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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: The Jack Gantos / Alfred E. Newman Connection

And then it’s February.  How the heckedy heck did that happen?  Looks like 2012 is already establishing itself as the Blink and You’ll Miss It year.  Well, let’s get to it then.

First and foremost was the announcement of Battle of the Books 2012.  Or, as I like to think of it, the place where Amelia Lost gets its bloody due (if there’s any justice in this world).  We’re now in the earliest of the early days of the battle, but stuff’s on the horizon.  I can smell it.

  • In other news there was an SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) meeting here in New York this past weekend.  I didn’t attend because, apparently, if it’s way too convenient I’m absent.  After checking out the recap on this blog, however, I clearly need to change my priorities.  Though I had to miss the cocktail party on Friday I did attend Kidlit Drink Night which was PACKED, dudes.  Packed to the gills!
  • In her post Ms. Turner mentions the Mythopoeic Society.  By complete coincidence I stumbled over yet another link involving that society in question.  Neil Gaiman reprints an old speech he gave to the society in 2004 on C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton.  A great look at how good fantasy can influence kids.  Also a good look at how bad television programs lead kids to books.  I believe it.
  • Well The Today Show may have passed up the chance to talk to the Newbery and Caldecott winners but leave it to NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me to speak to Jack Gantos for their Not My Job game.  Someone must have tipped them off to the fact that the man is the world’s greatest interview.  Love the Judy Blume reference.  And though I thought I knew his Hole in My Life story, clearly I missed some details.  Thanks to Susan Miles for the link.
  • Of course Jack and Chris Raschka were interviewed by SLJ about their respective wins.  That’s good news about a Dead End in Norvelt companion novel.  Ditto the idea of Raschka working on a Robie H. Harris title.
  • This Phantom Tollbooth Infographic may just be one of the loveliest little things I ever did see.  Really, this is what happens when folks use their infographic abilities for good instead of evil.  It wouldn’t necessarily work for any other book either.  You couldn’t, say, make a Caddie Woodlawn infographic to compare (okay you could, but would you want to?).  But this… this has a mastery to it.  Thanks to Mike Lewis for the link!
  • And now a great big congrats to fellow blogger Gwenda Bond for her hot new book deal.  I tell ya, man.  Give us enough time and soon ALL the bloggers of child and teen books will have book deals of their own.  But who will blog the bloggers, eh?
  • Huh! I’m a little surprised that I didn’t see this before.  It’s The 5 Books That Inspire the Most Tattoos.  And here I would have thought the aforementioned Neil Gaiman would have been right up there.  Thanks to mom for the link.
  • Oo.  Well organized.  Julie Greller has put together the ultimate link list to help you decide whether the Dewey Decimal System’s time is nearly over, or if Dewey will last forever and ever more.  Personally, I like Dewey.  In fact, with my previous link up there in mind I wondered how many Dewey Decimal Number tattoos were out there.  Not sure, but this link to a girl with a Harry Potter decimal number was particularly swell.  Thanks to Joyce Valenza for the first link.
  • Lucky Philly.  Your Rosenbach Museum is currently featuring a Sendak exhibit that I wouldn’t mind casting mine eyes upon.  “This exhibition follows the lives of three picture books by Maurice Sendak: The Sign on Rosie’s Door (1960), Outside Over There (1981), and Brundibar (2003). Spanning more than 40 years, each of these books was inspired and produced in radically different ways by Sendak and his collaborators.”   I’d like to go to there.  Thanks to Phil Nel for the link.
  • And speaking of places I’d like to go, I’ve been hearing about the Matilda musical for years but it’s probably still a long ways off from hitting Broadway.  In the meantime I’ll content myself with reading reviews of the show like this one from the international edition of The New York Times.  Thanks to Rocco Staino for the link.
  • This is children’s entertainment related, not children’s book related.  It’s also Canadian.  Still, I was so amused by the concept that I felt I had to reprint it here. From Cynopsis Kids:

Canada’s Portfolio International acquires the global distribution rights for the tween-targeted, live-action HD TV series Julie & The Phantoms (26×30), produced by Brazil-based production company Mixer.  The series follows the adventures of Julie, a free spirited and music teen whose life turns upside down when she accidentally brings the ghosts of a 1980s boy band back to life and has to help them adjust. Julie & The Phantoms premiered on Bandeirantes TV (Brazil) in October 2011, and is broadcast across Latin America on Nickelodeon Latin America.

  • Hmm.  A good piece on the recent pairing of Amazon with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Or, put another way, What Fresh Hell Is This?
  • Daily Image:

You knew he did picture books.  You may even have seen his jewelry.  But did you know that Oliver Jeffers was capable of designing . . . . wallpaper?

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. Speaking of musicals, there is a Caddie Woodlawn musical that is not QUITE as cool as the Phantom Tollbooth infographic, but pretty cool nevertheless….

  2. Thank you, dearie! 🙂

  3. I’m so surprised that the stupid Giving Tree didn’t make the tattoo list!

  4. Oh my. That wallpaper.

  5. Being both a color fan and an Oliver Jeffers fan, I would TOTALLY use that wallpaper.