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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

KidLit TV: Not Bird, Nor Plane, Nor Even Frog Just L’il Ole Me

This falls directly into the category of “Me Stuff”.  That said, some of you may be aware of the presence of Kidlit TV out there.  Just to recap, it’s the closest thing we have right now to an all-children’s literature related blog channel.  The brainchild of Julie Gribble with host Rocco Staino and a whole crew of fellow staff members, I’ve been watching the consistently interesting and intelligent fare over the last few months.  And now?  Now they’re talking to me.  I am with the gabby gab, as they say.  So much so that they couldn’t fit everything into a single video.  This week is part one.  Next week we’ll be seeing part two.

Primarily I’m discussing the book I co-wrote with Jules Danielson and Peter Sieruta, Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.  Don’t have a copy of your own?  Well, you’re in luck.  A giveaway is at hand and you could get yourself a free one.  Just go here to see me yammer and to win.

Many thanks to Julie, Rocco, and the whole crew (including the make-up artist who hid very well her horror at my inability to understand the most rudimentary aspects of eyeliner).  Enjoy!

Fascinating to see what I look like with make-up on, isn’t it?

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. Karen Gray Ruelle says

    Nice, Betsy! Hey, I learned that we share an editor–who knew?! Also, speaking of drawing ducks, did you know about Norman Rockwell’s way of getting his duck model to stand still? I’ve been told by someone who ought to know that he nailed the duck’s foot to the floor. I was also told that there is no feeling in the duck’s foot (I guess we’re talking about the webbed part), so no ducks were harmed in the making of that painting. Now, don’t quote me on that, but I think it was N.R. and I think it was true. If not, just call me a gossipmonger. But, hey, great story, right?

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Very fascinating. In that light a little Merlot doesn’t look so bad, eh? Though honestly if it doesn’t hurt the duck, why haven’t we seen distinctive duck piercings there before? Helloooo, new market!

  2. WOW. Lighting. Cameras. Lashes!
    I think I need that makeup crew to come to mine and see what they can do.

    Also: somehow, I missed the whole crayon thing. Upon reading it, I’m a little horrified at the author’s response, and I’m sorry that blew up that way. Especially since the last KidLitCon I’ve made a practice to straight out say whether or not a book has problematic diversity components, and try to view it without the lens of my privileges. We are in the business of discourse, and when we talk about books, we must talk critically and think deeply. As often as any of us get it wrong, we sometimes get it right – as I believe you did this time, and well done.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Upon retrospect I should have named this post There Will Be Lashes.

      I go back and forth over whether or not I should have mentioned the Crayon review. There are things I could have said in the review better. I could have called out the fact that this could be seen as a case where the editor should have intervened early on. I could have said again that this wasn’t a game of pointing fingers and crying, “RACIST!” But I don’t know. Anytime you bring race into a book discussion that is not specifically about race you open yourself up to the comments I received. I learned a lot from the experience. It’s what kept me quiet during the Jackie Woodson / National Book Award conversation (which begs the question of whether or not I learned the wrong lesson at the end of it all).

      • …hm. There’s a lot to be said for silence. A lot of people were talking – reacting and fueling the outrage machine, allegedly on behalf of Miss Jacqueline, so some silence – or at least highlighting other parts of the NBA and what went right – was welcome. Certainly, a few people should have indeed thought for much, much longer and considered silence before using their high-profile blogs as a platform to make their narrow opinions widely known. However, whenever people publicly learn humility and new ways of thinking, it cannot be accounted an entirely bad thing…

        There will be people who continue to talk with ears plugged, no matter how deliberately and carefully the topic of race in children’s lit is introduced, simply because react instead of reflect when they’re scared. However, we can’t let fear lead the conversation. If people from every group don’t have the courage to dialogue, we’ll be ignorant of each other, which in turn leads to things like racist, graceless and ignorant comments about fruit, etc.

        I again just want to give you full props for both patiently and intelligently answering people, even people who were clearly just trying to get a punch in.

  3. Hi Betsy,
    Before the sun was in the
    sky out here on the
    left coast, I was enjoying
    your interview on STORY MAKERS
    with Rocco, this morning.
    Who knew that Hans Christian
    Anderson was the prickly house
    guest of Charles Dickens? What
    a giggle.
    Looking forward to purchasing
    Wild Things to get the other two “scoops”.
    Will keep my eyes open for Part II.
    Thanks for illuminating KidLit TV!!

  4. Just took a peek at the comment section on that crayon post. I’m feeling a bit woozy.
    Anyhow, I’m going to settle into my most comfy chair, grab a glass of Merlot, and contemplate the merits of not being a duck.

  5. Great interview, Betsy! You cracked me up – even my kids were entertained. I love your stories and your fantastic sense of humor. And after the Rockwell comment above and your story about ducks, I’m with Julie contemplating “the merits of not being a duck”. 😉

  6. What a fantastic way to kick of 2015 with you as the featured Storymaker on KidLitTV! Julie has created quite a creative spot for children’s literature and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team. Can’t wait to watch part 2 and my hope is many more to come, wink wink. I have a feeling there’s quite a bit you could be interviewed about that we would all be inspired from. Thank you for taking the time to share and be a part of it.

  7. Such a pleasure to read your blog posts. You always post such great reviews and your voice is unique and enjoyable.

  8. Betsy, that was such an entertaining and insightful interview. Your level of enthusiasm was off the charts. There’s no way anyone who watched your episode of ‘StoryMakers’ didn’t leave with a greater appreciation of kid lit. I really felt as if I was being let in on insider stories. The interview definitely makes me want to read “Wild Things!,” from cover to cover. Also, I found this site:, so I’ll be checking out all of that info too. Thanks to you, I want to find out all I can about Wanda Gag. Perhaps she should be the subject of your next book …

  9. Enjoyed this interview immensely! I find the idea of reading all these back stories most intriguing and Elizabeth Bird quite the character! I cannot wait to read “Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature”and get my learn on! 🙂