October 22, 2016

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Famous Illustrators’ Depictions of Knitting Ranked in Order of Competency

Two years ago I wrote a piece called The Scourge of Upside Down Knitting in which I raged unto the heavens against picture books where the artists put little work into bothering to figure out if knitting needles should be held up or down.  Well, it’s time for me to apologize to those illustrators.  If […]

Press Release Fun: Meanwhile, Back in NYC . . .

So I’m no longer in New York City anymore as you might have noticed but that doesn’t meant there aren’t some fantastic events going on there.  Free events.  Free events at my old stomping grounds, NYPL.  It’s all in conjunction with Banned Books Week and the guests are a bit on the famous side.  Gene […]

Review of the Day: They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

They All Saw a Cat By Brendan Wenzel Chronicle Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-5013-0 Ages 4-7 On shelves now It’s funny. Unless you’re a teacher or librarian, a grown adult that does not work or live with children will come into very little contact with picture books. Then, one day, they produce a few kids and […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2017: Fall Prediction Edition

Mmmm.  It’s that time again.  The summer is beginning to cool its jets and with fall on the horizon I need to present the third in my yearly four-part prediction series.  What was that fantastic quote Travis Jonker came up with the other day?  Ah, yes. “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, […]

Fusenews: “You have no power over me”

Fast fast, like lightning, fast!  It’s a Fusenews round-up of epic quickie proportions!   First up, my buddy Warren Truitt used to work with me in the Central Children’s Room of New York Public Library.  Then he moved to Alabama.  He’s kept busy, since that time with a long-term personal project.  This one man machine […]

Children’s Literary Salon: 90-Second Newbery Film Festival!

In just 9 days the Children’s Literary Salon at EPL will be up and running again.  And, as ever, you can watch the proceedings live from your very own home computer right here. This month, we’re celebrating the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival in all its shameless glory.  Explained thusly: Even better news, the 90-Second Newbery […]

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature: Ramona invented the original Portlandia

Ooo.  Lots of adult books with smatterings of children’s literature littered about the pages today.  Don’t even know where to start with this one.  Let’s see, eeny meeny miney . . . MO! Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books by Christine Woodside This […]

Review of the Day: Presenting Buffalo Bill by Candace Fleming

Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West By Candace Fleming A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Book Press (a division of Macmillan) $19.99 ISBN: 9781596437630 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 20th I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we present history to our kids. Specifically I was thinking about picture book biographies […]

Video Sunday: Have a think in your head

I do not know where Monica Edinger found our first video today.  All I know is that she discovered a video that is absolutely the most interesting thing you’ll see all week.  It’s a young Maurice Sendak.  He’d recently won the Caldecott for Where the Wild Things Are.  I’ve never seen anything like this before.  […]

Press Release Fun: Mathical Book Prize Now Accepting Submissions for 2016

Oh, my stars and garters.  You lucky authors out there that have written books with math in them in some way are in for a treat.  The Mathical Book Prize is now accepting submissions from all comers, be they picture books, middle grade, or YA.  What is this prize of which I speak?  In its […]

Fusenews: Born and raised in South Detroit . . .

This blog has spoiled me beyond all hope or recognition.  Over the years I’ve used it to find nannies, to get books re-published, and now it has solved a mystery that lay dormant for years.  Back in November of 2009 I decided I wanted to track down a book from my childhood.  Writing stumpers into […]

The Nuanced Picture Book Biography

Last week I was sick.  Sick as a dog sick.  Sick in that way where you feel the cool breezes coming through your window and have a fleeting glimpse of how lucky you are to be sick at the end of the summer rather than even a week earlier when your misery could have only […]

Review of the Day: Makoons by Louise Edrich

Makoons By Louise Erdrich Harper Collins $16.99 ISBN: 9780060577933 Ages 7-12 On shelves now They say these days you can’t sell a novel for kids anymore without the book having some kind of “sequel potential”. That’s not really true, but there are a heck of a lot of series titles out there for the 7 […]

Cover Reveal: Catstronauts

Folks, let me level with you.  I only love two things in this world.  Cats.  And astronauts. Okay, that’s a lie.  I love a whole lot more than just those two things.  But let’s say I was stranded on a desert island somewhere and I was told that I could have a book about only […]

RIP Gene Wilder: Children’s Literature’s Avatar

Consider, if you will, the life of Gene Wilder.  Since his death, many people have been doing precisely that.  It makes me happy, but since I’ve harbored a not-so-secret crush on the man for decades (a quick search of this blog will back that up) I felt it necessary to point out that for all […]

Fusenews: Dem-o-gorgon or Dem-a-gorgon?

Morning, poppins! Yesterday, for the first time in a long while, I submitted a Video Sunday for your approval.  Trouble is, I may have failed to mention one of the most fascinating videos out there with a tie-in to books for kids, so I’d like to rectify the situation today. The title of the article […]

Video Sunday: And Stuff Like That

Good morning! We’ve not done a Video Sunday here on Fuse8 in a while, so let’s start with the ritualized boiling of the blood. Which is to say, can picture books be written in an hour? No. But Slate decided to go on and and prove as much. The results: More interesting, in a way, […]

The Picture Book in 2016: Social Themes and Lessons

I recently received a very interesting, if puzzling, question.  A friend of mine needed to know, for professional reasons, what I would consider the top themes in picture books these days.  By “themes” I don’t mean trends but rather emotional or social lessons for young readers.  You might even go so far as to call […]

Review of the Day: Who Broke the Teapot?! by Bill Slavin

Who Broke the Teapot?! By Bill Slavin Tundra Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-77049-833-4 Ages 3-5 On shelves now In the average life of a child, whodunits are the stuff of life itself. Who took the last cookie? Who used up all the milk and then didn’t put it on the shopping list? Who removed ALL the […]

When Celebrity Picture Books Go Kuh-kuh-kuh-KRAZY!

Celebrity picture books.  The gift that just keeps on giving. Now in the past I’ve had my say about CPB ah-plenty.  Heck, there was an entire chapter devoted to them in Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature. Today, we’ll switch tactics and tackle a topic that no one ever discusses. Weeeeeeeeeeird celebrity picture […]