Fusenews: Oh, Mickey What a Pity You Don’t Understand
I don’t ever hope to know all the treasures my workplace has squirreled away, but the New York Times article Secrets of the Stacks makes it all the more ridiculous how little I truly know about NYPL. We have Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s slippers? I knew about the tobacco room, but the embalmed paw of Charles Dickens’s cat Bob, mounted on a letter opener? The cane Virginia Woolf left on the riverbank the day she committed suicide?!?? I thought we were pretty special to have Pooh, but now I know we have to compete with embalmed dead Dickensian cat paws, that’s a tough act to follow.
Publishers Weekly picked up on the existence of the Vine program, and now they’re running with it. All so very interesting.
It’s appropriate to mention this after that last link. Liz Burns turned me on to a great piece called Friends, Critics and Trolls. In the Kidlitosphere we don’t get many trolls, but once in a while it happens and it’s good to keep things in perspective.
It’s one thing if an adult goes crazy for a picture book. Heck, we’re the ones writing them in the first place. Talking about striking out the pitcher. No, I like it when I get some kid feedback on a title I adore. Example A: Who Needs Donuts? by Mark Alan Stamaty. Coming in at a cool #81 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll, I’ve never seen a child look at this book. I love it. Sure I do. But what do children make of it? Bookie Woogie blog to the rescue! Thanks to Aaron Zenz for passing on the link.
I’ve been toying with the notion of coming up with a top 100 2009 children’s books list for the end of the year. It would be fun, but a lot of work (and potential heartbreak too, for that matter). The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books sort of beat me to the punch anyway. They’ve come up with The 2009 Guide Book to Gift Books, listing a whopping 300 of the best books for one and all to see. I’ll have to download their PDF when I get a chance. It makes you wonder what got left off. Thanks to @RuthSpiro for the link.
Utah: It’s not just for sparkly vampires’ moms anymore. Over at The Librariest (I like that name) DaNae of, you guessed it, Utah has a proposal. After wondering if I am a conglomeration (no, but my superhero name will now have to be "The Conglomeration") DaNae and her partner in crime Brooke Shirts are introducing a Utah-based Kidlit Pie Night. If you’re in the Salt Lake area the event, " will be held this coming Tuesday evening, Nov. 10, at The Salt Lake Roasting Company at 8:00." Aside from answering my question of "Whatever happened to Brooke Shirts?" (answer: She moved to Utah) I love that Kidlit Drink/Pie nights are now erupting all over the country. St. Paul – Get thee to a Kidlit Lutefisk Night.
Picture books and symphony orchestras. Apparently they’re inseparable. You’ve got your Peter and the Wolf, of course. Your The Composer Is Dead. Your Carnival of the Animals. Whether a picture book has adapted a piece of music or music has been composed to accompany a picture book, the two go hand in hand. Now we’ve yet another book to add to the growing pile. A musical interpretation of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by the extraordinary Carin Berger will be performed this Sunday by the San Diego Symphony while Mr. Prelutsky reads his poems. So in addition to getting to live in San Diego, now you get to see this too. You lucky bums.
It’s like Christmas came early! The Carnegie and Kate Greenaway nominations are in! Unlike the Newbery or the Caldecott, the Brits get to see what’s up for contention. Some of my high hopes:
Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge (better known on our continent as The Lost Conspiracy)
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
The Eyeball Collector by F.E. Higgins
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur (note to self: review soon)
Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud
The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers
Can’t wait! Can’t wait!
Like a lot of folks who’ve never encountered one, as a librarian I am fascinating by the notion of the slush pile. That literal pile of paper in each publisher’s office where unsolicited manuscripts go to either die or get plucked out of obscurity. Normally – die. I’ve always kind of wanted to get my hands into a slush pile. Some day I’ll try to convince a nice publisher to let me play with one. Until then, there are Slate articles like Confessions of a slush pile reader to amuse me instead. I wouldn’t want looking through one to be my job, but once in a while might be…. diverting. Thanks to @ABCKristen for the link.
There’s a general understanding that if you are a literary specialist of some sort, be it librarian, bookseller, teacher, author, or agent, Murphy’s Law stipulates that you will have at least one child who will claim "not to be a reader". It happens. Stranger still is when they are readers, but they don’t like the books you think are great. A piece from The Pioneer Press discusses children’s literary scholar Leonard Marcus, his son’s rejection of Goodnight Moon, and then transitions nicely into a discussion of the Kerlan Collection. Thanks to @medinger (via @achuka) for the link.
How come we don’t have a good mermaid picture book out there? I like Sukey and the Mermaid and that Jane Yolen title with the merman but considering the demand for mermaid lit out there, it’s strange that it we don’t have the (forgive me) Fancy Nancy of mermaid books. Failing that, let’s import crazy awesome mermaids instead. Apparently Tara Books has brought out one of the coolest interpretations of that old Hans Christian Andersen’s mermaid tale in a book called The Flight of the Mermaid by Gita Wolf and Sirish Rao, illustrated by Gond tribal artist, Bhajju Shyam. It is unclear to me whether or not this book has come to American shores yet, but Drawn has more of the art and a little background on the artist. This. I want more of this.
I love me my public domain, but sometimes it makes for strange book jackets. bookshelves of doom found a great piece called Reusable Cover Art in Historical Fiction: A Gallery. Should keep you amused for a good 20 minutes. There’s even a work of children’s middle grade fiction in there, if you can spot it. Thanks to Leila for the link.
I’ve been waiting patiently for Mickey Mouse to die. For years now, really. Every time the darned mouse gets near copyright, Disney convinces the courts to push back the amount of time again and he remains their property. I had thought that since Mickey is no longer hugely popular with the kids (SpongeBob Squarepants he ain’t) that maybe he’d go away. I had not counted on his new look. From The New York Times:
Epic Mickey, designed for Nintendo’s Wii console, is set in a “cartoon wasteland” where Disney’s forgotten and retired creations live. The chief inhabitant is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a cartoon character Walt Disney created in 1927 as a precursor to Mickey but ultimately abandoned in a dispute with Universal Studios. In the game, Oswald has become bitter and envious of Mickey’s popularity. The game also features a disemboweled, robotic Donald Duck and a “twisted, broken, dangerous” version of Disneyland ’s “It’s a Small World.” Using paint and thinner thrown from a magic paintbrush, Mickey must stop the Phantom Blot overlord, gain the trust of Oswald and save the day.
Thanks to Dorothy Clark for the link.
In the Strand bookstore the other day I was shown the strangest thing. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Gustave Verbeek’s Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo comics but they’re an experiment that went much longer than anyone could have expected. The premise is that you take the comic and read it one way, and then you flip it upside down and read it the other way. It works, bizarrely enough. Chalk that up to a paper product that could work online but would be difficult (a lot of strained necks). Oz and Ends has a nice mention of it and other works in Comics That Go Both Ways. Boo-yah.
Okay. I have a whole lot of questions about these two news items that I will need you to answer for me. They are both from Cynopsis Kids. #1 is:
Magic Lantern Entertainment concludes a $10 million deal with TF2 Ventures via its Innovation Entertainment label for up to 20 feature films for production over the next three to five years. The first movie under the pact is Bad Kitty , a mixed media/CGI animated adventure comedy based on the famous droll cat character Heathcliff . Featuring a script by noted animation writer/producer Tom Ruegger (Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures among many others), Bad Kitty is currently in pre-production and targeted for a 2011 release. No word yet on the voice cast for the movie.
Bad Kitty? Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t there already a copyright protected character by that name? Perhaps a little picture book (and now a novel or two) creation by Nick Bruel? Or is the term just too widely used to protect? Whatever the case, it’s misleading. For half a second I was thrilled with the thought of a real Bad Kitty movie, only to see it was that nasty bane of my childhood Heathcliff back again. Never liked that cat, yet somehow his television theme song has once again infested my brain.
That one makes me mad. This one, in contrast, only depresses me.
Warner Bros. may soon have a cast for its mixed live-action/CG animated movie adaptation of Hanna-Barbera ‘s Yogi Bear , with news that Anna Faris , Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake are in the midst of negotiations, per THR . Faris would play a nature documentary filmmaker, while Aykroyd would lend his voice to Yogi and Timberlake could lend his to Boo Boo. Directed by Eric Brevig and produced by Donald De Line and Karen Rosenfelt, production on the movie is targeted to begin in New Zealand next month. Brad Copeland penned the current version of the script, with the original draft by Joshua Sternin and Jeff Ventimilia.
Because nothing says 21st century like a bear character based on a 20th century icon. I’ll make you a deal. If it comes out at the same time as the Marmaduke movie we can see them in a double feature. What could possibly go wrong?
Appparently Needcoffee.com had a Graveyard Book Dessert Challenge and there were a couple of winners. This one didn’t get the Grand Prize, but I think it may be my favorite:
It’s a "Nobody’s Ba-na-na Macabray Mousse". Thanks to @neilhimself for the link.
Filed under: Fusenews
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
SLJ Blog Network
2023 Caldecott Jump
Fuse 8 n’ Kate: A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
Ben Mortara and the Thieves of the Golden Table | This Week’s Comics
New Reports Show a Decline in YA Book Sales and I Have Some Thoughts as to Why That Might be Happening
The Classroom Bookshelf is Moving