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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: “It’s like a shoe of flesh”

  • Mmm. Vanity straight up. So I never quite know how to post “me stuff” news when it’s particularly nice. On the one hand I could post the link with the typical “I’m not worthy” statement attached, but that always sounds as if I doth protest too much.  Or, I could go the other route, and just celebrate the link with a whole lotta hooplah and devil take the consequences. I think, in the end, I’d prefer to just preface the link with a long, drawn out, ultimately boring explanation of why these links are problematic in the vague hope that your eyes glazed over and you skipped to the next bullet point.  That accomplished, here is a very nice thing I was featured in recently at Bustle.  I think Anne Carroll Moore probably should have taken my slot, but insofar as I can tell, she is not around to object.
  • There comes a time in every girl’s life when she realizes that all the funny stuff on the internet was written by a single person.  That person’s name, it turns out, is Mallory Ortberg.  And if you doubt my words, read her recent Toast piece The Willy Wonka Sequel That Charlie’s Mother Deserves.  It’s applicable to the book as well, though in that case it would be “The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Sequel That Charlie’s Mother and Father Deserve”.
  • It was Jarrett Krosoczka who alerted me to the fact that Jeanne Birdsall has a blog.  Jeanne, you sly devil!  Why didn’t you tell us?
  • Are discussions of children’s book illustrations given adequate attention when people interview authors about the books that influenced them when they were young?  Mark Dery at The Ecstasist doesn’t think so.  In a recent interview with Jonathan Lethem, the two discuss, amongst other things, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a psychedelic children’s book by popular shrink, Dr. Eric Berne (who wrote Games People Play) called The Happy Valley, The Goops, Rabbit Hill, and the odd thickness (and hidden erotic meanings) behind Ferdinand the Bull’s neck.
  • I don’t usually advertise journal’s calls for contributions, but this seemed special.  Bookbird (a journal close to my heart for obvious reasons) is calling for contributions for a special issue exploring Indigenous Children’s Literature from around the world.   So if you’ve a yen . . .

Recently I hosted a Children’s Literary Salon on Jewish children’s literature, its past, present, and future.  It was a really great talk and has inspired, I am happy to note, a blog post from one of the panelists.  Marjorie Ingall of Tablet Magazine recently wrote the piece Enough With the Holocaust Books for Children!: Yes, we need to teach kids about our history. But our history constitutes a lot more than one tragic event.  It quotes me anonymously at one point as well.  See if you can find me!  Hint: I’m the one who’s not Jewish.

  • And to switch gears, the cutest children’s librarian craft idea of all time.  A teeny tiny traffic jam.  Alternate Title: Dana Sheridan is a friggin’ genius.
  • Not too long ago I helped usher into completeness a brand new children’s book award.  Behold, one that’s all about the math!!  Yes, like you I was an English major who thought she feared the realm of numbers.  Now I see the true problem: there were no good math books for me as a kid (and subsisting entirely on a diet of The Phantom Tollbooth doesn’t really work, folks). Now worry not, interested parties!  The Mathical Award is here and the selections, not to put too fine a point on it, are delightful.
  • Out: Dark Matter.  Five Minutes Ago: Gray Matter.  In: White Matter.  At least when it comes to how children learn to read.  The New Yorker explains.  Extra points to author Maria Konnikova for the Horton Hatches the Egg reference buried in the text.
  • Full credit to Aaron Zenz for turning me onto the site Sketch Dailies.  Cited as a place “that gives a pop culture topic each week day for artists to interpret” there are plenty of children’s literature references to be found.  Draco Malfoy. The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Hedwig (more owl than Angry Inch).  Warning: You will get sucked in, possibly for a very very long time.  Three of the Very Hungry Caterpillar winners recently were here, here, and here.
  • Oop!  The end of the voting on the Children’s Choice Book Awards is nigh. Your last chance to “voice your choice” is looming. Voting for @CBCBook’s Children’s Choice Book Awards closes at on May 3rd.  And, if I might be so bold, you may notice something a little . . . um . . . interesting about this year’s hosts of the CBC Gala.  *whistles*
  • Daily Image:

This one’s going out to all my Miyazaki fans.  In the event that you ever needed a new poster for your walls.  The title is “And Made Her Princess of All Wild Things:

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. Jeanne Birdsall says

    As I explained to Jarrett: It Is Not A Blog. Not Even Close.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      You’re so cute. It’s totally a blog. Which is to say, anytime you write is a time to celebrate. Blog, I declare! Blog!

  2. Betsy, how often does a person get linked with Beverly Cleary and J. Edgar Hoover? The mind boggles.

  3. Betsy, I went to the National Math Festival on Saturday and met the Mathical Award winners! I was just writing a review of “Really Big Numbers” and looked up the award — and saw you were on the selection committee. *Great* job!

    And I’m just saying — but if they ask you for the name of a librarian who would *love love love* to be on future selection panels — please think of me? There can’t be *too* many children’s librarians out there who also have a Master’s in Math, can there?

    I had an awesome time at the Festival, and was thrilled to also get to attend a book signing. Of course, I was already a huge fan of Richard Evan Schwartz (for You Can Count on Monsters — awesome book).

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      You have a Master’s in Math? Consider yourself on my list, missy. You are a rare bird and I shall make use of you when the time is right.

  4. Thanks! 🙂 Yes, my Bachelor’s was also in Math, and Math was my first Master’s — I taught college math for 10 years. Just between you and me, I *love* the career change to Librarian, and haven’t looked back — but I also really love doing Math-related library programs. (Did you know that Bedtime Math has a prepackaged Math Club they offer for free to libraries? It’s awesome!) And the Mathical Award? Call me totally jazzed. 🙂

  5. Betsy, I can’t get over how “packed with good stuff” this post is! Yay for you and Bustle! Talk about a thumbs up! And you look great in that picture, btw 🙂 And Jeanne—it sure looks like a blog 😉

  6. I am so happy to read that Jeanne Birdsall has a blog. I’ve been PENDERWICKS obsessed for years and years! Now stalking is made easy!

  7. My Boaz's Ruth says

    I just found out our beloved school librarian got a job in the New York library system after she moved up your way a couple months ago. If you run into Johnna Gregory, you’ve got a real jewel there.