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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: “My hero, my mentor, and my friend in my head”

Video Sunday is back, baby! After our extended month-long hiatus it’s time to stretch the old video muscles and get back in play. Now I don’t know about you, but this first video excites me considerably because it features an illustrator (and sometimes author) that I have never had the chance to see speak in person. One of these days, Vanessa, one of these days I’m gonna meet you. Then I’ll be able to thank you personally for Drum City. Seriously. In the meantime, Vanessa Brantley Newton gave a TED talk worth noting. I am beyond pleased to present it to you today.

I want to see her do a really good picture book on dyslexia next. Universe? Make that happen, please.

And for the record, giving a TED talk is still my #1 nightmare situation. Seriously. Like someone’s gonna just walk up to me one day and say, “Betsy! What are you doing?!? Your TED talk is in 30 seconds! Get in there and give it to them.” And I’m going to have nothing prepared. Not even one of those nifty little head mics.

Oh. It could happen. Moving on.

So I had a problem the other day. Over the winter break I took home the upcoming (February release) book BABY MONKEY, PRIVATE EYE. Then promptly lost it. This has happened before and I’m always too ashamed to contact the publisher to send me a replacement, so I just sort of resigned myself to not seeing the book until next month. You can tell from this that my instincts are usually “give up rather than clean”. Is who I am. In any case, I’m cleaning out my purse yesterday and lo and behold THERE it is! I had the power to read the dang book all along (it’s a big purse, in case you’re confused).  So I read it with my kids who promptly fell in love with it. Review to come (probably this week) but in the meantime I have to share this video of its creators. I’d have done it even if I hadn’t read the book because, and let’s be honest, people without pants are funnier than people with pants. Case in point:


 So in about two days this cool book by Erica Perl called ALL THE THREE STOOGES will be released, and as luck would have it I actually interviewed her about it at the last ALA. How’s that for a coincidence! Actually, this video has apparently been up for a while, but I just didn’t notice. That’s professionalism for you! I like to watch videos of myself with the sound off, because I find my gesticulations far more amusing than anything I actually say. You should probably listen to Erica though. Whip smart and funny to boot, she also is very interesting to talk to about the history of Jewish female comedians. That’s not in the video. I just thought I’d mention it.

And for our off-topic video, I have Tobin Anderson to thank for this one. Isn’t it amazing what a little sound editing can do?

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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. Besty!! Thank so much for this wonderful article and writeup! How fabulous is this?!?! One day we are going to have to meet and very, very soon! Drum city is still one of my favorites I just love it so.
    You are so right about Ted X and Ted Talks. How are we to say everything in our hearts in less than 18 minutes?!? One of the biggest challenges yet. I managed to say what was in my heart in 17:01 minutes and I still didn’t say all that I wanted to say. I just wanted to say how much I really truly appreciate your kind words. I am truly grateful.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Well you just did a stellar job. Basically you lived my nightmare and killed it. Next time you’re in Chicago, you just let me know. Gotta happen sometime, right?