November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature: Gashlycrumb Bums

It’s that time again! Time to peek over the shoulders of adult authors to see how what they’re plundering from the children’s literature world for their own books. You’d be surprised how often this kind of stuff comes up. Here’s the most recent batch of books with a toe in the kidlit pool.   Bucket’s […]

Fusenews: Hello, Ms. Champeen!

We start with the Me Stuff, and then it’s all downhill from there, as they say.   First up, I’m slated to be in NYC this weekend! *enter noisemaker sound here*  Yup! It’s Bookfest time at the Bank Street College of Education and this guy is gonna lead a discussion on humor with Jon Scieszka, […]

Spooky, October-Infused Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt and Tony DiTerlizzi

At first it was difficult to come up with good Halloween-appropriate picture books. And then someone reminded me of this book. That I didn’t think of it myself is just a crying shame. What a perfect book to do for October! It is now officially the oldest text we’ve done on the podcast, if not […]

Review of the Day: Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers

Her Right Foot By Dave Eggers Illustrated by Shawn Harris Chronicle Books $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-6281-2 Ages 6 and up. Consider your country, America. Consider what our teachers have been charged to do. Facing a future where the children of America are inadequate in the realm of nonfiction, our educators have been told to get them […]

Cover Reveal: How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk, ill. Sara Palacios

We’re taking a lovely, leisurely stroll in the park when you turn to me and say, “Betsy, why don’t you write more about coding on your blog?” And I shuffle my feet a bit, maybe kicking a stray acorn. I avoid eye contact with you as I mumble something indistinct about it being scary and […]

Walking and Talking with . . . Elizabeth Wein!

I’m not supposed to have favorites. Periodically Steve Sheinkin will pop up like a magical elf and offer me one of his magnificent Walking and Talking comic series for my blog, and I always thank him profusely, loving each and every one individually. Today’s is different. I’m not sure quite why. I think it has […]

Spooky, October-Infused Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag ft. James Kennedy

It’s time for the sweetest little tale of kitty cannibalism ever to grace our gentle bookshelves!  And best of all, this very special episode of the podcast comes with a very special guest! Yes indeed we poached James Kennedy, author of The Order of Odd-Fish and creator of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival to take […]

Announcing the Danziger Awards for Hilarious Kids Books

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of hearing myself whine. Every time there’s a cool sounding award for humor given out to an adult book you can count on hearing me pipe up. “Wah wah, no funny book awards for kids, […]

Announcing the Danziger Awards for Hilarious Kids Books

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of hearing myself whine. Every time there’s a cool sounding award for humor given out to an adult book you can count on hearing me pipe up. “Wah wah, no funny book awards for kids, […]

Fusenews: The Owl Who Gives No Hoots

Good morning to you. While I’m off traipsing about the Illinois Library Association conference in bee-auteous Tinley, IL, why don’t you settle down for an informal smattering of Fusenews.  Good for what ails ya.   ok, let’s talk about Dr. Seuss says Grace Lin.  Ms. Lin faced the full wrath of the masses when she […]

Review of the Day: Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Last Day on Mars By Kevin Emerson Walden Pond Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-230671-5 Ages 9 and up On shelves now I’ll often get what I’d call reference interview questions from the internet as a whole. They come in via Twitter, Goodreads, personal emails, my website, my blog, you name it. […]

Cover Reveal (and Interview!): The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr

I don’t know about you but I haven’t read nearly enough fantasy novels this year. It’s so funny that I’ve been so bad, since fantasy was the genre I loved the most when I was a kid. Remember when they released those Dragonriders of Pern books starring Menolly as children’s middle grade novels (Dragonsong, Dragondrums, […]

Spooky, October-Infused Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak

BOO! Happy October, everybody! In keeping with the season I’ve decided that this month of Fuse 8 n’ Kate we should go spooky. I’m talking Werewolf Bar Mitzvah spooky (Kate didn’t get the reference either, don’t worry). With that in mind I wanted to find a book that might not have been meant to be […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Literature

Yes, dearies, it’s that time again. As I purchase adult materials for my library system I stumble across books with distinct connections to children’s books. Here are some of the latest finds from the other side of the reading spectrum. First off . . . Awwwwww. There he is. That’s our guy! You may not […]

Diversity Resources Explode: What Are Your Current Options?

Yesterday a little blog post floating in the ether caught my eye. Called Selecting While White: Breaking Out of the Vendor Box, the article is written by Chelsea Couillard-Smith, the Senior Librarian in Collection Services at Hennepin County Library in Minnesota. I was particularly interested in the subject because I’ve been tossing about the idea […]

New Fuse 8 n’ Kate Episode: Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

When we recorded this episode I had no idea that Dr. Seuss easy readers would become such a hotbed of controversy, all thanks to the story of the librarian that refused a recent “gift” from Melania Trump. Had we but known, we would have touched on that element as well. Or maybe I should have […]

Secret Coders Blog Tour: In Which I Am Asked to Code

Under normal circumstances the blog tours I participate in don’t require me to do any homework. Today’s tour is a notable exception. I kind of respect that. When anyone with even the slightest approximation to Gene Luen Yang asks me to do something for him, my first inclination is to say, “You betcha”. A blog […]

Video Sunday: In Retrospect, I Probably Should Have Saved These for Halloween

Are you ready to be scared? Because I don’t know about you but I find this new adaptation of Peter Rabbit for the screen to be absolutely terrifying. What’s rather remarkable is how they managed to avoid poop jokes. Normally awfully trailers are just rife with them. Now there is a distinct possibility that if […]

Review of the Day: Crown by Derrick Barnes, ill. Gordon C. James

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut By Derrick Barnes Illustrated by Gordon C. James A Denene Millner Book, Bolden (an imprint of Agate) $17.95 ISBN: 978-1-57284-224-3 Ages 4-7 On shelves October 10th You ever wonder if a book is too good to be true? Publishers are sneaky little devils. They know just how to […]

And Now . . . A Word on the Accuracy of Goat Eyeballs in Picture Books

Alternate Title: Betsy Postulates Ponderous Problems Involving Irritating Irregular Irises. Alternate Alternate Title: She’s Getting Gooooooooofy . . . So. The time has come. You knew it was bound to happen someday. A reckoning, by all accounts. It is time for us to stop whatever it is that we are doing, to sit down, and […]