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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Niblings Arrive: A Children’s Literature Supergroup for All Your Children’s Literary Needs

Think of it like Voltron.  Or, better yet, don’t.

If you are a clever daily blog reader and you have already seen the posts at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Nine Kinds of Pie, and 100 Scope Notes then what I’m about to tell you will come as no surprise.  To wit:

The Niblings is a new blog consortium, over at Facbeook and Twitter, representing Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (Jules Danielson), A Fuse #8 Production (this guy), Nine Kinds of Pie (Philip Nel), and 100 Scope Notes (Travis Jonker).

We considered calling this page “100 Notes on Why 7 8 9,” but it sounded too much like a math page. And when Philip Nel suggested “The Niblings,” we all fell hard for it.

Our goal with this group is to share — in one convenient location — links from our blogs, as well as other interesting links related to the field of children’s literature. Instead of us sharing links to our respective blogs on four separate pages, consider this (the Facebook page or Twitter feed) a one-stop resource center for information on children’s literature. This was initially Jules’ very smart idea and she clearly couldn’t pass up the fun numerology in these four blog titles.  Can you blame her?  So in short:

Whence the name?  Well, “The Niblings” comes from Tove Jansson’s Moomin series:

“Do you like educational games?” Hodgkins asked cautiously.
“I love them!” said the Nibling.
I sat down and didn’t know what to say.
— Tove Jannson, final chapter of Moominpappa’s Memoirs (1968, revision of The Exploits of Moominpappa, 1950), translated by Thomas Warburton, p. 147

Why this name for our group?

  • Tove Jansson’s Niblings love educational games and are, of course, often hungry. And we four children’s-lit bloggers have a comparably rapacious curiosity.
  • It is the nature of blogs to take small bites of things. Niblings like to gnaw on things, too. (Niblings also chew off noses they think are too long. We vow not to do this.)
  • “Niblings” is a term for nieces or nephews and thus offers an additional link to young readers.
  • The word evokes other literary groups, such as the Inklings (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, et al), as well as Fanny Burney’s 1779 play The Witlings (which satirizes the literary world).
  • It’s slightly absurd, rather like Monty Python, Moxy FruvousBoing Boing (the blog), or, let’s face it, A Fuse #8 Production (which, if we’re going to get technical about it, was named after a car part).

We hope you enjoy our consortium over there in Facebook Land, should you be a Facebook-user.

The Niblings art here was created by the great Megan Montague Cash and is © 2013 The Niblings (Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, Travis Jonker, Philip Nel).

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.