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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: Don’t feed the plants

Happy Day Before the Eclipse! We’ve a couple interesting videos to peruse today, so take your pick! First off, two recent ones from the live feed show I do with the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop. The first is a bit of an aberration since it involves me being interviewed, not the other way around. The lure? The interviewer is the greatest in the field. Yes! By some act of provenance, Andrew Medlar of Chicago Public Library actually agreed to interview me!! The man is a genius in the field. Plus I like the still they chose to freeze us on for this video (seen here). What the HECK are we doing?!?

The other interview is a bit more standard, but the subject is a legend. Jan Gilchrist Pivey has been working as an illustrator for decades. Now she has two Gwendolyn Brooks books out in 2017. I find out all about her life (which is remarkable) and books. Considering the fact that she was one of the first female African-American illustrators of children’s books working in the field, you should know her too.

Now I have no plans to head out to the Eric Carle Museum anytime soon. That is not for lack of wanting, more a lack of funds. But were I independently wealthy you can BET I’d hop a plane immediately to see their amazing exhibit Collecting Inspiration: Contemporary Illustrators and Their Heroes. But why take my word for it? Let’s get it straight from the horse’s mouth. “Horse” in this case being Tony DiTerlizzi and Mo Willems. “Mouth” in this case being . . . their mouths. Didn’t really think that sentence through when I started it.

Have you ever noticed that some of the authors and illustrators out there that we might label “cute” or “sweet” based on the books they create have steel rods for spines? Mary Englebreit, a woman better associated with cookie tins and greeting cards than social activism, declares loudly that Black Lives Matter. Similarly, Grace Lin, best associated with children’s books that could easily be deigned modern day classics, goes on PBS to deliver a message that, by the looks of the comments on the piece, isn’t universally embraced.

I mention this next bit of info, just for you Oz-o-philes out there. Boomerang has a new streaming Wizard of Oz TV show. Almost entirely movie-based, with the sole exception of Ozma at the end there. Hm.

And for our off-topic video, a public service reminder. Tomorrow is the eclipse. If, for any reason, you happen to find a new plant in your yard afterwards I IMPLORE you to heed the advice found in this handy song.

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. Thank you for telling us about the exhibit at the Carle. I will be traveling from Maine to Arizona in two months and just might find a way to include a visit on the way. This sounds too good to pass up.