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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: Best fake children’s book title – “There’s a Rainbow in My Basement”

Yesterday we had a fabulous Children’s Literary Salon at the library with Jules Feiffer, Laurie Keller, Nick Bruel, and Dave Roman.  Afterwards we swapped stories and someone started to tell me that once Maurice Sendak paired with the Pilobolus Dance Theater for a theatrical presentation.  And since this is the 21st -century I was able to assess the veracity of this thanks to a handy dandy site going by the name of “Youtube”.  As you can see, tis true.

I heard about this next video at a work holiday party this week.  Hanging out with reference librarians has its advantages.  For example, I might not have paid attention to this video featuring one of our resident Cullman scholars had it not been for the fact that the man is translating something utterly unique.  It seems that back in the day Anton Chekhov wrote a Jules Verne parody.  Yep.  He wrote a story where he claimed to have found a lost Jules Verne tale, and then he had his brother illustrate it.  Mighty fun and silly and not the kind of thing you might expect from the guy behind The Seagull.

Ed Spicer has a regular series where he interviews various authors and illustrators (with the full list here).  And one of those folks is Atinuke, the woman behind the Anna Hibiscus and The No. 1 Car Spotter books.  I seethe with envy that Ed got to meet her.  That voice . . . oh, that voice.  She also covers why she doesn’t call the location in her books “Nigeria” rather than “Africa”.

Zoe, fear not.  I’m looking forward to your interview with the woman as well.

Just think.  There are 21-year-olds out there who can drink and drive and vote and have lived their entire lives without ever knowing a world in which The Simpsons did not exist.  Just take that in for a moment.  I heard that Neil Gaiman was on an episode and though The Simpsons ain’t what it once wuz, I took a gander.  Yeah, I’m one of those people who feel the show jumped the shark 13 seasons ago.  In this particular episode it’s a pity they still can’t tell the difference between children’s and young adult literature, but I’m kind of loving the take on writing books for kids.  The barely obscured Alloy Entertainment reference is pretty amusing and there’s an R.L. Stine joke.  Bonus.

(How’d The Apothecary get a shout-out amongst those fake books in the screen shot here?)

Finally, for our off-topic video, I may not be running out to buy its app anytime soon, but this brand new and second Marcel the Shell with Shoes On video just sorta, kinda, in a way makes my day.  Yep.  It really does.

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. Thank you for posting this video! I loved meeting Atinuke and, you are correct, her voice is absolutely mesmerizing. She told stories during her talk and I wish I had thought to arrange to film her talk. As it is, I have 24+ minutes of Atinuke that I had to whittle down to 10 minutes. Among the cut footage is her answer about whether or not she has Canadian roots (no, she has never been to Canada but has always wanted to go). We also spoke about the story in which Auntie Comfort is coming back to Africa and the grandparents are worried that she will no longer be African (and Anna keeps sending text messages to her). Anyway, thanks for sharing this video. I do hope lots of folks listen to her, including publishers and agents and others in the education world. She came all the way to Madison smack dab in the middle of the NCTE conference and neither her publisher nor her agent thought to arrange for her to attend NCTE! Ouch! KT had a dinner at her house and Atinuke attended and the conference organizers had a dinner at a restaurant and I got to sit next to her. She is such a delight! I have many stories! Her video demeanor does not completely show just how funny and spontaneous she can be (although the section about dogs does show some of this quite well). I am one lucky and grateful interviewer. And NONE of this would have happened if not for KT Horning, who sent me an email sharing the fact that what I thought was going to be a Skype presentation, was now an in person presentation. I was not planning to attend. I am so glad I did. Certainly Atinuke is worth the cost of admission all by herself, but I was also able to do another interview with the wonderful Mitali Perkins! Thanks again for posting this, Betsy!