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July 23, 2014

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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.

Theatrical Reviews: The Snow Queen

Theatrical Reviews: The Snow Queen

I was trying to remember the last theater review I wrote for this site.  At first I thought it might be the review I did way way back in the day for the staged adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline where the main character was played by a heavyset middle aged woman (it worked quite well, [...]

Cover Reveal: The Whisper by Aaron Starmer

When I originally read The Riverman by Aaron Starmer this year it blew me away. I couldn’t think of anything to really compare it to. Entirely original, wonderful and strange, it has remained quite clear in my memory ever since. Yet I was shocked when I learned that it was just the first in a [...]

Review of the Day: Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover by Josh Schneider

Review of the Day: Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover by Josh Schneider

Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover By Josh Schneider Clarion (an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-544-14228-2 Ages 3-7 On shelves now Sometimes I’ll just sit back and think about how the advent of the internet has affected literary culture. I don’t mean book promotion or reviews or any of that. I’m talking about [...]

Video Sunday: “Leave out that Oxford comma”

Video Sunday: “Leave out that Oxford comma”

I had the pleasure of seeing just the most delightful show the other day.  The Snow Queen’s run is ending, but you can at least enjoy this little number from it.  It’s been caught in my head all week.  I bestow that honor now upon you. New York News And the award for best set [...]

Fusenews: The Snow Queen – There Can Be Only One

Howdy do.  As per usual I’m going to direct you this morning to that lovely little Wild Things website where Jules Danielson and I have been posting the stories that got cut from our upcoming book Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.  If you haven’t already seen them you might like to read [...]

The Scourge of Upside Down Knitting

The Scourge of Upside Down Knitting

When you grow up with a mother who is a knitter, there are certain facts in life that you simply have to accept.  Knitting all the time, everywhere, is the norm.  A bookshelf full of different kinds of yarn is not weird.  Fiber Fests are de rigeur and knowing the difference between a gossip wheel [...]

Review of the Day: Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Review of the Day: Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegretation By Duncan Tonatiuh Harry N. Abrams $18.95 ISBN: 978-1419710544 Ages 7-12 On shelves now If I blame my childhood education for anything I suppose it would be for instilling in me the belief that the history worth learning consisted of a set of [...]

Book Trailer Premiere – Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh Creek by Elizabeth Rusch

Book Trailer Premiere – Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh Creek by Elizabeth Rusch

Occasionally I’ll premiere a book trailer here or there.  Particularly when it’s from a children’s author whose work I admire.  If the name “Elizabeth Rusch” is ringing some bells, there may be a reason for that.  Back in the day I was a huge fan of her The Mighty Mars Rovers as well as that [...]

Fusenews: Because nothing says “birthday” like Barbarsol

Fusenews: Because nothing says “birthday” like Barbarsol

First and foremost, hello.  How are you?  Are you having a nice day?  So nice to see you here, but before we go any further I must tell you that you very much need to leave me.  Just for a little while.  As you may have heard, my book with Jules Danielson and Peter Sieruta, [...]

Born Reading: An Interview with Jason Boog

Born Reading: An Interview with Jason Boog

Folks, I talk a fair amount about my upcoming book with Candlewick but I’d be lying to you if I said it was the only book I worked on that’s out this year.  For lo, I helped write the introduction for another book that will be coming out this month on the 15th and it [...]

Review of the Day: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Review of the Day: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Absolutely Almost By Lisa Graff Philomel (an imprint of Penguin) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-399-16405-7 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. In the stage musical of Matilda, lyricist Tim Minchin begins the show with the following lines about the state of children today: “Specialness is de rigueur. / Above average is average. Go fig-ueur! / Is it some [...]

Librarian Preview: Harper Collins (Fall 2014)

Librarian Preview: Harper Collins (Fall 2014)

We’re getting into the thick of summer now.  Both the BEA and ALA conferences have come and gone.  Folks are beginning to get a grip on the fall season.  So before we go any further I’m going to provide you with a bit of a sneaky peek at Harper Collins and what all they have [...]

The True, the Cut, the Unedited . . .

The True, the Cut, the Unedited . . .

So as I may have mentioned there’s a l’il ole book of mine coming out on August 5th by the name of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.  Co-written with Jules Danielson (of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) and the late great Peter Sieruta (Collecting Children’s Books) it’s a peek into the stories [...]

Sure #WeNeedDiverseBooks but don’t forget #WeNeedMoreWalterDeanMyerses

Sure #WeNeedDiverseBooks but don’t forget #WeNeedMoreWalterDeanMyerses

“We haven’t just lost a great author. We’ve lost a man that filled a very great need in our children’s literary landscape,” writes Betsy Bird.

Press Release: Obituary – Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014)

Press Release: Obituary – Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014)

From Harper Collins: WALTER DEAN MYERS, PROLIFIC AND BELOVED AUTHOR OF AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN’S BOOKS, DIES AT AGE 76   Myers Touched So Many With His Eloquent and Unflinching Portrayal of Young African-American Lives     Walter Dean Myers, beloved and deeply respected children’s book author, died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He [...]

Just Walk Away: Authors and Illustrators Who Do

Just Walk Away: Authors and Illustrators Who Do

I was perusing the old Top 100 Picture Books and Top 100 Chapter Books polls of yore (still my most popular posts, even after all these years) when a thought occurred.  Looking at the list you can see a lot of folks who are still working to this day.  Your Mo Willemses.  Your Eric Carles.  [...]

Review of the Day: The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell

Review of the Day: The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell

The Mermaid and the Shoe By K.G. Campbell Kids Can Press $16.95 ISBN: 978-1554537716 Ages 3-7 On shelves now Why are magical creatures so hard to write? I’m a children’s librarian. That means that a goodly portion of my day can consist of small starry-eyed children asking for an array of otherworldly cuties. “Do you [...]

Video Sunday: MIT’s Faculty Lounge and Other Mysteries

Video Sunday: MIT’s Faculty Lounge and Other Mysteries

No time to dilly-dally, people! We’ve most of our peers and betters living it up in Las Vegas. Let’s soothe our sorrows of not attending ourselves in some lovely videos then, eh whot? First off, you may have known that there was a recent Boston Children’s Book Trivia Night. But did you know there was [...]

Fusenews: Laser Mazes. Need I Say More?

Fusenews: Laser Mazes. Need I Say More?

As I write this there are countless souls right now in Las Vegas attending the American Library Association Annual Conference.  I watch your tweets with envy, my friends.  Would that I were there.  Some of the first timers have asked me what they shouldn’t miss, but since I haven’t seen the official schedule of events [...]

Deconstructing Daniel Tiger or Why Children’s Programming Is Freaking Me Out, Man

Deconstructing Daniel Tiger or Why Children’s Programming Is Freaking Me Out, Man

Today we deviate slightly from our usual rounds into the world of children’s literature to look at children’s television programming in the early 21st century.  Put another way, I have a new baby and a three-year-old so this is about the level of literary criticism I’m capable of today.  You’ll have to bear with me. [...]