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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Like a common peasant

  • They say that there are more children’s book authors and illustrators in Brooklyn than any other city in the nation.  How appropriate then that they should be the ones behind the inaugural Atlantic Avenue Children’s Literature Contest.  The rules are simple: If you have never written a published children’s book then you are eligible.  You simply submit your 800 words or less picture book manuscript and an esteemed panel of judges will determine your work’s relative delights.  The top prize gets $1000.  Couldn’t you use $1000?  Of course you could.  Many thanks to Pat Cummings and Sergio Ruzzier for the tip.
  • You might call this a screed and to a certain extent you’d be right.  I would advise then that when you read School Is No Place for a Reader (from Canadian Notes & Queries) you select the portions of the article that apply best to you and your situation and act accordingly.  Plus there’s a really remarkable little mention of Matilda in this piece, and everybody loves Matilda.
  • I have six words for you today: Abandoned Wizard of Oz theme park.  Anyone else who looks at this post and fails to have Road to Oz flashbacks is just fooling themselves.  I shall post a single solitary image from the link.  It speaks for itself, I think.

  • Ah.  Here we go.  Pinterest working in the name of good rather than evil.  Today’s entry: 25 Signs You’re Addicted to Books.  The staff picks note is dead on.  Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.
  • Because she loves you and you have been good, Marjorie Ingall has followed up her Children’s Book Footwear post with a follow-up.  All you need to know is that at some point she incorporates the following shoe:

Nuff said.

  • On your darker days you might fear that people don’t get mad enough.  They sit passively by and watch horrendous things occur without so much as blinking their piggy little eyes.  It can be a real relief when folks get mad.  It was a relief this week, that’s for sure.  Fight the good fight, people!
  • I can’t be alone in this.  Is there any reason you can think of that Kadir Nelson isn’t doing every single stamp for the U.S. Post Office from here on in?  I mean, sure, he’d have to take time off to make a children’s book every once in a while, but are they fools?  You hire that man and you don’t ever let him go.
  • Some on-set photos from the film version of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day have emerged.  Who knew Jennifer Garner had such original toddler holding skills?  I am referring, of course, to the second to last photo.  Thanks, yet again again, to Marjorie Ingall for the link.
  • When people ask me for a list of my favorite YA book blogs I tend to mention, amongst many things, The Book Smugglers.  Those gals have great taste and a tone of voice worth fighting for.  I tend to forget that they sometimes do middle grade books as well.  In their recent Middle Grade Roundtable they brought in some top talent to discuss some truly old school titles.  Thanks to Tea Cozy for the link.

I usually see a whole lot of children’s books before their publication dates.  No brag.  Just fact.  The end result is that when I cannot get my hands on something early, I want it more than anything else in the world.  Case in point: Nathan Hale’s latest Hazardous Tale Donner Dinner Party.  For the first time in I don’t know when, I had to put a hold on a book so that when it was published I’d get a copy as soon as possible.  I then proceeded to read it in one sitting.  It’s just that good.  Now I’m happy to see that Nathan Hale has been interviewed about the book over at fellow SLJ blog Good Comics for Kids.  Read it and you’ll find out what he considered the most surprising fact about the Donner Party story and what he’s working on next.

  • Awww yeah.  This is the good stuff.  Recently NYPL hosted its first Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute where, over the course of three weeks, some lucky teachers “met curators from our Research Divisions, explored our Archives, and connected with members of our Strategy Department—all with the intention of addressing how we can better identify materials from our collections for use in the classroom, and how we can better connect these materials to teachers.”  Now it’s time to behold (and take advantage of) the fruits of their labors.  Each teacher choose a research topic to build a lesson plan around, and then explored our archives to uncover primary source materials to enhance their knowledge and teaching of this topic.  They’ll be writing blog posts about these materials soon, but at the moment they’ve constructed these annotated lists of primary and secondary materials for classroom use.  Check out everything from “Latinos on Broadway” to “Kids in African-American Civil Rights Protests” here at Classroom Connections.  And the first blog post Slavery and the Underground Railroad for Grades 6-8 is already up and running if you’re curious.
  • This is why we love Phil Nel.  Who else has reported on their blogs about the 2013 International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) conference held this year in Maastricht?  No one I know.  But Phil makes the who experience fun and interesting.  The street lights alone are worth the price of admission.
  • It’s nice when folks in places like Reuters praise libraries.  Nice too when they mention my own.
  • Daily Image:

It’s that time of year.

Well played, Grand Forks Public Library. Well played indeed.  Thanks to Amie Wright 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. I have been to the Land of Oz — we went there when I was a little girl. Don’t remember much about it except the Yellow Brick Road. Maybe someday I’ll go back for Autumn at Oz.

  2. Betsy,

    I looked over the rules for the Atlantic Ave Children’s Lit. Contest–the story must connect in some way to certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

  3. thanks for the tip! 🙂