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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: [Space Available for Title Here]

Morning, folks.  Here in the frozen tundra they call the Chicago area (a hot toddy to anyone who can explain to me why the wind blows TO the lake and not from it) we’re huddled in our homes dreaming of spring.  So while you shiver and shake (obviously this does not apply to you tropical climate denizens) warm yourself over some truly goofy links today.

  • Many things changed when I moved from NYC to Evanston.  My commute is shorter.  The air is clearer.  And I’ve actually joined two (count ’em) two online mom groups.  I had sort of heard of them before, but the idea of joining one for NYC moms was too daunting.  With that in mind, this 10 Little Monkeys parody called to me.  It speaks truth.  Thanks to brother-in-law Steve for the link.
  • BookDriveCrop.2e16d0ba.fill-735x490So, uh, what’d you do this week?  Did you start a campaign to collect #1000blackgirlbooks?  A woman by the name of Marley Dias did that.  Marley is also 11.  Marley is clearly going to rule the world someday and I welcome that day when it comes.  In the meantime, those authors and illustrators amongst you that have something to contribute, you might want to learn more.  The address on where to send the books appears at the end of the article. Thanks to mom for the link.
  • There are many places to go if you’re in the mood to see what precisely people are talking about when they discuss A Birthday Cake for George Washington.  I’ve very much enjoyed the comments on Read Roger’s recent post A Bumpy Ride.  Also enjoyable is Mitali Perkins’ blog where she considers what a different biography of Hercules might consist of.  Food for thought.
  • Look what Bob Staake’s next book looks like!! Look familiar?


Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.45.54 PMEvery year USBBY (the United States Board on Books for Young People) creates a list of Outstanding International Books.  They recently released their 2016 Outstanding International Books and it’s well worth a gander.  If you feel that your knowledge of international children’s literature is lacking, boy are you in luck! The list is also available in bookmark form and as a Google Map form with annotations and cover art.  Looking at it, you get a real sense of which countries are producing the most interesting children’s book imports. Wouldn’t mind an uptick in the number of African nations and South America is faring poorly.  I remember from my time visiting the Bologna Book Fair about 5 years ago the lack of South American books.  If I recall, they mostly import and translate titles.

  • They’re turning a YA novel into an opera.  Cool, right?  Let’s just go and see which one it’s gonna beeeeYAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!  THAT one?  They’re turning THAT novel into an opera?  The novel that takes huge bites out of my soul every evening since I read it?  THAT one?


Daily Image:

This is for you teachers and parents out there.  The V&A Museum has come up with this amazing design-your-own-wig feature on their website.  Informative and fun and kind of disgusting all at once.  What’s not to love?  Consider this my ode to Seuss.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.41.57 PM

Many thanks to Alison Goodman 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. I should have been grading papers. Instead, I made a fabulous wig. Thanks for the distraction, Betsy!

  2. When I visited Italy last October, I was surprised at the sheer amount of translated books (from the US) in the children’s sections of the bookstores. There were very few books that I didn’t recognize; not only did they have Little House on the Prairie, The Fault in Our Stars, etc but they had 2015 publications such as Circus Mirandus. I’d love to get Italian children’s books that are not just translations of books she could get in the States for my niece (she lives in the US but will be raised bilingual and spend a lot of time in Italy), but I had a hard time finding something that was more substantial than a simple board book. Even the USBBY maps show one book for Italy, and it’s a novel originally published in the UK (Hero on a Bicycle).

    But the maps are great for collection development, so many thanks for linking to it–just not for an aunt who wants to find Italian children’s books.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      When I was in Italy one of the few Italian titles I did see was their own version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I found the same thing in Spain. Someone should an international accounting of each nation’s version of that book. I think it could be telling.

      Of course, if you want original Italian fare for your kid, that’s Geronimo Stilton. It originated there.

  3. Jennifer – I find the same thing regarding books in Spanish. It is very hard to find books that are not in translation but were originally written in Spanish. I work in a school with a dual-language program and this frustrates me to no end.

    Betsy – what is Bob Staake’s new book about? Is there any link to find out more about it? Thanks.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      No idea. We can guess from the title. What I want to know is whether or not he has the kid come to the Children’s Center while there. I suspect he won’t. The Children’s Center, for all that it’s awesome, has never successfully made it into a picture book before.

  4. For people looking for original children’s books in Spanish, I’ve heard that La Librería ( in California has an amazing selection of international Spanish-language books and will do phone orders, although I’ve never tried it personally. I’ve traveled a lot in the Spanish-speaking world and make a point of bringing back books originally written in Spanish wherever I go (for both myself and my nephew), and have definitely run into some trouble explaining to folks in stores that I want an original work by someone from that country rather than a translation of an English classic. But I’ve always come back with terrific books to show for it, so they are definitely out there! It’s also worth checking out El barco de vapor titles (

  5. HA HA HA HA HA! You made me laugh and snort my drink (fortunately water).

  6. Brooke Shirts says

    I also had the “AAAAAHHHH” reaction to the news about that particular YA novel becoming an opera.

    But, then again, this is OPERA we’re talking about. Not a toe-tappin’ musical, but an art form where death and dismemberment and grave-digging are de rigeur.

  7. Yeesh, aren’t there enough depressing operas out there? And I still maintain that Christopher Lloyd would be the perfect Count Olaf–but maybe age is against him now?