Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: “whimsically apocalyptic”

As I’m sure many of you heard Jan Berenstain, half of The Berenstain Bears, passed away recently. The Gothamist called us up at NYPL and wondered if we had any Berenstain goodies in our collection. We don’t but we knew who did. You can read their obit here. The SLJ obit is also well worth seeing since they managed to work in that crazy What Dr. Freud Didn’t Tell You book the Berenstains worked on years ago and full credit to Leila at bookshelves of doom for discovering THAT gem. In fact, Leila has posted what may be the cutest picture of the Berenstain humans I’ve ever seen. A-dor-able.

  • Meanwhile the good folks at TimeOut Kids New York gave me an impossible challenge: Come up with the Top 50 Best Books for Kids. And while I’m at it, balance the classics with some contemporary stuff. Just to be cheeky I added some nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels and works by people of color. The result is a list you will enjoy but not entirely agree with. I think that that’s sort of the point, don’t you? Everyone has their own list. This one’s mine.
  • Let me just put it this way: If I were in the publishing business and I saw this (created by the hugely talented Kate Beaton of Hark, A Vagrant) I would run, not walk, to the nearest cell phone and put in a call with her agent. Stat.
  • I think we’ve all seen at least one dead-to-irony Lorax ad by this point, yes? Seems to me that about the time you have a Lorax shilling for SUVs it’s time to throw in the towel. Or, at the very least, to try to wrest the Seuss rights from the widow (fat chance). And we thought the Cat in the Hat movie was the low point! Ha! Rocco Staino translates his disgust into a Huffington Post piece that speculates on what other famous children’s book characters might want to get some lucrative corporate sponsorship going.
  • I like illustrator Scott Campbell anyway but when I saw him illustrate the cast of one of my favorite movies, that just clinched it. Check it out. The man does a darn good Elijah Wood.
  • Re: Hunger Games, I only advise you to look at Capitol Couture if you have a couple hours to kill. Darn thing sucked me in and was mighty reluctant to let me go. Had to break out the pruning shears to make my escape. True story. Thanks to Marci for the link.
  • “If Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away got together under a flowering peyote cactus and made a baby, it might look like Tom Seidmann-Freud’s work.” That’s Marjorie Ingall talking about Sigmund Freud’s niece and the heartbreaking story of her life and her work with children’s books. Utterly fascinating reading, consider this your suggested post of the day.
  • The Anderson’s Bookshop Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast get a fine and fancy write-up by 100 Scope Notes, making me wish I was able to attend. Hey, I could do with a getaway once in a while, and what an event to get away to!
  • Oh, Little Brown. What is it about you that lures authors to the siren song of your list? One minute you’ve sucked in Lemony Snicket. The next J.K. Rowling is announcing that her next adult novel will publish with you. To which I say, darn! Now I’ve gotta read a book for adults? Aw, man. I think the last book for adults I read was Bossypants. You’ve got a lot to live up to, J.K.
  • I’m sure you all heard about this already, but just in case you didn’t this one’s from the files of Cynopsis Kids:

Stephen Colbert has it – the power of fans – and okay, it helps that he and his writers are super clever too. To that end, Colbert’s many fans have helped drive his new kid’s book deal with Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, which will publish his kid’s book I Am A Pole (And So Can You!) on May 8, 2012. The book was created for use during Colbert’s hysterical interview with kid’s book author/illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, among many others), on The Colbert Report. After the interview, which promptly went viral, Colbert fans started clamoring for copies of the satirical, but not harmful, I Am A Pole (And So Can You!). And here it comes… Grand Central Publishing, who published Colbert’s first book (for grown ups) I Am America (And So Can You!) in 2007, is set to publish his next book, America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, in October 2012.

  • Daily Image:

Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if I’ve posted a link before. I think the term “surgical instruments” would ring a bell, though. Particularly if they aided in producing the following art from books:

Lots more where that came from. Many thanks to Jarrett Krosoczka for the link!

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. That’s an impressive list of 50 books. Of course you can’t fit every great book into a list of 50, but instead you have a list of 50 REALLY GREAT BOOKS. Just reading it is an endless smile of “of course! Definitely! That one, too! Yes!” It’s a tough job, but you did it marvelously!

  2. Great Time Out list, essentially impossible task — but yep, you got picture and chapter books, plenty of economic/racial/gender/stylistic diversity. Love the comments: “No Oz? Bad list.” Well thank you for playing, sir.

    If you hear that Colbert is donating his children’s book sales to Donor’s Choose, will you let me know? (That goes for anyone who hears anything!)

    And thanks for the shout-out! I’m OBSESSED with Tom Seidmann-Freud.

  3. So happy you included Anna Hibiscus!

  4. Your 50 list …

    I’m such a sap about kidlit, lists like this make me cry … with happiness, nostalgia, you name it. I was especially pleased to see HOLES (so darn clever I still wonder how Sachar managed to weave those brilliant plots so beautifully together)and LILLY’S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE (Why this sweet little story speaks to me with every read, I’m not quite sure. Is it the honesty of this simple story? Is it the awesomeness of Mr. Slinger? Is it that we all have a little Lilly inside?) on the list. Okay, don’t even get me going on ARE YOU MY MOTHER? Enough said.

  5. What a great list! And you included The Arrival–perfect.

  6. Very nice list, Betsy! And I’m proud to say I’ve read all but three. You gave it nice variety and carried off well what must have been a daunting task. My list would have been different, but I really like yours!

  7. I’m glad you put the Bone series on the list! They deserve to be there and no one usually thinks of putting graphic novels on Best Of lists.