July 23, 2016

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Elizabeth Bird

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird (fusenumber8@gmail.com) is a children’s librarian at the New York Public Library and blogs at “A Fuse #8 Production” on SLJ ’s website. Her last feature for the magazine, “Betsy Goes to Bologna” ( July 2011), offered a bird’s-eye view of the world’s largest kids’ book fair.

Review of the Day: The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow

The Mighty Odds By Amy Ignatow Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $15.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-1271-5 Ages 10 and up On shelves September 13th If you could have one weird superpower, what would it be? Not a normal one, mind you. We’re not doing a flight vs. invisibility discussion here. The power would have to be […]

Picture Book / Movie Pairings: They Make Sense in My Head!

The other day I was sitting with a group of talented children’s librarians discussing Dan Santat’s Are We There Yet?  Boy, I tell ya, there’s nothing like sitting down with smart people to hear them discuss a picture book in full.  I walked out of that room with a lot more knowledge crammed into my […]

There Is a Tribe of Kids: The Current Debate

This year, in 2016, a conversation has sprung up around the picture book There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith.  The discussion has occurred primarily on blogs and listservs with the occasional mention on Twitter.  I would like to summarize the points here and explain what’s going on, since, unlike A Fine Dessert […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Books in Unexpected Places

Time for another post that justifies my current job.  As you may or may not know, as Evanston Public Library’s Collection Development Manager I buy all the adult books.  Which is to say, they apparently make them for people over the age of 12 these days.  Who knew?  Happily, there are plenty of connections to […]

Review of the Day – A Toucan Can: Can You? by Danny Adlerman and Friends

A Toucan Can, Can You? By Danny Adlerman Illustrated by Lindsay Barrett George, Megan Halsey, Ashley Wolff, Demi, Ralph Masiello, Wendy Anderson Halperin, Kevin Kammeraad, Pat Cummings, Dar (Hosta), Leeza Hernandez, Christee Curran-Bauer, Kim Adlerman, and Symone Banks Music by Jim Babjak The Kids at Our House Children’s Books $19.95 ISBN: 9781942390008 Ages 3-6 On […]

Application for the ALA/ALSC representative to USBBY

This is so neat that I wish I could apply for it myself.  I cannot, but if you’re a member of ALSC, you could (you lucky thing).     The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is seeking a personal member interested in representing ALA/ALSC on the United States Board on Books for Young […]

Fusenews: Worth it, if only for the clock

Hi, folks. Haven’t done one of these in a while. Let’s see what there is to see.   If I’m feeling nostalgic for NYC this week there’s little wonder.  Whether it’s an article on many library branches’ secret apartments (I visited 8-10 of them in my day and someday a clever photographer should do a […]

Midwestern Investigative Report: NerdCampMI 2016 – Day One

There are advantages to living in New York City. Good museums. Lots of books and readers.  The sweet morning aroma of hot garbage on the street to greet you at the break of day. Consumed in such a heady aroma it can be easy to forget that there are disadvantages to the city as well. […]

The Summer Reading T-Shirt Fashion Show

I think we’ve all learned something here today.  When it all comes down to it, and when all is said and done, summer reading t-shirts that are deeply attractive are rare, beautiful butterflies and that should be treasured and honored.  Which is to say . . . . ARE YOU READY FOR A SUMMER READING […]

Review of the Day: The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

The Inquisitor’s Tale or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog By Adam Gidwitz Illuminated by Hatem Aly Dutton Children’s Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-525-42616-5 Ages 9 and up On shelves September 27th God’s hot this year. To be fair, God has had some fairly strong supporters for quite […]

My Library’s Summer Reading T-Shirt is Cuter Than Yours

Or is it? Folks, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a library in possession of a summer reading program must produce a t-shirt of some kind.  And generally speaking, it is usually a walking eyesore.  Though I owe New York Public Library more than I can ever repay, I must confess that each and […]

What Good Are Windows and Mirrors When the Windows Just Look at Your Own Back Yard?

“If we don’t offer children literature from other languages, we are starving them.” Philip Pullman (TES, 2005) Phew! I’d been planning on doing a round-up of some of the speeches and talks I sat in on at the ALA Conference in Orlando a week or so ago, only to find that I’d lost my notes.  […]

Video Sunday: Be Kind to Your Web-Footed Friends

Aww. Didja miss these? It’s not like I see as many videos these days, y’know. Not for lack of interest. They just don’t float in front my nose the way they used to. Fortunately there are a couple that I’ve collected in my travels and I’m featuring them here today. They may be a bit […]

Review of the Day: Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

Freedom Over Me: Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life By Ashley Bryan Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1481456906 Ages 9 and up On shelves September 13th Who gives voice to the voiceless? What are your credentials when you do so? When I was a teen I used to […]

Oh, What a Time It Was: The ALA Annual 2016 Conference Floor

Sweaty, sticky, moist Orlando edition. So here’s a new way to experience the American Library Association Conference.  We’re going to tackle it in a visual way.  Which is to say, if I took a picture of it, it’s going into this post.  Here then is a look at what caught my eye on the conference […]

Reflections on a Banquet: Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder 2016

While I acknowledge that the logical way to write about the ALA Annual 2016 Conference in Orlando would be to do it chronologically, on the cusp of the banquet and all that it entailed, it makes more sense to me to write that part up first and then circle back to the conference in the […]

Picture Books Bios I’d Like to See (Based Entirely on Hark, A Vagrant Comics)

Okay. So now we’re finally getting some interesting picture book biographies on a regular basis.  When I was a kid you had your Helen Keller and your Abraham Lincoln and you were GRATEFUL!  These days, people are interested in celebrating more than just the same ten people over and over again.  Why this year alone […]

Press Release Fun: Touring with Richard Peck

As I mentioned in my 2016 Day of Dialog round-up, Richard Peck was the kickoff speaker this year, just before Book Expo.  I was moderating the middle grade fiction panel that morning, so I got to hang out with Richard in the green room a little before the event.  Now I’ve met him in the […]

Tru & Nelle: A Behind-the-Scenes Mini Documentary

Greg Neri.  Now there’s a guy with range.  If he isn’t writing a picture book bio of Johnny Cash he’s doing a middle grade novel on inner city cowboys or a graphic novel on Chicago’s South Side.  Some authors fall into predictable patterns.  Not Greg.  I honestly never know what the man’s going to come […]

Newbery/Caldecott 2017: The Summer Prediction Edition

Fickle little me. Titles appear. Titles disappear. Many of the books I placed on my Spring 2017 predictions list are gone by June, and what has changed?  Aren’t the books as wonderful now as they were when I originally propped them up?  Of course they are, but I’ve done enough book discussions in the intervening […]