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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: All the news that’s fit to fuse

Boy, howdy. I haven’t done a good old-fashioned Fusenews in a long time. How do these work again? I just sort of throw up the recent children’s literature news from a variety of sources with comments of some sort? Honestly, I used to do these pieces fairly regularly. That is, until I realized that PW Children’s Bookshelf basically had this game in the bag. They know what they’re doing over there. Still, there are always some interesting tidbits that catch my eye. On beyond the usual suspects:

LittleBrownLet’s start off with some good good news. This just in: Marla Frazee has won the Charlotte Zolotow Award for her marvelous 2018 picture book Little Brown a.k.a. one of the five books published in 2018 that I really, seriously regret not getting a chance to review. You know when you read a book for kids and you wonder if anyone else is going to like it as much as you do? This was that book for me. And this is particularly impressive when you hear what books received the nine honors. Well done, CCBC.

Sometimes Dana is my favorite person. I will explain. You see, I don’t read blogs like I used to anymore. When I was young I’d go through them systematically, one-by-one every day. Now I just read my favorites and follow the occasional Twitter or Facebook link. One blog that I should always remember to check is Pop Goes the Page. It’s run by Dana Sheridan over at Princeton. Specifically, at the Costen Children’s Library at Princeton. In her recent post Please, Sir, I Want Some More she accomplishes the following:

  1. She mentions that the name of the literary society for kids between the ages of 9-12 is Cotsen Critix which = yes.
  2. She includes a very fun game where you match the children’s book character to their best known food.
  3. She finds a dining hall that could be the stunt double for Hogwarts in a pinch.


I’m 40, turning 41 this year. I’m out of it. How do I know? Because I’ve hit the point where I can encounter articles from 2013 and think they’re new. Stuff like stone paper. For a second there, it was almost a thing. Then it wasn’t. Apparently, it’s not all that easy to recycle paper made out of stone. I wish I could say I was kidding about any of this, but see for yourself.


Did the original Series of Unfortunate Events books end with a slambang happy ending, all confetti and unicorns? They did not. Does the television show, now ending its run on Netflix, do so? Not exactly, but the ending is certainly cheerier than the original. A writer (who was a kid when the books first came out) critiques the show and makes some deeply insightful points on Mashable about the changes, the books, the series, and why it all matters.


love_your_neighborYou know what this lady over here likes? This lady over here likes booklists. So here’s the problem with that. It’s January and we’ve just endured a couple months of nothing BUT booklists from every journal, paper, podcast, website, you name it in the biz. We’re SICK of lists over here! Except . . . when there’s a really good one. For example, the Association of Jewish Libraries just completed four themed booklists on the topics  “Standing Up for Each Other,” “Synagogues, Clergy, and Jewish Ritual,” “The American Jewish Experience,” and “Let’s Be Friends.” It’s all part of the “Love Your Neighbor” booklist series, and here is the AJL’s link and an HB blog post about it. As the AJL puts it, “In response to the tragedy at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries offers this series of book lists for young readers. Books read in youth impact future outlooks, and it is our hope that meeting Jews on the page will inspire friendship when readers meet Jews in real life.”


I once attended a Halloween party in Brooklyn that was Edward Gorey themed. I think you know what that means. Theremins. Kohl eyeliner. Fur coats. I remember it well. Gorey’s one of those guys that pops up occasionally, particularly when there’s a new biography out about him. At the end of 2018 there was a new Gorey bio, but even more interesting to me was this New York Times piece where some poor intern managed to track down a slew of instances when the Times made mention of an Edward Gorey illustrations in children’s books. Even if you think you knew the man’s work, there are some surprises here.


And speaking of Gorey, did you see the MAD Magazine Gorey-inspired work that is both homage and searing critique of our current gun culture?


ABCofItSo back in 2013 there was this amazing exhibit at NYPL called The ABC of It. It was a show about the history of children’s literature, curated by Leonard Marcus. It was never intended to run as long as it did but it turned out to be hugely popular with the public, so the library ran it more than a year. All well and good, but it had a couple problems. Primarily, the fact that NYPL never created a catalog for the show. Fast forward six years and rescue comes in the form of Lisa Von Drasek. In a recent PW article, you can read how the Kerlan Collection at the The University of Minnesota, “is hosting an exhibition in Minneapolis next month, and they are inviting the world to it by publishing a book about the history of children’s literature that is doing double duty as the show’s catalog.” Justice comes late but it comes, by gum! It comes!

Daily Image:

It’s not my usual thing, but sometimes Twitter shows off an image that’s better than anything else I could find. So there’s this YA novel coming out this month called The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe. It’s getting starred reviews left, right, and central (SLJ called it “A witty debut with whip-smart dialogue that will find much love among fans of authors like John Green and Jason Reynolds”). But the only thing that makes me want to read it? This dedication:


I think it’s already won the Best Dedication of 2019 Award. Thanks to Eric Smith for the photo.

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 drawing attention to these events. The AJL campaign is crucial for informing the public about an often ignored set of issues in the children’s book world: anti-Semitism, and, on the positive side, the genuine interest of many readers in Jewish life within the commitment to diversity.
    I am thrilled that Leonard Marcus’s book is coming out soon. The NYPL exhibit was unforgettable. Now there will finally be a permanent record of it!

  2. Galen Longstreth says

    I think the librarian at the Princeton Cotsen Library is Dana Sheridan, not Karen. 🙂

  3. Not to be tooooooooo nitpicky, but the CCBC only named 2 honors for the Charlotte Zolotow. There were 9 Highly Commended titles.