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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: No snow day for me. Better blog then.

  • Avast!  Tis me sister, me hearties!  Finding yet ANOTHER fun and crafty way to work children’s literature into your lives.  Children of the 80s and 90s (and perhaps the 70s for that matter) may remember the old board game Guess Who with fondness.  So what about finding an old run-down copy at a garage sale and turning it into your own personalized version?  Kate shows you how.  She also works in Giant Dance Party while she’s at it.  Kudos, sis.
  • An ALSC Graphic Novel Award?  No, I’m not saying they’re making one.  I’m not even saying they’re discussing it (or a poetry award for that matter).  But Travis Jonker considers the notion yet again and we’re mighty glad he did.
  • Even more amusing than the French booksellers getting naked to protest the conservative politician that attempted to censor a children’s book about nudity (I think I noticed And Tango Makes Three as one of the strategically placed titles) was the comment by someone one Facebook (forgive me, I can’t remember where I saw this) pointing out that here in the U.S. some folks when coo-coo when SLJ ran a cover of grown adults (including myself) holding colorful alcoholic beverages.  Imagine what they’d do if we’d posed in the buff!

This is what we call in the business burying the lede.  So I’ve worked at NYPL for almost 10 years now and thanks to its history there’s just a swath of cool stuff hidden around every corner.  Case in point, the librarian reviews.  For quite some time, the children’s and YA librarians of the system would painstakingly and systematically type up in-house reviews of children’s books so that the materials specialists could consider whether or not to purchase for the system.  Recently these card catalogs full of reviews were moved out of their home in the Mid-Manhattan branch to our archives division.  I figured that would be the last I ever heard of them.  That is, until Kiera Parrott informed me that the NYPL review cards are posted to Instagram every Tuesday and then collected on this Pinterest board.  Scroll through and you’ll read fascinating conflicting opinions on books like Judy Blume’s Forever or the very funny review by a librarian going against an ancient Anne Carroll Moore lack-of-recommendation.  One of these days I SWEAR I am getting a “Not Recommended by Expert” t-shirt or necklace or something.  Big time thanks to Kiera for this find.

Awards You Should Be Award of, Consarn It: Did you remember that the NAACP Image Awards give out children’s literature honors?  And in the field of Outstanding Literary Work – Children I am happy to report that the award went to Kadir Nelson’s Nelson Mandela with honors for Knock Knock (woo-hoo!), Martin & Mahalia, You Never Heard of Willie Mays, and (here’s a surprise) I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl, which I completely missed.  Courage Has No Color won in the teen category, which was a huge relief since I was worried that book wouldn’t get any of the awards it deserved this year.

  • CCBC-NET is the listserv where normally I can sit back, relax, and just take in the occasional comment for processing later in the day.  Recently, however, it exploded as discussions of race and multicultural literature stayed hot but, for the most part, cordial.  The post Taking Action to Make Children’s Literature Better for People of Color does a quick summary then offers solutions to the issues brought up in the past month.   Very good and interesting reading for the day!

  • Folks coming to NYC will ask me what there is to do in town that’s children’s literature related and recently all I’ve mentioned was the current NYPL exhibit The ABC of It and the Morgan Library’s Little Prince exhibit.  This is because I routinely forget that The Grolier Club ALSO partakes of children’s literary events from time to time.  So in case you missed it, you may wish to hop on over to “Pop-Ups From Prague: A Centennial Celebration of the Graphic Artistry of Vojtech Kubašta (1914-1992)“.  Boing Boing highlighted some of the art and it really is gorgeous stuff.  It runs until the 15th of this month so move fast!
  • Meanwhile, in Wausau, Wisconsin there’s an exhibit up at the Woodson Art Museum called From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick.  Coo!
  • After you’re done there you can swing by Hamilton, Ohio where the Heritage Hall Museum has its very own McCloskey Museum.  That’s Robert McCloskey, folks.  Word on the street has it that they have the original doughnut machine from Home Price there and that it works!  Check out all the great March events they have going on.
  • And just when you decided you couldn’t love the Darwin family any more (after reading Charles & Emma I, for one, wanted to adopt them as my own) you find out that his kids scribbled all over the manuscript of Origin of the Species as well as in Emma’s diary.  Thanks to Phil Nel for the link.
  • I was delighted to sit down with author/illustrator Hilary Leung last week as he came to town for the mid-winter SCBWI conference.  Hilary showed me some of his works and stuff and then gave me this little delightful book of LEGO versions of classic and contemporary children’s books.  It was so impressive that I just had to share it here.  Check out the man’s Pinterest page of images.  FANTASTIC!
  • Sometimes BookRiot really gets a post right. Did you see their piece on bookmobile fashions? It sounds funny when I say it, but there’s really no better way. Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • They’re putting exercise bikes out for teen patrons in libraries now?  Patrons, heck!  Can I have one in front of my own desk?  In lieu of a walking desk I’ll take what I can get.
  • Daily Image:

I’m not the first person to show it, but I didn’t want to be the last either. I think it was agent Steven Malk who posted it on Twitter.  It’s Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume and Maurice Sendak.

Thanks to Warren Truitt for the heads up.

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. Thanks for sharing the link to my post on Seuss quotes (both ersatz and real)! By the way, the photo above (of Seuss, Blume, and Sendak) was taken at the 1978 ABA in Atlanta, GA. Seuss read “Small Epic Poem, Size 3 1/2 B” at event.

  2. Karen Gray Ruelle says

    Nice to see the Woodson Art Museum getting some love. (My brother-in-law works there, helping to put the exhibits together–I wonder if he helped with this one. I’ll have to ask him!)

  3. Ah, jeez! I have penned (typed) *many* of those librarian reviews! I will be watching this pinterest board to see the reviews of friends and colleagues! (I spy Pat Burns already!)

  4. Speaking of old Darwin, there’s a wonderful collection “Darwin, A Life in Poems”, written by one of his descendants, Ruth Padel. It gives a comic, endearing portrait of him as a young dreamer.