April 25, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ
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.

Fusenews: Because it’s not like you can just buy a mitochondria dress anywhere

Yesterday was spent at the New England SCBWI Conference in Springfield, Mass.  Today is being spent moving all my stuff across the street into my brand new home.  As will tomorrow.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.  And the day . . . you get the picture. To combat this incessant […]

Review of the Day: My Valley by Charles Ponti

My Valley By Charles Ponti Translated by Alyson Waters Elsewhere Editions (an imprint of Archipelago Books) $24.00 ISBN: 978-0914671626 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. I’ve written a lot about the state of translated children’s books in America lately. It is what it is. Generally speaking, Americans can be a bit cagey when it comes to […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Literature: Spring 2017 Edition

Not a terribly long list today, I’ll confess, but want to know a little secret?  Come close. I’m buying a house. Yep!  After living in nothing but apartments (and currently renting a home that doubles as both a mystery house and a hospice for yellow jackets) I’m finally being a great big grown-up and owning […]

Holiday Books: There Can Be Only One (Part Two)

And we’re back!  Okay, so to continue yesterday’s post, let’s look at each holiday (post-Easter) and I’ll list the one book that typifies that holiday to me. Earth Day Green City by Allan Drummond Paired with his other books (Pedal Power: How One Community Became the Bicycle Capital of the World and Energy Island: How […]

Holiday Books: There Can Be Only One (Part One)

I was tooling about the Twitter feeds yesterday, as one does, when I came across some folks promoting John Hendrix’s Miracle Man as an Easter book.  A great book, no question, though like most Christ stories (Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and yes all my references are 1970s musicals, why?) it sorta leaves the resurrection for […]

Cover Reveal: Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton

It stands to reason. I mean, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Author Chris Barton has specialized in the un-specializable.  From the moment his career began he has maintained an unerring love for stories that haven’t just been untold in the realm of children’s nonfiction books, but adult nonfiction as well.  Remember […]

New Kinds of Poetry: Title Poems (2017 Edition)

It’s Poetry Month, my dulcet darlings!  That can mean only one thing.  Time to come up with a new way of writing poetry. Today, the challenge is simple.  Write original poetry, that makes sense, entirely out of the titles of books published in 2017.  For my purposes today I think I’ll work entirely in the […]

Review of the Day: A New School Year – Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby, ill. Mika Song

A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices By Sally Derby Illustrated by Mika Song Charlesbridge $16.99 ISBN: 978-1580897303 Ages 5-12 On shelves June 27th Sometimes I think that easy readers are the hardest books for kids to write. Those are the beginner books where the word count is limited and you have to somehow […]

The Biographical Explosion: Creating the Creators

Not every children’s book creator deserves a picture book about their life. Does that sound harsh?  Well, it’s Monday. It’s also something I’ve been thinking about. Without any numbers before me, I get the distinct impression that we’re seeing a marked increase in the range of picture book biographies printed in a given year.  In […]

Fusenews: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation!

Days like today exist to remind you that spring is not summer.  Here in Evanston it is wet and rainy and altogether cool and unpleasant.  Think then of the folks in Bologna right now.  Sunny.  Warmer.  Full of gelato.  *sigh*  With that in mind, here’s a Fusenews that is occasionally drenched in a bit of […]

Economics, Money, and Class in 2017 Picture Books Today

What do we talk about when we talk about income disparity with our kids?  Yep, it’s Cheery Topic Day over here at A Fuse #8 Production.  I have lots of passions when it comes to children’s books and I have a tendency to indulge them one at a time.  Today, I’m very interested in how […]

Even More Outlandish: Further Thoughts on the Role of Translation and Children’s Literature

In 2002 I was spending my lunch hour as I usually did: reading through academic children’s literature journals for fun.  There was one in particular that dealt with international children’s books that I took a shine to.  Called Bookbird, one particular issue presented an article comparing and contrasting different translations of Hans Christian Andersen.  I […]

Video Sunday: “It has to be perfect”

This past Monday I had the honor of being Illinois State University’s 2017 Lois Lenski Lecturer, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Leonard Marcus, Phil Nel, and many others. Intimidating, to say the least. The campus news team was on hand to film it. Sometimes when I am filmed, I like to watch […]

Outlandish: Braving new perspectives through books in translation

1704-Outlandish-GLobal-TN

A look at the global landscape of books published for young people and why it is important to share them with readers in the United States.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Updated: The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States

In 2013 I had a crazy notion to list every single children’s literature statue I could think of in a single blog post.  I did.  It was fun. And now almost four years have gone by and I’ve thought often of the piece.  Honestly, I never finished incorporating some of the suggested statues from my […]

Cover Reveal: Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

You’ve got your cover reveals, and then you’ve got your cover reveals.  Sometimes I’ll get asked to do a reveal and it’ll be for a book that I already have in my possession.  In those cases the book jacket reveal isn’t really all that surprising at all.  In some cases I’ll be asked to reveal […]

Review of the Day: Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Wolf in the Snow By Matthew Cordell Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1250076366 Ages 4-7 On shelves now It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why it is that I love picture books as much as I do. Putting aside the usual reasons (brain growth, increasing a child’s capacity for wonder, parent/child bonding, […]

Guest Post: Marc Aronson and the Design and Flow of Nonfiction

It is difficult to pin down the first time I became aware of the work of Marc Aronson.  The likelihood is that it occurred when I read his books.  Or was it his work as an Assistant Teaching Professor in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University?  How about his support of international […]