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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: But you tell me over and over and over again my friend

weasleywizardwheezesRemember the moment at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when he funds Fred and George’s joke shop?  What is it he says to them?  Ah yes. “I could do with a few laughs. We could all do with a few laughs. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to need them more than usual before long.”  I feel like, once again, Rowling put her finger on the pulse of what we need to hear.  Today’s post is in honor of that spirit.


Here’s a little happy news for you to kick it all off.  The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS), coordinator of the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) has given first approval to a new Young Adult Science / Fantasy Award.  The problem?  It needs a name!  That’s where you come in.  There’s a name-the-award-survey out there, but the deadline is November 15th.  Now, could we talk about doing something similar for ALA’s YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults?  Perhaps rename it and stat?


In other news, the nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for 2017 were announced.  If you’re unfamiliar with that particular award, it’s the one with the biggest monetary prize attached to it.  The prize can go to any author, illustrator, storyteller or “reading promoter”.  American nominees on this year’s list include:

Anderson, Laurie Halse
Bányai, István
Blume, Judy
Carle, Eric
Children’s Literature New England (CLNE) & The Examined Life (EXL) Organisation
Dezsö, Andrea
Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL) Organisation
Kalman, Maira
LeGuin, Ursula
Lowry, Lois
Maguire, Gregory
Neighborhood Bridges
Pellowski, Anne
Room to Read
Shihab Nye, Naomi
Taylor, Mildred

On Saturday I offered you the chance to win some original Sophie Blackall art.  Today, I’m offering you the chance to bid on some original John Parra art.  In 2017 his book Frida and Her Animalitos, written by Monica Brown, will hit shelves everywhere.  Now you have a chance to bid on this painting, inspired by the book by its illustrator:


Gorgeous, no?  Best of all is the cause.  SCBWI-IL  is auctioning it during the week following Prairie Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day 2016 to raise funds for SCBWI-Illinois’ Diversity Initiatives. Better hurry, though.  Bidding ends Saturday, November 12th. More info here.

I’ve very much been enjoying the multiple articles out there about Are You an Echo?, that remarkable picture book biography/poetry collection about Misuzu Kaneko.  First there was this 7-Imp interview with David Jacobson, the writer/translator of the book.  Then there was this great piece over at Playing By the Book that gives additional background information about its illustrator Toshikado Hajiri.  Love it.  Be sure to check out the interior art at 7-Imp here as well.


It occurs to me that I don’t think I’ve ever had a chance to examine Robert McCloskey’s artwork and sketches up close before.  If I were in Boston I could remedy the situation with the upcoming Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey, held at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.  Good to know about in any case.


It’s not uncommon for me to be the last to know when a picture book has struck a nerve.  Such was the case with Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf, though if I’d taken even two seconds to think about it I probably could have seen it coming.  Marjorie Ingall slices and dices the book, clarifying precisely why what it does doesn’t work.  There’s also a truly lovely shout out in there for  Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein which I gave too little attention to when it came out.  Well played, Marjorie.


By the way, I feel I should also mention her stellar post How to Explain the Refugee Crisis to Kids as well.  If you read nothing else today, read this.


folioawardOh.  I won a thing but I don’t think I mentioned it before.  Remember when I said in an earlier post that A Fuse #8 Production was nominated for a 2016 FOLIO: Eddie and Ozzie Award?  Well, it won!  Yep!  Neat!


Conspiracy theories and children’s books: Two great tastes that taste great together.  Nowhere more true than in the recent 100 Scope Notes piece We Found a (Man in the Yellow) Hat? It ties an old picture book to a new one in an original way.  No small task.


Boy, if it weren’t for the Cubs winning the World Series, I’d swear the universe had it out for me.  Now I hear that the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia lost a significant chunk of its case against the Sendak Estate?  Doggone it.  That’s it.  I’m moving to Australia.


Hey!  Did you know that there’s a Chicago Book Expo?  News to me.  Better still, there’s a neat event going on there called Our Voices Initiative: Encouraging Diversity in Publishing.  Here’s the program description:

The demand for diverse, quality books is great. Independent publishers have responded with an explosion of books by and about diverse people. Join members of the American Library Association Our Voices advisory council, who represent professionals from across the book ecosystem, to discuss the issue of diversity in publishing and the work they are doing to promote and support diverse content. Come and add your voice to the discussion.

Panelists will include Curt Matthews, Founder and Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Review Press and Independent Publisher’s Group; Jeff Deutsch, Director of the Seminary Co-op Bookstores, which includes 57th Street Books; Felicia Shakespeare, best-selling author and library media specialist; and Joy Triche, Founder and Publisher of Tiger Stripe Publishing. Donna Seaman, Editor, Adult Books at Booklist, will moderate the discussion.

You can see more information at this Facebook link too.


The New York Times Best Illustrated list of 2016 children’s books was released earlier this month.  Some good choices.  Some choices that cause me to grind my teeth in a counter-clockwise direction.  In other words, a pretty standard year.


Fun Fact: Were you aware that Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik books were never meant to be a series?  Do you know what Ms. Lowry thinks about censorship?  Do you know what her next projects are (and that they’re completely out of her genre)?  Good news then.  Over at the Cotsen Children’s Library the podcast The Bibliofiles has an interview with Lowry about all these things.  And more.


Daily Image:

I’m fine.  I’m all fine here now, thank you.  How are you?


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. Kathy Ishizuka says:

    Sending you the [FOLIO] hardware, Betsy. Congratulations!

  2. I feel a bit like a screaming person trapped in a burning building, too.

    Goodness will prevail.

    I hope.

  3. Shoutout to everyone working on Who is Donald Trump? at Penguin Random House.

    Congratulations on your win, Betsy!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Oof. I want to read an anonymous blog by one of those writers.

      • If you find one, let me know. I’d be interested in reading what they have to say.

        Golly, collection development is going to be tricky with this POTUS.

  4. Congrats on the FOLIO award! And thanks for that timely Harry Potter quote. Literature always has something to say in troubled times.