Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: I’m going back to Indiana! Indiana here I come!

Those of you familiar with the Jackson 5 song I’ve referenced in my title are probably now throwing virtual rotten fruit in my general direction.  Still, I can’t say it isn’t accurate.  This weekend I am pleased to be a speaker at the SCBWI Indiana conference.  I haven’t been back in Indiana since my last college reunion in 2010.  It’ll be good for me to fill the lungs with some pure uncut Midwestern air once more.  A gal need to fill up before heading back into the NYC fray.  While you read this I may be zooming up into the clouds above, so enjoy some ephemera in my absence.

  • Sure.  On the one hand Spain’s reading net, highlighted by Boing Boing this week, looks AMAZING.  But while it may work well for Spanish children, you just know that our kids would be leaping and jumping all over that thing within seconds.  Plus, there appears to be a gigantic hole in it that’s just asking for trouble.  Or maybe that’s how you get in.  That would make sense.
  • Views From the Tesseract has reached its 100th post and as a result Stephanie came up with What Stories Have Taught Me in 100 Small Lessons.  It’s nice without being sentimental.  Plus, if you’re in the market for good quotes from children’s books, this here’s the place to go for your one stop shopping!
  • My l’il sis is at it again.  This time she came up with a way to create comic book shoes.  I cannot help but think that this might be possible with old Advanced Readers Copies.  Or YA craft programs.  Yeah.  I think you can tell that the next time I go to the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet I’m recruiting Kate to help me with my outfit.  She made one shoe superheroes and one supervillains.

For the record, she also did a post on how to make a hollow book.  If you read it, just remember that the world is FULL of extra Harry Potter 7s.  One or two less isn’t gonna hurt anything.

  • And while we’re feeling crafty, Delightful Children’s Books has come up with such a good idea: a Bookish Advent Calendar.  Genius!  I may have to steal this idea myself.  If I do, though, I’d better get cracking.  Start placing holds now.  December is practically nigh!
  • On the more serious side of things, Marjorie Ingall writes great posts no matter where she is, but it’s her titles that consistently blow me away.  At the blog Modern Loss (a site for “navigating your life after a death”) Marjorie wrote 5 Kids Books That Go There: The best of the ‘talking to kids about death’ genre (drumroll, please).  It’s a strong five.  I’m trying to think what I might add.  This year’s Missing Mommy by Rebecca Cobb, maybe.  That book ripped my heart from my chest and danced a tarantella on the remains.
  • *sigh*  Well, if nothing else, this clarifies for me who exactly “McKenna” is and why folks keep asking me to buy her books.  And Saige, for that matter.  Alexandra Petri writes a rather amusing piece on what has happened to American Girl.

I’m far less upset about the fact that they’re turning What Does the Fox Say? into a picture book.  For one thing, I’m weirdly thrilled that the Norwegian YouTube hit sensation has a Norwegian illustrator.  And one that clearly has a sense of humor.  Hey!  Whatever it takes to get some new names from overseas into the American market.  At the very least, I want to see it (though I’m fairly certain it is NOT the first picture book to be based on a YouTube sensation).  Thanks to Playing By the Book and Matt for the info.

  • Daily Image:

Today, I show something I may have shown before.  It’s lithographs of famous books where the text from the story makes up the image itself.  Here are some examples:

A Christmas Carol

Alice in Wonderland

A Little Princess

Thanks to Marci 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 love the net reading space. It reminds me of the climbing structure at the Madison Children’s Museum that my kids loved. And, it makes complete sense to turn What Did the Fox Say? into a children’s book — and this was apparently in the works before the video?

  2. the shoooooooes!!!!! (now i’m imagining making my little comix fan some zita the spacegirl/courageous princess/rapunzel’s revenge maryjanes.) but are they doomed if it rains?

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Probably. I wouldn’t wear them outside. Kate would know better than I, though.

      • I think if you sprayed a clear polyurethane sealant on top, it might help protect them but I wouldn’t go jumping in puddles 🙂 Thanks for the shout-out Bets!

  3. Those shoes are very geek-awesome! Thanks for the shout out.

    I’ve been meaning to check out similar word lithographs ever since I saw the one created for The Last Unicorn.

  4. Welcome back to Indiana, Betsy! See you in a an hour!
    I’ve seen that idea to wrap up books for Advent on Pinterest for awhile now, and I can’t wait to do it this year too. I bet I even own enough Christmas picture books! 25? Sure! And then on Christmas day we have a birthday party for Jesus complete with a birthday cake. We have the wind blow out the candle. The kids love it. I’ll have to figure out my favorite Christmas book for Christmas day.

  5. Betsy,
    It was so refreshing to hear you speak at the SCBWI luncheon today in Zionsville. finally, the truth about what’s working and what’s not in children’s books. That’s the best, most honest, unbiased feedback I’ve ever heard! You are a library super heroin! No more cliches about librarians from me…I’m proud to hear that you spent time in Indiana for college..I believe you said Ball State…you are a powerhouse of mind thrashing information with a hint of hilarious for good measure. Thank you for spending the afternoon with us SCBWIers! I was up at 3:00 am and on the road by 4:00am…well worth my time and fatigue to meet you! I’ll be in touch about RhyPiBoMo in January. I’m thrilled to have you guest blog!

  6. Not Ball State — Earlham, home of the fighting Quakers!

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Yep. That’s the one. And thank you, Angie, for the very kind words. If I can make it worth driving at 4 a.m. (my mind fritzes out when I think of that) then I’m doing something right. Hope I run into you another time!

  7. Betsy – Thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge at the Indiana SCBWI meeting. We loved having you. I am disappointed that you didn’t wear the shoes – too cool!

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Aw. Had I but known there was a shoe request I would have worn them, absolutely. Next time!

  8. Those shoes. Swoon.

    I am not going to mount the barricades for Mattel, but I think it’s a mistake to link the retirement of the historical dolls to the Doll of the Year marketing at American Girl. At this point, the brand is pretty diversified — historic dolls, the annual doll, the modern girl-power books, and itty-bitty baby. Who lnows what sells best (my guess? The books on the spinning displays, not linked to any doll at all) but the historic dolls continue to get a lot of love. They retired Kirsten after introducing Rebecca. Felicity and Elizabeth left, and Marie-Grace and Cecile arrived. Samantha and Nellie went into the archives, and Caroline made her debut. And new dolls all have lots of books telling stories about their time periods (1914, 1853, 1812).

    For libraries, I suppose the question becomes, do we look at the AG books with the expectation that they will lose their appeal more quickly now? Some of the old titles are staples of historical-fiction lists, but they probably won’t circulate so much in the future.


  1. […] about trends in the industry. She is so in the know and had so much to share! Follow her blog at Fuse 8 Production to find out what’s going on in the world of YA and children’s literature. Like […]