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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Giant Dance Party Changes Nothing

BolivarShhh! I’m busy prepping for my daughter’s birthday so I really shouldn’t be blogging. My hands, however, are firmly tied. How can I help but blog when there’s so much interesting information out there these days? Check out some of these crazy cool links I found recently.

If you know me then you know I like comics. I also used to live in New York City. Combine those two things and you get that stellar graphic novel (or is it a really really long picture book?) Bolivar by Sean Rubin. I always worry that books of its ilk (i.e. highly original titles that are bursting with talent but that don’t slot neatly into a library collection) will be forgotten. In the case of Bolivar, my worries may be misplaced. Fox just acquired its movie rights. Boo-yah!


FredKorematsuSpeaking of New York City, it’s the little award that could! Back in the day I helped out with the New York Historical Society’s new Children’s History Book Prize. Well, they’ve announced the latest winner for “the best children’s historical literature in the United States [that] encourages authors to continue to create engaging and challenging narratives that provide a window into the past for middle readers and their families.” With a whopping $10,000 prize, it’s no small potatoes. The winner? The remarkable Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins and‎ Stan Yogi (Authors),‎ Yutaka Houlette (Illustrator). That’s one of those books I really regret not reviewing last year. If you missed it, it’s the story of Fred Korematsu, a young Japanese-American man, who defied U.S. governmental orders by refusing to report to prison camps during World War II, eventually setting in motion a landmark civil liberties case. He’s one of those Civil Rights heroes you never hear about. Excellent choice, guys!


The other day a fellow by the name of David Jacobson (editorial consultant, Chin Music Press, and author of that particularly good Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko) wrote me to say, “if you’re curious, I just organized a series of posts on Japanese literature in translation over at the GLLI site, many of them contributed by prominent translators, reviewers, publishers.  About half of them were about children’s literature, including posts about Hans Christian Andersen winners Eiko Kadono (2018) and Nahoko Uehashi (2014), sound effects in manga, “light novels,” war in Japanese picture bookshaiku in English, etc.”  And what, you may be asking, is the GLLI site? Why, my sweet darling, that is none other than the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (and you know international children’s books are one of my favorite things to consider). David actually made a complete list of the kid lit-related ones here:  Thank you kindly, sir!


Quick question: Who is the coolest editor of children’s books still living today? We all have our favorites, no doubt, but no one can deny that one of the most iconic has to be Sharyn November, formerly of Viking Press. Well, apparently Bank Street College is offering a two hour online course with her for $35, which ain’t half bad. They say: “This online class will take you through the whole process from creation to post-publication. You’ll learn the basics about queries, agents, and the editorial process as well as how to find like minded writers and promote yourself and your work. Most importantly: you’ll learn what to and what not to do!” The registration deadline is 7/26 and you can get more info here. Sharyn edited much of my book Funny Girl for Viking so I know how good she is. Just FYI.

Oh! And while I’m telling you to do stuff, I’ll be at Princeton next  Thursday, June 14th as part of “Border-Crossing in Children’s Literature,” the Second International Symposium for Children’s Literature & the Fourth US-China Symposium for Children’s Literature hosted by the Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University. Would you like to come and see me? Or anyone else on the killer line-up? My talk should be fun, if only because it has the longest title of any speech I’ve ever given. Get a load of this mouthful I conjured up: “Bypassing the Gatekeepers in an Age of Obsolescence: How the Democratization of the Online World Both Aids and Challenges the Work of Children’s Literature Experts.” Phew! Them’s fancy words! Here a quick description of what to expect

Joined by speakers and presenters from Asia, Europe, and USA, the symposium
will facilitate an exchange of ideas on new issues in children’s literature
research, particularly concerning multicultural, international, and
translated children’s literature in any format and genre. Related themes of
interest include, but are not limited to, East Asian children’s literature,
its relationship to global literature, and East Asian-themed American works.

Symposium website:


Extra congrats to the little publisher that could. I just found out that Canticos, Nickelodeon’s first ever bilingual digital animated series for toddlers, launched on Nick Jr.! Canticos as you might recall, is that publisher that creates those killer bilingual Spanish/English books that are just perfect for Bilingual Storytimes. I always make sure to include one when I do my board book round-ups. Good for them!


Daily Image:

I did it. I finally hit the big time. A kid put my picture book Giant Dance Party in a spine poem. Now, granted, it’s the bleakest spine poem I’ve ever read, but I do not care. I may have to adopt it as my own personal motto.


I mean, they’re not actually wrong about that.

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.