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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: In which I get to use the term “mankiest”

Daylight Saving (not “Savings” I just learned) has arrived and you know what that means?  It means babies have a terrible sense of telling time.  Just awful.  And that, in turn, means I’d better crank out a lickety-split Fusenews before I hear the telltale sound of little eyelids opening.

First up, The New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2011 were announced.  I like to keep a tally of what I managed to review in time vs. what got missed.  The winners were:

  • “Along a Long Road,” written and illustrated by Frank Viva (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • “A Ball for Daisy,” written and illustrated by Chris Raschka (Schwartz & Wade)
  • “Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures,” written by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Pamela Dalton (Chronicle Books)
  • “Grandpa Green,” written and illustrated by Lane Smith (Roaring Brook Press)
  • Ice,” written and illustrated by Arthur Geisert (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • Me … Jane,” written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • “Migrant,” written by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood Books);
  • “A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis,” written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Dial)
  • “A New Year’s Reunion,” written by Yu Li-Qiong, illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang (Candlewick Press)

Well, three out of ten ain’t . . uh . . . ain’t all that hot, come to think of it.  Next year I shall vow to do better!  I liked Travis at 100 Scopes Notes and his reaction too.

  • Amazon has just put out their list of the Best of 2011 too.  I’ve read eight out of ten and reviewed five of those.  Much better.
  • While I’m thinking of it, there was announcement of the Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal nominees over in Jolly Old England.  The Carnegie (their version of the Newbery) nominees include a couple Americans, a couple titles we’ve seen stateside, and a lot of surprises.  I’ll be rooting for Tall Story by Candy Gourlay, The Cardturner by Louis Sachar, and The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh.  On the Greenaway (their Caldecott) nominee side I’ll root for Yummy by Lucy Cousins, I’m the Best (also Ms. Cousins), Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett, Diary of a Baby Wombat by Jackie French, and Salem Brownstone (one of these things is not like the other . . .) by John Harris Dunning.  Now will someone please bring Not Bad for a Bad Lad over here to the States?  I’ll settle for Morris the Mankiest Monster if I must.  Thanks to Mr. Schu for the link!
  • Meanwhile, on the funny side of things the winners of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize were announced.  Sorry, Yanks.  We haven’t heard of a single one of them.  One has to assume that American publishers have a harder time importing British humor because the wordplay is sometimes so strikingly English and all.  I care not.  If we can have Roald Dahl, Rowling, and Horrid Henry over here then we can have that Cats Ahoy thing and Tom Gates, whatever that is.  Gimme.
  • No way.


  • Cool!  A fellow Manhattanite children’s blogger (on the school librarian side of the equation) has been so kind as to interview me at her site Desirous of Everything.  Keep an eye on that one.  That budding writer (not me, the interviewer Sarah) is going places.
  • There aren’t many places where you can find the term “chewing gum cud” (good band name or GREAT band name?) but Marjorie Ingall’s post on the non-stick gum Rev7 alongside Meghan McCarthy’s fabulous bubble gum nonfiction picture book Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum is definitely worth seeking out.
  • You know what this weekend is, don’t you?  Why it’s Buy-a-Book Weekend, of course!  Go on.  Do that thing.
  • Daily Image:

There’s a new Senior Designer over at Candlewick Press and he goes by the name of Matt Roseser.  You can just call him Mr. Awesome Alternate Covers though because that is where he specializes.  For example . . .

There are more on his site here.  Entirely awesome.

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. Bad news for your 2011 Carnegie/Greenaway horses: those books were on the longlist for the 2011 awards which were announced in June, 2011. (To satisfy your curiousity, Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness and FArTHER by Grahame Baker-Smith were the winners). This year’s longlists were announced on November 4th and can be found at:

    The award covers books published from 01.September to 31. August of the year before the award. Thus the 2012 longlist is for books published in 2010 and 2011 – just a little confusing and perhaps a bit after the phenomenon has passed, I thought when I was nominating.

    And for the record, my money’s on A Monster Calls for the Carnegie, but the Greenaway is any librarian’s guess.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Oops! I’m way behind the times, it seems re: Carnegie/Greenaway. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. As I will be at the magical Connecticut Children;s Book Fair in Storrs, Ct at the UConn campus this weekend, presenting and signing books along with a boatload of other authors including my gorgeous daughter Heidi Stemple, I will be buying loads of books. Thanks for the head’s up, though! LOL

    Jane Yolen

  3. Oh, the best lists are coming out…good times.

    (PS-we’re in standard time. Daylight Saving begins in the spring and ends in the fall. Regardless, bum times for babies and new parents!.)

  4. (However, folks in AZ and HI don’t deal with the back and forth fol-de-rol.)

  5. Thanks so much for doing the interview Betsy! You are so right on about the greek myth dilema. And I think I’m going to have to start requesting Mexican Wrestler books too- I’m too curious not to!

  6. Kathryn Fredrickson says

    At least the time doesn’t depend on where you are…in your house!

    Also, I might be in love with that Lucy bear!

  7. Dang! For a minute I thought that filing cabnit cover was a piece of wall art I could purchase.

    I want the funny books! I also want the Scieszka Pirze up and running in this country! PDQ!

  8. Oh, man – the New Covers guy is at Candlewick? They’re going to do some amazing things together.

  9. Aww – thanks for rooting for Tall Story even though it was on last year’s list!

  10. Dear Bird:

    I thought I was missing you. How do I get on your e-listings for Fuse #8? Hope
    you and the baby are doing fine with the time change. Love-ness…Lee

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Dear Lee,

      Aw! I’m sorry you’ve missed me until now. If you’re looking for my RSS feed there should be a little tab at the top of the screen that will allow you to sign up for my own. Hope that’s what you mean!