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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: You’re freaking me out, Colin!

  • I don’t think I’ll shock anyone out there when I reveal that I adore webcomic artist Kate Beaton’s work more than life itself.  This past Christmas my husband and I exchanged identical gifts that both turned out to be Hark, A Vagrant! calendars for the coming year.  The fact that I ever got a chance to meet her agent Seth Fishman is a thrill.  And it’s a particular thrill when he directs me to the art she created for his upcoming YA novel The Well’s End.  Kate created some images to accompany the book which have premiered in an exclusive look over at  So if any of you are as big a fans of Beaton as myself, eat up.
  • Says Publishers Weekly, “The National Book Foundation has launched Up All Night, an online exhibition of 228 children’s titles, including picture books, novels, graphic novels, poetry, and nonfiction that have won or been nominated for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.”  Come again?   Well, it’s pretty much what they say.  Though the NBA did away with youth awards between the years of 1984-1995 (approximately) they’ve listed all the books that won awards and nominations over the other years.  And though only a few have “tributes” attached, it’s precisely the kind of list that in my younger days I would have attempted to read through.  Forget the Newbery!  I want to see a blog by someone who systematically tackles everything from A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver to Bungling Ballerinas.
  • The resident husband has a phrase he uses from time to time that I have come to believe is actually the truth.  Whenever we come up with a cool idea that relates to the internet he’ll pause and say, “Aw, it’s already been done by now.  The internet moves at the speed of thought.”  That certainly seemed to have been the case the other day.  I was just idly tweeting that it would be a good idea if there were some kind of centralized book group site online that people could go to for resources.  Not ONE DAY LATER I get information about a new venture from Scholastic.  Granted, at this point the Scholastic Reading Club Hub is in its infancy and only seems to cover only three different types of clubs.  With some tweaking, however, they could easily become a go-to site for all children’s book club needs.  Imagine it.  A space where people can share ideas and book recommendations.  A place where you can find booktalks, book club activities that work for a range of ages, the works.  If they don’t do it, someone else will.  FYI, folks.
  • Ruh-roh. Looks like Eloise should watch her back. Apparently she’s not the only hotel-based literary character these days. From Cynopsis Kids:

The celebration for the most stylish octogenarian continues. Babar the Elephant is headed to NYC thanks to a promotion between Nelvana Enterprises and Hotel Plaza Athenee. The hotel is launching a yearlong promo that includes “creature comforts” Babar gift baskets including a special 80th anniversary Babar plush and other exclusive merchandise.  In addition, the hotel will offer Babar DVDs for in-room entertainment, and will host a festive fete to celebrate the 2013 holiday season, Babar-style.

  • There’s a new sheriff in town. Sheriff slash children’s book review editor for The New York Times.  Making very certain that they continue their fine tradition of only hiring alliterative women (Julie Just, Pamela Paul, etc.) new editor Sarah Smith has joined the illustrious ranks.  Some of the talk at ALA consisted of folks like myself voicing our hopes and fears.  Fortunately it looks like our fears have been addressed and swiftly destroyed all thanks to an interview Monica Edinger recently conducted with Ms. Smith.  Not only does the woman have an amazing children’s literary pedigree but her first move has been to spotlight a small publisher that is near and dear to my heart.  I am much relieved by this.  Put your own heart to rest and read Monica’s piece.

Do you love your librarian?  Prove it!  Get them some sweet sweet cash.  That’s the idea behind the good old I Love My Librarian Award.  Just nominate your favorite guy or gal, be particularly loquacious, and then sit back and watch as they pocket a cool $5,000.  What could be simpler?

Now that’s what I call a successful Kickstarter.  Library For All, a non-profit start up, launched a Kickstarter project, “to build a digital library providing e-book content to those living in impoverished communities, using technology specifically adapted to the low bandwidth internet connections of these communities and the lack of technology familiarity among the intended users.”  They were looking to raise $100,000.  They’ve raised $106,027.  Wow.

  • A high-end coloring book imprint?  It’s happening in Britain, not here in the States, but one can’t help but wonder if someone on this side of the pond might follow suit.  Particularly when the artists behind the coloring books include folks like Shaun Tan.  Thanks to Playing by the Book for the link.
  • I’ve already highlighted most of the good press for NYPL’s awesome children’s literature exhibit going on in the main branch right now.  However I did almost miss The Atlantic‘s take in the piece Why Do Kids’ Books Matter?  Here, Look.  It has one of the best shots you’re gonna find of how the Harold exhibit melds with the Goodnight, Moon.
  • Sad news for many of us in the children’s literary sphere.  An obit for an old friend.  From ccbc-net:

Elaine Landau, prolific children’s non-fiction author and great friend and mentor to many in the Florida SCBWI organization has passed away.  Elaine was the author of several hundred books with topics ranging from the Gulf Oil Spill to head lice to twenty-eight individual books about various dog and cat breeds, from short stature to Sasquatch (Her website, ). Elaine’s boundless energy was an inspiration to many, and her giving personality made her a friend.  She will be greatly missed by many.

  • Daily Image:

You’ve seen the Batman Seuss.  But what about the A-Team Seuss?

Thanks to Don 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. Genevieve says

    LOVE the Secret Garden comic! I haven’t been reading Kate Beaton regularly but clearly must do so. Scrolled back a few days and cracked up at Anne of Cleves Gables.

  2. Consider yourself a nominee for the “I Love My Librarian Award” – I voted!

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      No, wait, what, wha? Many thanks, sis, but I should probably qualify this by mentioning that this wasn’t a not-so-subtle hint or anything. I’m mighty honored that you’d nominate your elder sister, but those who do not share blood with me are under no such similar obligation. Please, nominate those hard-working folks who do the desk work. I’m cute but I already get honors out the wazoo. Share the love!

  3. I love the Seussification of the A-Team. Most days, I need those guys.