Lemony Snicket.  A resident of San Francisco, I wasn’t sure why he was in town.  Turns out, he was on Rachel Maddow’s show talking about his recent Occupy Wall Street piece that had been making the internet rounds.  Maddow says that he’s a “cultural hero of mine” and then later that she is “dorking out” being in his presence.  The interview is great in and of itself, plus you get this fun bit at the start about what you do when the police have confiscated your generators.

Of course if I’d known he was in town I would have tried to hook him into saying hello at the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival festivities.  Hosted in my library I’ll be blogging about it rather soon.  It was rather epic, I have to say.  Everything from a children’s musical about the birth of the Newbery Award to kids singing the plot of The Westing Game to Katie Perry’s “Firework” (a song that seems to haunt Mr. Kennedy wherever he may go).  Of course we ran out of time so we never got to show this final video.  I present it to you now because it’s rather brilliant.  As Ira Glass imitations go, this has gotta be up there:

This next link is here only because Travis at 100 Scope Notes spotted it first.  According to Reuters, the Japanese have brought The Magic Tree House books to life on the screen.  Apparently Mary Pope Osborne has always resisted film adaptations but the filmmakers so wowed her that she gave them the rights.  The result pairs nicely with that recent Borrowers adaptation, also out of Japan:

In other news, Newbery Honor winner Kathi Appelt recently interviewed Caldecott Award winner Eric Rohmann about his latest hugely lauded Halloween tale Bone Dog.  Perhaps I should have posted this before Halloween itself, but eh.  It’s still mighty fine.

Here’s another couple of interviews, this time with folks involved in The Phantom Tollbooth.  It turns 50 this year, y’know.  I find it telling that when the camera hits Leonard Marcus I picked up my laptop and strained to read the titles of the children’s books behind him.  Never mind that it may not even be his home they’re filming him in.  I’m just impressed that somebody loved Slaves of the Mastery enough to keep a copy of it on hand.

Thanks to Marci for the link.

And I couldn’t have been more lucky with my off-topic video of the day.  This is the kind of video that appears to have been made for me and only me.  I mean, where else could you find Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Stephin Merritt, and Moby (Moby?) performing the first song from Rocky Horror Picture Show?  They’re all making fun of their own images, and note too that every time Neil plays the toy piano the audience cheers him.  Adorable.

Palmer / Merritt album please.

For the record, this ties up the post beautifully.  Daniel Handler, after all, played the accordion at Amanda and Neil’s wedding, as well as Stephin’s 69 Love Songs album.  BAM!

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 co-curating the film festival with me, Betsy, and thanks especially for putting up that “This American Life”-style RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT — I was so disappointed that we ran out of time and couldn’t show it! Next year I’ll have a better sense of timing…

  2. Do you know about the Phantom Tollbooth documentary funded through Kickstarter? It seems to have reached the goal but there are still 7 days left to pledge and there are some sweet incentives.

    Also- that AFP performance was meant for me too 🙂 I am a long-time fan of Neil, I stood in line for hours to get him to sign Death and Sandman graphic novels for me back in the day! Because of him, I discovered Amanda when they worked together on Who Killed Amanda Palmer? Now I love them both.

  3. Eti Berland says

    Thank you so much for sharing my Ira Glass-inspired contribution to the 90-Second Newbery festival! It gave me a wonderful thrill to see it on your blog and I appreciate the lovely compliment. I wish I could have been in New York for the festival, and I can’t wait to see your coverage of the event.

  4. I LOVE Bone Dog. I read it to my schoolchildren last week, and they loved it, too. It spans the different ages beautifully, and many children remarked on the beauty of the illustrations. It’s a big, generous book–funny, sad, spooky, imaginative, with a denouement that’s both logical and surprising. It’s my favorite for the Caldecott–quite simply a perfect book.

  5. Betsy, thank you so much for posting my video with Eric Rohmann. I love BONE DOG, and hope for many good things to happen for it, and for Eric too.