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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Et tu, Mike Inkpen?

  • New Blog Alert: There’s a CCBC blog.  Did you know that?  I didn’t know that.  I am, of course, perfectly aware that only a good 15% of my readers instantly can call to mind what CCBC even stands for.  It’s the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and for years I’ve followed ccbc-net, their listserv.  I must have missed the day they mentioned starting a blog, however.  According to the first blog post the site began this way:

The CCBC has been much in the news lately due to a recent NPR report that used our multicultural literature statistics. We’ve had quite a few email messages and phone calls as a result — and, of course, this all happened while we were all away attending the annual conference of the American Library Association. Over the next week or so we’ll continue the discussion here on our new blog in order to provide some context for the statistics and discuss the sorts of issues they bring up. We welcome your own observations and questions.

So far the posts have covered the stagnation in terms of multiculturalism in 2013 titles, a follow-up on 2013 titles with authors and illustrators of color, some featured titles, and a shocker of a Walter Dean Myers article from 1987.  There you go.  Yet another blog to follow.  You’re welcome.

  • I read with great interest the piece How Book Covers Have to Evolve in the Digital Age with the hope that it might have something to say about the JUV and YA industries, but no such luck.  In fact, so little of the piece seems to apply to the current state of designing book jackets for youth that I am led to wonder if the uptick in adults reading YA might not have a little to do with how interesting they find the jackets.  Worth chewing over, anyway.  Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • Back in the day in the year *mumble mumble mumble* I proposed creating a blog for a branch of NYPL and was told that wouldn’t be possible.  These days, NYPL hosts its own blogs and many of its fine and talented librarians contribute.  Case in point, 66th Street Branch Manager and children’s librarian Jill Rothstein.  Jill recently penned the piece In Praise of Odd Children’s Books.  Some of these you may have heard of.  Some you most certainly have not.  For example, if ever there was a disjoint between a cover and a plot it would have to be Amy’s Eyes by Richard Kennedy.  I mean, does this cover look like it would discuss “singing frogs [and] biblical numerology” to you?

Clearly the Aussies had a better sense of the thing.

  • This is gold.  Leila Roy over at bookshelves of doom decided to tackle a subject that, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever tackled before.  Namely, she set out to determine the effectiveness of a variety of different book recommendation engines out there.  Her test subjects?  Howl’s Moving Castle and The Book Thief.  Could the engines suggest honestly good titles along the same lines?  The answer here.
  • I’m one of those Americans who only knew the latest British heir was born when someone at work asked her to check CNN for them.  Apparently this is a big thingy thing to some folks.  Okey-doke.  Not something I think much of, but it doesn’t get in my way either so that’s fine.  That is, until I heard about the royal baby books.  A crazy number of otherwise legit British illustrators decided to cash in and illustrate books with titles varying from Baggy Brown and the Royal Baby to The Royal NappyThe Guardian piece is worth reading if only for choice phrases like, “small children – monarchists to the last” and the horrifying information that there was a Princess Diana picture book of equal ilk back in the day.  Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.
  • You didn’t hear it here first, but I thought it worth mentioning that in addition to the obituary of Marc Simont you will find in the New York Times, Phil Nel had a stellar write-up over at his blog Nine Kinds of Pie.  There’s a nice bit of an interview between  Simont and Phil that touches on how Ruth Krauss was to work with.  Recently I had the chance to handle a dummy of The Happy Day, and that was just a thrill.  Godspeed, Marc.

Daily Image:

  • Look on my works ye mighty and despair.  Meet the 150 meter (we aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto) library table.  Designed to meander and adapt to current students’ needs.  Behold:

No one is denying that it’s beautiful. It is, however, somewhat difficult not to agree with the commenter who said, “Cool… until you want to be on the other side of it.”  Thanks to AL Direct 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. Sharat B. says

    As to the lack of change in book covers for JUV and YA titles in the digital age, I’d say that the reason is they’re already iconic, which is what is called for.