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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

I Spy with My Little Eye: Conference Floor Findings

When I was young and full of vinegar I wouldn’t just blog about an ALA Conference when I returned from my sojourns. Oh no, my dear, I would do it friggin’ ON THE CONFERENCE FLOOR! Imagine 20-something Betsy splayed out against a wall, typing for all that she was worth.

Well, time has passed. I’m no spring chicken anymore. But one thing has remained utterly and completely the same since my younger days. I make it a point of pride to look at everything I am sent, and I am sent quite a lot of upcoming titles. That means that I like to view the ALA Conferences as a way of filling in my own gaps. Anything I’ve never seen before but that looks interesting to me, I capture in a photograph.

Today I will display for you all those books that are making me prick up my ears and eyes in some way. Some of these are reprints or books that are coming out in new formats or with new titles. For the most part, however, these are all new to me. Are they good? Are they bad? Only one way to find out!

The eye catchers for ages 0-12 (now in alphabetical order by title!):

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. This is a fun way to encourage your readers to find out more about promising books. A few thoughts: Is this the first picture book biography of Maya Angelou, aside from the Little People, Big Dreams series? It’s exciting to see an anthology by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Poetry for kids is having a renaissance, and he has been a true pioneer in the field. I’m very interested in All of Us; the pictures look subtle and attractive, although I will need to see how the authors actually explain historical events to kids, a difficult job. There can’t be too many haiku books; this one focuses on the classics, which is great. Others sometimes they leave kids with the impression that haiku is purely something you write about your pet in language arts class. Jackson Pollock Splashed Paint and Wasn’t Sorry is definitely the best title of the bunch. Finally, Claire Keane is a terrific illustrator who deserves more attention. If you like her work and know children who love fairies, please see my review below:


      Emily Schneider: Thank you for your kind words on I REMEMBER due out from Lee & Low in September.
      It is one of the most important books I’ve done in quite some time…a book that has been in production for almost four years.

  2. Love the cover of How to Put a Whale in a Suitcase–enticing! I would have to open this book after seeing that.

  3. Catherine Blair says:

    Looking at the cover of All of Us has me concerned that the book will reinforce Eurocentric biases and stereotypes. The lighter-skinned characters are depicted in a variety of historically-distinct costumes, many of them brightly colored. Meanwhile, the characters with the darkest skin are depicted in … loincloths? And one of them is actually carrying a spear?!? Also, in the middle of the bottom row, the illustrator put a white “cowboy” next to a woman in (potentially-inaccurate) “Indian” dress.