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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: “. . . his hunger was a writhing and a hissing thing”

  • Happy President’s Day! We’ve a lot of worthy links today but I’m going to begin with one that was sent to me by Dan Berenberg and that I’ve been enjoying ever since.  Beginning with a caveat, Dan wrote to me and said, “You’ve probably been sent this by a ton of people already, but this series of posts on The Toast seems like something worth sharing. A series of really well-done rewritings of classic picture books to turn them into horror stories. Today was the Runaway Bunny: but she’s also done a great job with The Giving Tree: The Very Hungry Caterpillar: and a few others:”  So I figured I’d check it out and see what he was talking about, expected the usually kind of BuzzFeed-esque twaddle.  Oh.  My.  No, not at all.  This is good stuff.  Good original stuff that I haven’t actually seen anyone do before.  Wow.  I think I’ve found my new favorite thing on the internet now.  Warning: May not be suitable for children.  Ironically.
  • I don’t know if any of you were following, or are continuing to follow, the explosive conversation at the ccbc-net listserv regarding multicultural literature for youth.  Regardless, it has made for fascinating reading and has directed me to all sort of things I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.  For example, there was a year old piece by Joe Monti on book jackets and race that’s worth reading.  And for those who might not be aware of it, The Middle East Outreach Council recently announced their 2013 Middle East Book Awards.  And yes indeed, they have quite a few youth awards.  Had you asked me to come up with eligible titles in 2013 I would have been hard pressed.  Some of these books are 2012, but I hardly object.  Check out what they’re honoring.
  • Speaking of awards, I always feel like the ALA Notable Children’s Books list always gets completely lost in the shuffle when it’s released two to three weeks after the ALA Youth Media Awards.  Maybe they could start releasing their titles beforehand?  Probably won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be nice?

“The fugitive shadow of Peter Pan skitters all throughout Hokey Pokey without ever once needing to be mentioned.”  Oo.  Here is a thing I didn’t know I wanted until it appeared.  Author Jonathan Auxier waxes eloquenton a great book that got zippo Newbery love this past year.  He also reveals the artwork for the paperback cover, which is even better than the hardcover which, in turn, was even better than the galley.

  • This is just fun.  Back in June the New Yorker blog Page-Turner posted a piece entitled “The Lottery” Letters, which discusses the Shirley Jackson short story at length.  Apparently there were more than a few folks under the impression when it was first printed that it was a work of nonfiction.  Great reading, if you’ve a spare moment to yourself today.  Thanks to Alison Hendon for the link.
  • New Blog Alert: Very happy to see Lolly’s Classroom, the new blog over at The Horn Book website.  There are some great posts up already, though I confess that I was probably most taken with the Valentine’s Day one that managed to work in nonfiction like Candy Bombers and The Great Molasses Flood in one fell swoop.  Clever linking!
  • New Podcast Alert: Now there’s a phrase I don’t get to break out very often.  Well, I have Aaron Zenz to credit then.  Twas he who directed me to the Let’s Get Busy podcast on children’s literature.  A fascinating little site to begin with (and just LOOK at all those interviews!) I’ll be adding this to my regular children’s literature podcast roster from here on in.  Cheers, Aaron!
  • Me with the talky talk!  I was delighted to be interviewed by Jordan Lloyd Bookey, owner of the world’s greatest children’s literature related last name AND creator of the Zoobean Experts on Air series.  Note that there’s a reason I usually place the old Keep Mum She’s Not So Dumb poster behind myself for these things.  I like to think of it in terms of  an alternative interpretation of that old WWII warning.  I am now a mum.  I think you should keep me around.  Ipso facto, keep Mum (me) I’m not so dumb.  In any case (dragging myself back on topic) big time thanks to Jordan for the interview!  It was awfully fun to do.  Even with my dying voice and scratchy throat.
  • It’s a little late for Valentine’s links, but I was rather partial to the Boys Rule Boys Read piece on Books That Guys LOVE (2014 edition) if only because it seamlessly incorporates the phrase “Hulk Smash Mushy Love Stuff” in it.
  • Oh!  Hey!  I know these folks.  Quite a few, actually.  It’s a Slate piece called This Is What a Librarian Looks Like.  Nothing surprising to those of us in the field, but still nice to see.  Brooklyn in the house!
  • Daily Image:

It’s not entirely related to children’s literature but Anthropomorphized paperbacks act out the stories between their pages has at least one arguable moment that would count. Well done, Terry Border!

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. 🙂 Just following your poster.

  2. The Toast is amazing! Mallory’s “Texts from Jane Eyre” is one of my favorite things.

    • Yes! I’ve loved this horrific picture book series, “Texts from Jane Eyre,” a whole series about Anne Shirley, and the latest (non-kidlit-related) which points out that Blanche duBois was the same age as Jess from the New Girl, and imagines the plot of Streetcar set in the world of New Girl.

  3. Karen Gray Ruelle says

    A few years back, The Middle East Outreach Council gave an award to The Grand Mosque of Paris, a nonfiction picture book I wrote and illustrated with Deborah Durland DeSaix. We hadn’t heard of them before, but we were honored to know that they thought our book was worthy. I’m glad to see them getting some love from you, Betsy!

  4. Love the horrific If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

    It will never be over. He will never go.
    He will never sleep. You will not say no.

    Reminds me of some school snow days back when the daughter was young.

  5. Betsy, did you see that a recent Final Jeopardy! question was about this Lottery fact?
    “Readers’ letters to this author about her 1948 short story asked where the title event was held & if they could go & watch.”