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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Rules of Summer in November

As you read this I am winging my way to Chicago, IL.  Land of Great Lakes, windy winds, and hot dogs that carry unconscionable stigmas for logical edible combinations (ketchup ONLY works on hot dogs, people).  Blogging, if my schedule is to be believed, is due to be a bit spotty for the next few days.  I shall endeavor not to let you down in any case.  While I do that (or rather, fail to do that) enjoy this week’s round of non-ALA related fare (a relief to those of you not coming along, I’m sure).

  • The biggest news this week came to me in the form of an itty-bitty tweet.  Some of you may be familiar with the great musician Sxip Shirey.  Skilled beyond measure he’s also the nicest fellow you’d ever a chance to meet.  Case in point, years ago I found myself at a concert, hanging out with a different musician’s husband and friends while she signed various things.  The musician was Amanda Palmer and her husband was Neil Gaiman.  Along the way I was chatting with Sxip and the conversation turned, as these things do, to Shaun Tan.  Sxip was a big fan of the man’s work and since I’ve communicated with him off an on over the years I had an in.  I was so pleased that I actually had something to offer (an email address) when along comes Neil mentioning that (A) He had some Shaun Tan original art and (B) He could hook Sxip up with Tan if he wanted.  I was this close to screaming, “Damn it, Neil!  This is all I HAVE!”  In any case, years and years pass and then I see this tweet:

Say what now?

Apparently this is indeed true.  There’s a new Shaun Tan book on the horizon (possibly November).  And it makes sense the Tan would be interested in apps.  He conquered print and film so what worlds are left to him?  Here’s the cover to prove all this is true:

  • Phantom Planter and part time children’s author gets in trouble with Washington D.C.’s Metro transit system.  Film at 11.  Thanks to Davin Coburn for the link.
  • Me stuff.  It seems only appropriate that it should be Chicago me stuff too.  Andrew Medlar, the guru of Chicago Public Library (as far as I’m concerned) did me a heckuva favor by recommending old Giant Dance Party on WBEZ Chicago’s Afternoon Shift.  Thanks, man!  In other news, I was interviewed by Shelley Diaz of SLJ about the book .  If ever you wanted to delve into my hidden nerdy past, now’s the time.

Boo-yah.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  Hit that Congress.  Hit it, I say!

  • Your Required Reading of the Day: You know who you need to start watching a little more closely these days?  Minh Le.  I tell you, I’ve a second sense about that guy.  He is going places and fast.  Anyone who has ever read his Bottom Shelf Books blog knows what I’m talking about.  In the meantime, however, Minh has written a response to the recent Lee & Low blog post “Why Hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased In Eighteen Years?”.  Minh’s piece Coloring Outside the Lines: The Diversity Gap in Children’s Literature addresses something I brought up in the Lee & Low piece myself.  Specifically, “we need to officially address how we feel about white authors and illustrators writing books about people of other races. Is it never okay? Sometimes okay? Always okay?”  Minh gives some much needed perspective to the question at hand.  Great stuff.
  • Sometimes my husband’s blog makes me laugh. This is one of those times.
  • This one’s good for the old film files.  Apparently they adapted Tomi Ungerer’s The Moon Man into an animated 96-minute film.  Yup.  I certainly didn’t see this one coming.  Wouldn’t mind seeing this thing.  Anyone want to do so with me?  Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the link.

Daily Image:

A lot of reasons for me to love this one.  It’s a bird constructed out of typewriter parts by Jeremy Mayer.

Thanks to BoingBoing 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. Thanks for the shout out (and for raising an interesting question for me to respond to)!

    But also, more importantly: thanks for the SCOOP! New Shaun Tan book?! Consider my day made.

  2. When I was a kid, I always thought I didn’t like hotdogs. Then I grew up and discovered the problem wasn’t the hotdog; it was the ketchup! Hotdogs + ketchup = terrible combination! Thank god Chicagoans discovered this truth. Now I know the delicacy that is a hotdog (well, in my case, a veggie dog) on a poppy seed bun, nestled with tomato, onion, and peppers, and drizzled with mustard. Save the ketchup for your fries, folks!

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      So it is war. Except I’m pretty sure you have a city on your side and I have my taste buds. Hm. Time to call in the reinforcements.

  3. Have a great time in Chicago. So proud, Sxip is one of the Dumb/Brooklyn crew from the struggling days. Remembering the garage band days. Glad to hear this news.

  4. Woops! DUMBO! Not Dumb…oy

  5. MUSTARD! Have a lovely ALA.

  6. I met Sxip Shirey a few years ago. I happened to see him at a bar in New York and recognized his hair from across the room. He said, “You’re a librarian? Do you know Betsy Bird?” I said, “Everyone knows Betsy Bird.”

  7. Thanks for the Shaun Tan cover. His artwork is amazing, but when you hear him speak you realize so is he.

  8. So does the typewriter bird tweet?

  9. Thanks for the shout-out! Also, new Shaun Tan = yesss. And see you soon in Chicago!

  10. I love how overwhelmingly everyone had to post a comment just to say “YAY NEW SHAUN TAN!” But how can you not?

  11. Betsy! It wasn’t all you had! I enjoyed talking to you even before you had Shaun’s e-mail!


  12. Elizabeth,

    I love the bird. There is a little shop in Ocracoke at the Outer Banks where a guy sells things like this. He had a snake that was great. I think if he had this bird, I might have it now.

  13. Hello from Australia. I’m a co-founder of WHEELBARROW. We developed the app with Shaun co-directing. It was released in Australia on October 24 and along with the book, will be available in the US in March. Sxip Shirley’s soundtrack is incredible. He has new fans in OZ.