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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Though I See The Pigeon as More of a King George Type

HamiltonHere’s the thing about Minh Lê. He doesn’t blog terribly often, but when it does it just sort of explodes like an atom bomb on the scene.  His Hamilton starring Elephant and Piggie . . . sheer brilliance.  I’m just mad I didn’t think of it myself (not that I could ever have paired the text and art as well as he has).  The best thing you’ll read today.

Translation?  An art.  I once heard that the reason the French are as crazy as they are about Edgar Allan Poe is that his translator (Stéphane Mallarmé?) improved upon the original English.  Monica Edinger thinks about translation in the context of Struwwelpeter (love that stuff) and links to a Guardian article you’d do well to notice.

Yesterday my family and I returned from our annual trip to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, ON.  While there, my five-year-old saw her very first play; a killer production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe done with puppetry akin to War Horse.  I guess I’ve had C.S. Lewis on the brain anyway, though, since I saw these adorable dioramas of famous scenes in books.  Here’s the Wardrobe one:


When wrote a piece about book deserts (places where children lack access to books) there was a lot to pick apart.  Looking through it, I found fascinating the part that said, “While online book sales have grown in recent years, three out of four children’s books are still bought in brick and mortar stores,” as well as, “dollar stores were the most common place to buy children’s books.”  Dollar stores.  I know that bookstores, aside from being difficult to find in low-income areas, contain books too pricey for most people to afford (see a recent comparison between British and American chain bookstores here), but it never occurred to me that dollar stores would be the obvious next step.  If I were a forward thinking self-published author, that’s where I’d concentrate on getting my books.  If the money evened out, of course.  And speaking of books that are affordable for all people . . .


GrumpyCatGood morning, class!  I trust you are well rested this morning. Now, when we last met we were reading Leonard Marcus’s Golden Legacy: The Story of Golden Books.  Your homework today is to consider the newest Little Golden Book on the market The Little Grumpy Cat That Wouldn’t.  Place within the context of the Golden Books’ past how converting a YouTube sensation into a Golden Book both supports and/or undermines their historical legacy.  Extra credit if you’ve worked into your report the work of illustrator Steph Laberis and the history of animators contributing to the Golden Books of previous decades.  Papers are due in one week.  No extensions.

We can’t seem to get her to interview the Newbery and Caldecott winners, but I think Ellen is getting some definite points for personally moving forward with a screen adaptation of Ursula Vernon’s truly delightful Castle Hangnail.  Those of you looking for charming younger middle grade fantasy, this book is a delight.  You have been warned.  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf.

Best title and photo ever:

Riverdale Turns Archie Comics Into a Teenage Noir Soap Opera, and It’s Way Too Much Fun


I don’t care if it isn’t any good.  This alone gives balm to my soul.

Travis over at 100 Scope Notes has continued his thought process on the role of critical reviews on blogs.  He asks if it is the nature of reviewing to want to think a book is better or worse than it actually is because both of these reactions fall within the “zone of enthusiasm” (be it positive or critical enthusiasm).  I’m chewing on this one for a while.  You can too.

I lived in Morningside Heights in NYC for about five years and Harlem for six.  While there, I was always a bit shocked that there wasn’t a major museum there dedicated to the art and history of Harlem (the Schomburg Library and The Studio Museum in Harlem do what they can but we need something much bigger).  This isn’t that, but it’s on the right track.  Ms. Renée Watson (not to be confused with Rachel Renee Watson) has started an Indiegogo campaign to lease and renovate the brownstone where Langston Hughes lived and create an arts community there.  It’s not specifically about children’s literature, but this is a worthy cause.

Daily Image:

If I have learned anything in this life it is that every fake sounding profession out there is actually real.  Take opera singing.  When my friend since 7th grade, Meredith Arwady, decided to be an opera singer I had no idea that this was a legitimate profession.  Now she’s stabbing Placido Domingo in her spare time.  She’s also hugely generous.  Check out her most recent present to me, purchased in Stockholm.  It is a t-shirt, procured at a photography museum, of none other than Astrid Lindgren.


When I get my new author photo, I want it to look like THAT.  Thanks, Mimi!

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. Tracey Elrod says

    I teach in a low-income school and one of the places I recommend my students and teachers purchase books is this great discount store nearby called Ollie’s. It might be a chain. They have wonderful, slightly older picture, chapter, and nonfiction books for kids that are usually priced less than $5.00. The best part is that they are right inside the door, begging to be purchased.