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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: More rubbish, please!

  • You know what’s hot these days, topic-wise?  Diversity!  Or maybe just the lack thereof.  Seems its all anyone can talk about this week.  First the First Book blog reported that “at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, hosted by President Bill Clinton, [they] announced First Book’s commitment to create a sustainable solution to this problem by dramatically expanding the market for diversity in children’s literature through The Stories for All Project.”  You can see a bit more of what they mean here.  Soon thereafter, Lee and Low published a post entitled Why Hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased in Eighteen Years.  The piece interviews academics, authors, librarians, educators, and reviewers, including yours truly.  It’s well worth reading, though J.L. Bell did point out on Twitter that booksellers would have made for a smart inclusion as well.  Roger Sutton offered his own response, though I am most grateful for his “semi-impolitic” take.  Amen to the rubbish.  Amen.


Autographed books by Rick Riordan and Alice Walker…
A Leslie Petricelli one-of-a-kind painting from BLANKIE!…
A Jaime Zollars fine-art bug-parade print…
A cray-cray-graphic-mod pink pretzel print from Chistopher Silas Neal…
A Harry Potter limited edition collage…
A Janet Pedersen one-of-a-kind watercolor for hippo and book lovers…
A lovely original Daniel J. Mahoney watercolor from a book about the joys of storytime…
And notecards by P.S. 363 students and our wonderful art teacher Valerie Hammond!
  • Roundabout two years ago I had the great good fortune to go to the Bologna Children’s Book Festival when I was 7 months pregnant.  The memory of my swollen ankles comes to me in my darkest hours even to this day, bu that’s neither here nor there.  While in Italy I was invited to a perfectly lovely dinner with Andrew Karre and a slew of other folks including a guy by the name of Klaus Flugge.  I interviewed the man for my SLJ article “Betsy Goes to Bologna” (not available online anymore, alas) and he was a true delight.  Now I’m happy to hear that Letters to Klaus is due for publication.  Fantastic!
  • Confused about the Common Core?  Then check out science writer Dia Michels and her There’s Nothing Standard About the New Standards: A parent’s guide to understanding what “Common Core” means for your children.  It does a good job of doing away with some of the misconceptions about CCSS.  Mind you, some parts could bear some clarification.  The idea that “Nonfiction texts will account for a full 70% of all reading assigned in the classroom, with fiction added to provide literary merit to the reading experience” is true, but kids won’t reach the 70% level until high school.  So consider this a beginner’s manual and not so much the final word.
  • Daily Image:

The best I could do this week was indulge in some abecedarian delights.  Today, Jim Billy Wheeler, a designer by trade, creates an alphabet of his favorite bands.


You can see more of them here.  Thanks to BB-Blog 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. Another good source of articles about putting the “calm” in Common Core for public libraries has just been posted at the ALSC website and worth exploring:

  2. Betsy, thank you so much for your continued support of our public school library. We raised $8.696 (and had a lovely number of librarian bidders!). As I joked to a friend, $8,696 in NYC is like a Master of the Universe’s weekly coke tab…but it means a ton to underfunded school libraries like ours.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Oh, good! Thank you for reporting back. $8,696 ain’t small potatoes when you’re trying to save libraries. I’m just pleased as punch that it worked out. Keep us updated!

  3. While reading Mr. Sutton’s article, I saw a comment left about the following two books (which just happened to be highlighted on the HB site as well):

    Am I wrong in thinking that Mira looks awfully… white? The cover image is pretty small, and the one on Amazon is only slightly bigger, so maybe there’s an issue there, but, well.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      I think Mira is only a quarter Indian, as I recall. Her little brother is blonde, so the cover doesn’t disturb me in this particular case.

  4. Thanks for the Common Core resources, and congrats on the NYT review for Giant Dance Party. I feel like I read somewhere (though I can’t for the life of me find it now) that you said you’d be writing something with Common Core tie-ins for your book. Did I dream that? Anyway, any suggestions for authors who want to put together resources for teachers that make their books more Common Core relevant?

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      It’s a toughie. What you need is access to the Core Standards. I personally found one useful way was to see how the Junior Library Guild made certain picture books Core related and then applied them to my own book. But that’s not really an option for everyone, so I’m probably in the minority on this. Get a teacher’s help, might be the best advice. One who knows Core. Or, better yet, find an author who has done this to a book similar to your own and crib. Best I can suggest.