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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Betsy Doesn’t Have Time for Your Nostalgia Today

Over the years I’ve heard lots of adults make comments about the tawdry state of children’s books today. So allow me now to address these concerns. What, I ask, makes you think children’s books today don’t cut it?

Americans Never Enter International Awards: Introducing the Nami Concours

I have discovered the Nami Island International Picture Book Illustration Concours or just Nami Concours for short. In 2013 an international biannual picture book award was begun on this island and it, “seeks to encourage artistic creativity and advance the quality of picture book illustrations worldwide.” So where are all the American submissions?

Odd Pairings of 2019 Children’s Books

My head is spinning. I can’t help but draw connections between all the 2019 books I’ve seen so far. Here are some of the wackier pairings.

Hello, Neighbor. Matthew Cordell Brings the Life of Mr. Rogers to Life


Tomorrow (Saturday) it will be National Good Neighbor Day. To celebrate, USA Today is revealing the cover of Matthew’s May 2020 release Hello, Neighbor! The Kind and Caring World of Mr. Rogers. Pretty spiffy, but why am I bring it up? Because I have something nifty up my sleeves as well. I have interior spreads.

Library As Canvas: The Extraordinary Art of Elisha Cooper

Elisha Cooper came to my library with an offer. How would we like beautiful, handmade signs for the different sections of the library that also happened to be Evanston-themed? We unpack the results of this generous gift.

Breaking Down the Changes to E-Content in Your Local Libraries: What You Need to Know

If you’ve noticed the headlines in your literary news sources then you may have heard that publishers have been placing additional restrictions on libraries and the e-materials they circulate. But what are these changes and what do they mean? A breakdown of the state of things.

Like My Co-Writer? I Made ’em!

It’s just kind of neat watching a grown child collaborate with their parent, don’t you think? Periodically we’ve seen it done with different pairings over the years. Who are your favorites?

It’s All Relative: An Unexpected Trend in What We Value

Children find great comfort in absolutes. That which is right and that which is wrong. But the world we live in is filled with gray. It’s chock full of different perspectives and points of view. So kids would do well to learn how to consider something, whether it’s a number, a time of day, or a snowy sky, from a multitude of angles. A list of 2019 books for our times.

The Black Mermaid Booklist

For those of you prone to creating displays based on current events, why not consider a Black Mermaid Magic round-up of all the books in your library that apply? Tell ya what. I’ll make it easy on you. Here are the titles you can consider including.

The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States (2019 Edition)

Having started this list in 2013, and subsequently updated it in 2017, today I give you the full monty. Readers have been very good about suggesting titles, so here is what I’ve been able to add.

Children’s Literature Statues of the U.S.: A Call for Entries

The time has come, dear readers, to update the Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States once again. If you happen to know of an obscure one that I could be missing, lay it on me and I’ll add it to the upcoming updated post.

I Spy with My Little Eye: Conference Floor Findings

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!

Books for Dyslexic Child Reader: Why the British Do It Better

“Don’t ask what’s wrong with the reader, ask what’s wrong with the book.” After discovering that the British have a publisher that produces high quality books specifically aimed at dyslexic readers, I investigate further and attempt to figure out why America hasn’t taken similar steps to meet this evident need.

In the Public Eye: Iranian Creators of Children’s Books

Iran. For whatever reason, Iranian children’s books and creators from Iran are on the rise. Today, I’d like to give a bit of a rundown on these books. They vary in content and style. Some are folktales and others are contemporary. Some were published in Iran first, and some were published here in the States.

Live Oak, With Moss: Selznick and Whitman (and Sendak?) Together At Last

Beautiful to its core. Today we examine the Whitman/Selznick collaboration that was sparked by Maurice Sendak and we think about why the adult publishing world is afraid of trying something new sometimes.