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

Fusenews: Post-Sandy Edition

As I write this I don’t know what the election results are and I shall refuse to think about them all the livelong day.  Lalalalalala!  No images today, by the way.  I apparently hit my limit and need to beg SLJ for a little more space.  I’m good for it!  Honest!

  • So there’s lots of post-Sandy news and ways that you can help the libraries that got hit hard in the gut this past week.  First let’s start with something (relatively) cheery.  PW did a great series of interviews with folks in the publishing industry hit by Sandy.  There you can read how Lois Lowry and Laura Vaccaro Seeger dodged death (fairly literally) and why folks like Eric Berlin and Rebecca Stead are being namechecked in Hoboken.  They also did a piece on how folks like Kate Messner (with Kid Lit Cares) and Urban Librarians Unite have been coming together to collect books and money for hard hit systems.  Author/illustrator Peter Brown alerted me to this fantastic and continually updated list of what the various shelters and organizations in the community need desperately at this time.  Meanwhile I wanted to help out Hoboken in some way but it’s still too soon to find out how.  In the meantime, there’s a good site dedicated to Rebuilding New Jersey’s Libraries for those of you who want to help.
  • There are some interesting posts ah-brewing over at the Forum of the American Journal of Education.  Steven Herb, a fellow who has served on more than a few committees during his time looks at Caldecott Awards and Honors past and present with some interesting insights. I never knew the beef folks had with Marcia Brown’s Shadow until now, but I definitely get the grumbles.  Then he goes on to answer all your questions about how the darn Caldecotts are given out anyway.  Thanks to Vic Sensenig for the links!
  • One request: When I die, could someone please write a catchy song using my name that sounds as fun as this one made for picture book author/illustrator Bill Peet by the kids at The Calhoun School?  It’s all I’ve ever wanted.  Honest.  Thanks to Karen Walsh for the link.
  • Suppose I should mention some of the serious news out there.  This broke just before the hurricane did but even strong winds couldn’t distract us from the fact that Penguin and Random House are set to become as one.  Naturally the response over the blogosphere is to come up with a name for this new company.  The Random Penguin House is the most repeated, so why don’t we just simplify things and just call it Odd Ice Floe instead?  Has a ring to it, it does.

You may have missed it, and you’d be forgiven if you had, but the New York Times Best Illustrated list of 2012 is out and boy is it a doozy!  The winners include:

  • Bear Despair written and illustrated by Gaëtan Dorémus (Enchanted Lion)
  • The Beetle Book written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Houghton)
  • House Held Up by Trees written by Ted Kooser; illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick)
  • The Hueys in the New Sweater written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel)
  • Infinity and Me written by Kate Hosford; illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska (Carolrhoda)
  • Little Bird written by Germano Zullo; illustrated by Albertine (Enchanted Lion)
  • One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World written and illustrated by Joe McKendry (Godine)
  • Red Knit Cap Girl written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop (Tingley/Little)
  • Stephen and the Beetle written by Jorge Luján; illustrated by Chiara Carrer (Groundwood)
  • Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad written and illustrated by Henry Cole (Scholastic)

I’ve read each and every last one of these and what strikes me is how international it is this year.  French, Irish, Japanese, Canadian, and more author/illustrators grace the list.  A special shout out to Claudia over at Enchanting Lion Books for getting two titles on there, but it’s just as nice to see little guys like Groundwood and Lerner having their day in the sun.  I haven’t reviewed a single one of these, but now I’m thinking maybe it would be a good idea.  Dunno.  They’re all rather . . . rather tasteful, wouldn’t you say?

  • Hey!  Travis Jonker over at 100 Scope Notes went and had a baby on us!  Well, congrats to you, Travis!  Little bugger is one good looking dude.  Woo-hoo!
  • You know how college kids are always creating elaborate, relatively clever pranks in their Senior years?  Well, when I attended Earlham College back in the day I walked into our cafeteria (called, like every other cafeteria in the nation, Saga) to find that someone had managed to paint a huge image on the ceiling .  We’re talking a good 40 feet off the ground, there were some beloved character’s from the school newspaper, Plato’s Republic, as penned by Alexis Fajardo.  They were reenacting Michelangelo’s God touching Adam’s finger moment.  It was beautiful.  Fast forward some 20 odd years later (doing the math . . . not quite right but close enough) and that same Alexis Fajardo has started a Kickstarter page for his graphic novel series Kid Beowulf.  Seems that his publisher up and died on him as he was producing the third volume, so he needs a bit of a kick.  Check out the site and see what you think.  I guarantee you won’t find another comic starring Beowulf and his twin brother Grendel having adventures.
  • Finally, the following notice was sent by author Kathi Appelt.  I met Laura myself, so I know how important this can be.  In lieu of a Daily Image today, please read the following:

Dear everyone–

I have a favor to ask.  A few years ago I met a remarkable young girl named Laura Rodgers. When she was in the second or third grade she made a decision to read all of the Newbery books, along with honor books.  When she was in the fifth grade, she started her own  mock Newbery blog:

Now she’s in the seventh grade and she is really struggling.  Laura was born with mitochondrial disease and it appears to be taking a huge toll on her, effecting primarily her muscular functions.  It seems to be mimicking something like MS, and she is no longer able to walk or to use her hands for small motor things.  I’ve been in touch with her mom, Rylin, and it’s not looking good right now.

Since the one thing that Laura loves above all else is books, I asked her mom if she thought some autographed books would cheer her up, and her answer was unequivocal.  So, here I am, asking you all to consider sending Laura an autographed book or two with your John Henry’s.  I know it would mean the world to Laura.  Over the years, I’ve sent her as many picture books as novels, along with non-fiction and poetry.  She loves all of them.

If you’re like me, I’m always getting asked for free autographed books, and I give an awful lot of them away, mostly for auctions and prizes, and always for good causes.  But in this case, I know exactly who is receiving my books–someone who loves them, and needs them too.

If you have the inclination, please send copies to:

Laura Rodgers
4060 W 400 S
Lebanon IN 46052

And please also, send this message to any other author/illustrator pals you know. As I write this, it’s late and I know I’m missing people.  I think it would be great to bombard our young reader with a whole boatload of autographed books.  I’m not going to post this on facebook just because I don’t want it to get that out of control, but it would be great to send it to anyone you know personally, along with my gratitude.

Thanks so much,
Love, Kathi

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. So sad to hear about Laura. She attended the ALA Annual Conference the year I was on the Schneider Award, and attended our luncheon, so one of my highlights was meeting her & her family in person. Not only is Laura delightful, and smart, and funny, but she is one of the few kids who kept up with blogging (so many I see/read fizzle out after a few months.) Thanks for passing on the information.

  2. I too met Laura during that ALA and am sad to hear about the worsening of her illness. She is a remarkable young lady.

  3. Thank you, Betsy! Let’s inundate her with signed books.


  4. Susan Miles says

    Not sure if you saw this on Karma Wilson’s Facebook:

    Karma Wilson

    SANDY VICTIMS: I am prepared to send one free book to any home or family dealing with storm issues. Please send me your address, the names you want the books signed to, and any additional information. I will include a personal note to the child upon request. This is first come, first serve as I have many books but not unlimited supply. I will post as soon as I’m out of books (if that happens). I estimate I have at least 100 books to send out.