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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Don’t Let the Pigeon Shoot First

  • Hi-ho, folks. As the Newbery draws nigh thoughts of winners and legitimacy surface. Consider the case of Cece Bell’s El Deafo, a graphic novel that is also a great joy. Does it have a chance? Monica Edinger at educating alice makes a strong case in its favor. Another debate was held over at Heavy Medal on the same subject, which you can take as an alternate point of view. Cece lovers of the world unite!
  • In other news, I wouldn’t call this next link workplace safe.  Not because it’s gross or inappropriate in any way.  More because it’s going to make you laugh out loud, probably in a rude snorting-like fashion.  The kind of sound a hippo might admire.  When I worked the children’s reference desk there were certain websites I was not allowed to read because they’d make me give great gulping guffaws and scare the little children.  And a close close examination of Goodnight Moon?  Yep.  That would be dangerous.  Ditto the author’s previous post on Knuffle Bunny.
  • Hey, New Yorkers! Those of you who happen to find yourself with time to spare this Sunday and need somewhere to be.  You like author Gregory Maguire?  You like Tuck Everlasting?  You like the idea of actually seeing Natalie Babbitt for yourself live and in person?  Well Symphony Space is having a heck of a cool event with all these elements put together, and I cannot help but think you’ll have a good time if you attend.  Just sayin’.
  • I come home from work the other day and my husband says, “So. You heard about that J.J. Abrams / Mo Willems thing, right?” Come again?  What the which now?  Yes indeed, there was a story going around the news about a case of mistaken identity between Mo Willems and Mo Williams.  It’s a funny piece, but I do wish they let us know if Abrams ever actually got in touch with Mo.
  • Full credit to Zetta Elliott.  She has created a list of all the 2014 African American Black-authored middle grade and young adult novels were published in the US in 2014.  She found 40.  An incredibly low number, but the list should prove useful to those of you preparing for some African-American book displays in your libraries and bookstores.

New Blog Alert: With two small children in the house (slash taking up valuable cranial real estate) I haven’t indulged in my blog readings like I used to.  I miss things.  So a picture book blog like Magpie That can exist for lord only knows how long before I see it.  And talk about content!  Or a beautiful layout!  If the plethora of illustrators providing magpies along the side are any indication, this site’s been up for a while. A lovely thing to stumble upon then.

Oo!  Thing!  So recently PW was kind enough to write up my last Children’s Literary Salon on the topic of science fiction for kids (as in, why the heck don’t we have any?). Now I know that some of you are planning on coming to NYC for the SCBWI Conference at the beginning of February.  I’m sure you have a lot on your plate, but if you just happen to be free on Saturday, February 7th at 2:00 p.m., take a stroll over to the main branch of NYPL for my (free!) Children’s Literary Salon on “Collaborating Couples“. The description:

Living together is one thing.  Working together?  Another entirely.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join married couples Andrea & Brian Pinkney (MARTIN & MAHALIA) and Sean Qualls & Selina Alko (THE CASE FOR LOVING), and Betsy & Ted Lewin (HOW TO BABYSIT A LEOPARD) as they discuss the pitfalls and pleasures of creating collaboratively.

For a full roster of my upcoming Salons (more are in the works) go here.

  • Speaking of NYC, there was an interesting piece in the Times on how we need a children’s literature mascot for the city.  London has Paddington, so what do we have?  Some good suggestions are on hand (Patience and Fortitude amongst them) and it’s tricky to come up with the best of the lot.  I guess if I had my wish it would be the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys.  They’re immigrants, they live in the library, and everybody loves them.  What more could you want in a New York mascot?
  • Daily Image:

The old Daily Image well appears to have run dry. Would you accept this picture of an adorable baby Bird asleep in his books instead?

Darn right you would.

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. Silly you. You think New York children’s book character, who do you think? Eloise. No one said a mascot has to be an animal.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Okay. Here’s my big dark secret. I’m not an Eloise fan. I know, I know! Crazy, right? But my Midwestern blood doesn’t know how to handle her. I enjoy her book as an adult but have a hard time swallowing her entirely. I did think of her, though.

  2. That is the best picture ever!

  3. Just a little OT but I found amusing… so glad I don’t always share my thoughts out loud, as I just thought about a book: “I would prefer that as Newbery, over Cadbury.” Heh. Though of course, who am I kidding? I always prefer Cadbury.

  4. A mermaid from Coney Island mascot for the win! Baby Bird = love!

  5. Oh, HOW I wish I was in NY for that Collaborating Couples salon!!! It’s amazing to me when people can do that.

    Also!!! Boy Bird is all ADORBS.

  6. Massive thanks for the kind comments about my blog. Thanks for sharing it with your followers as well.

    James the Magpie

  7. Books make the best pillows. The first time a book of mine was published, I slept on it.

  8. Lucia Dirrig says

    1. Truly a priceless picture, I love it!

    2. The GOODNIGHT MOON examination was the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. We’re talking laughing with snorts!

    3. Could Chester Cricket and Tucker Mouse be co-mascots? I thought I was the only one who didn’t love Eloise.

  9. Awwwww, he’s so sweet!

    He has a few books, doesn’t he? 🙂 Great picture!

  10. Your baby Bird is so cute in his nest of books. Thank you for sharing. A smile busts out on my face very time I think of him conked out with books.

  11. Would love to be in NYC for the “Collaborating Couples” salon… I even did a little post about the topic a few years back.
    The baby pic is awesome. It looks like he is kissing the book.

  12. Barb Outside Boston says

    How come that adorable baby isn’t wearing any handknits? Is grandmother not keeping up?


    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Oo! She’ll have catfits if she hears you say that. No, we just save the knits for traipsing outdoors. Since I like to keep my home around temperatures better suited to a sauna than an apartment, the knitting is not always wear.