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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Frosted Sheriff is part of a complete balanced breakfast

  • All right bloggy woggers.  Woggy bloggers.  Froggy woggy moggy snoggers.  I’m having a silly day, it seems.  In any case, the time has come once again for folks to apply to be Cybils judges.  Basically if you have a blog about children’s or YA books and you’d like to be on a judging panel for the one and only children’s & YA blogger book awards, the Cybils has an open call going on right now.  This year they’ve decided to call all fantasy and science fiction “Speculative Fiction”.  There are some nonfiction changes as well.  Check it!
  • Me Stuff: The kind and pleasant Deborah Lytton was nice enough to interview me recently about all kinds of things.  If you’ve an interest in hearing me spout off about future trends, where the industry is going, what it lacks, and some of my favorite 2013 books synthesized down, go on over to Adventures in Writing.
  • “Nikki Maxwell just came to me as a Caucasian little girl and when I sat down and made that decision I thought, ‘Well, I don’t know, what’s society going to think? I’m a black woman and can I do this?'”  Rachel Renee Russell speaks with Michele Norris of NPR about writing The Dork Diaries series.  Worth checking out.
  • The debate on whether or not to circulate apps in the library is one that I sort of slowly back away from and then take off running.  Apps are still the wild west.  There’s so much we can’t or don’t understand about them.  That’s why I was so grateful to the PBS Newshour for sitting down with Dr. Michael Rich, Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital to talk about apps and how they affect very young children.  When speaking about the fact that there is no evidence that apps do anything good for one or two-year-olds, Mr. Rich mentioned something I thought was particularly interesting. Of the app developers he says, “They don’t dispute that there’s no research on this. And, interestingly, they don’t do any research of their own, which is kind of ironic in a business that does a great deal of research on their products to find out how well they will sell or how well they will do the job that they purportedly do.”
  • Like to make little round-ups of books, but I much prefer it when other people to my job for me.  Take Paula Wiley.  I’ll pretty much read anything she writes anyway.  So when she talks about some of her favorite picture books of 2013, brother, you better listen up.  Some real gems to be found here.  Impeccable taste.  And I completely missed that breakfast cereal in No Fits, Nilson!
  • All libraries are different and this list may pertain a touch more to adult books than children’s at times, but the gist of it is the same.  If you ever wanted to feel sorry for a book, check out The Life of a Library Book.  Thanks to Lese Duncan for the link.
  • If you had asked me what celebrity was most likely to act out my own personal nightmare, I don’t know that I would have necessarily have gone with actress Famke Janssen.  Poor gal.  This would make a stirring beginning to a psychological horror film, though.

  • School season is just around the corner and that means finding some super starting school books.  You’ll see all kinds of lists out there, sure.  Recently Aimee Saboo of NYC’s Inside Schools site asked me to come up with some suggestions.  I determined my five favorites.  Check ’em out at Kindergarten countdown: Best books to read!
  • We got the emergency message last week.  Alert!  Waldo is coming!  More to the point, Waldo is now NYC’s Family Ambassador.  Fair enough, but am I the only person out there who hears his name and immediately thinks of this?

I can’t be alone.

  • Regarding the fact that Trev Jones is leaving SLJ as the review editor: GAH!
  • Regarding the fact that Trev Jones is to be succeeded by Kiera Parrott: WOO-HOO!  A remarkable choice.  And not just because I’m fond of aviary-related last names.  I worked with Kiera in the Jefferson Market branch of NYPL years ago.  She’ll be stellar.  You’ll see.
  • Does it matter what library school you went to?  For years I’ve laughed off the notion of prestige library schools.  Not because some aren’t better than others, but because no one will ever base their hiring on your school alone.  That said, the blog post Yes, Virginia, it matters which library school you go to is a smart and nuanced understanding about why you really do want to research your library schools before you attend them.  Not that a lot of us have a choice, considering geography and all that.  But with the rise in distance learning, that may all be changing anyway.  Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • Fair play to Mental Floss.  I thought that maybe I would have heard of at least one of their Five Forgotten Grimms Fairy Tales, but nope.  Not even Hurleburlebutz (my personal favorite) rings a bell. Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • AAH!  Paul Giamatti.  Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy . . .

Sunday, December 8 at 4:00pm

A Splendiferous Afternoon of Roald Dahl

Thalia Book Club Special Event to Benefit First Book—Manhattan, Featuring Paul Giamatti

Tickets: $25

Paul Giamatti leads a cast of actors in an afternoon of readings by the darkly comic master storyteller whose beloved novels include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach. Special musical guests to be announced. 

This event is a benefit for First Book—Manhattan. First Book, a nonprofit organization, connects book publishers and community organizations to provide access to new books for children in need. Ages 8 and up.

  • Even more good news.  The PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing (which comes in at a cool $5,000) is a yearly award that goes to a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book. This year judges Barbara Shook Hazen, David Wiesner, and Cheryl Willis Hudson showed off their great good sense and selected The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau (Eerdmans), Michelle Markel.  And, might I say, a better choice I could not have made.
  • Daily Image:

There are days that I suspect that when comedy sites have nothing better to do they just take inappropriate subject matter and turn it into faux Golden Books for quick laughs.  That said, I love Simon Pegg, so anything that features him is a-okay with me.  Here’s one of three images found at Laughing Academy.

Thanks to Marci Morimoto 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. A few years ago there were those on a crusade that kept pressuring the authors and illustrators to get involved with apps and ebooks. One outfit sent a recruiting ambassador to our local SCBWI meeting. Not only did their ebook sales pay poorly but they were asking that part of our measly profits be given to a charity. When I asked lots of questions, especially about how we have to pay out of pocket to develop apps and ebooks in order to be published; also, the recruiting of creatives for (really) selling gadgets, I was dismissed. Since then, I’ve witnessed hopeful authors and illustrators jumping off the cliff to get published, to never hear about their electronic books and apps soon after publication. Epilogue: one of my traditionally published Out of Print books will become an ebook with not much effort on my end, no outlay of cash, and I’ll gladly promote it.

  2. Nice! My friend, Joey Spiotto, made those Edgar Wright Golden Book covers for a galllery show last week!

  3. Kiera Parrott says

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Betsy! I’ve got some big and lovely shoes to fill. On a side note, I still regard Jefferson Market as the coolest library in town, and not only because it has a garden that sits atop the buried remains of the Women’s House of Detention.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      We are in agreement, you and I. Jefferson Market is my favorite. It jailed Mae West! It hosted the Red Velvet Swing murder trial. No ghosts, but otherwise perfect in its entirety.

  4. The Mental Floss link appears not to work. However, when I went over there to try to find it myself, I found this:


    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Agreed! And thanks for letting me know about the dead link. Tis been corrected. Tra la, tra la, tra la.

  5. So much to love! Thanks for the linky, Betsy – oh how I love picture books and this year has been an interesting one.
    1. Gonna miss Trev – looking forward to getting to know Keira!
    2. Why am I not surprised that Dan Santat knows the guy who made a Shaun of the Dead Little Golden Book?
    3. FirstBook, Paul Giamatti, and Roald Dahl – I might just have to get my butt on the Megabus and come up for that.
    4. And the Famke Janssen thing… there’s going to be a second Hansel & Gretel movie? Weird.


  1. […] Rousseau (Michelle Markel) won the PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing on her blog Fuse8. She said, “A better choice I could not have made.” Watch the updated trailer […]