Fuse #8

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Roger Sutton just posted the Horn Book Fanfare List - Best Books of 2006. It's gotta be the most peculiar list I've seen yet this year. Take a gander. If you don't find yourself saying, "Really? Really really?", at least once, I'll eat my hat.

Richie Partington (if you're on the child_lit listerv, you'll recognize his name) has come out with his own 2006 pics. Richie finally gives my Hardinge-classic the luvin' it deserves. Thank you, Richie!


At 10:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuse, what book(s) made you go "Really? Really really?" (I don't think much about "Best Books" lists--except the Cybils, of course.)

At 10:56 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Can I say?

Well... this is my personal opinion, but did you notice that there were only four picture books listed? One could only assume then that these would have to be pretty freakin' fabulous books, yes? And while I have the utmost respect for Lynn Reiser, Teresa Bateman, and Komako Sakai.... really? Really really?

At 11:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that "Best Of" lists are sometimes there to cause discussion, and other times, to stir controversy (The NYT's "Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years," anyone?). And regardless, each list is a compilation of favorite titles by one person, or in the case of a book or magazine, by an editorial board or some such. Whatevs. The lists are interesting to look at, but I know what my favorite books of 2006 were.

(Sometimes when I see a title pop up on more than one list, I try to check it out and see what all the fuss is about. On the other hand, I've seen Dairy Queen and Nick and Norah's Playlist on several "Best Of" lists and I was less that impressed with both. Again, my opinion--those aren't the kind of books I dig.)

At 11:14 AM , Blogger Elaine Magliaro said...


You took the "reallys" right out of my mouth. That's it for picture books? And not one children's poetry book was considered worthy of inclusion? Really? Really!

At 12:30 PM , Blogger Roger Sutton said...

About the picture books--note that there are also several in the nonfiction section of the list. We had a pretty hard time deciding the classification of several of the titles.

At 1:14 PM , Blogger Jeremiah McNichols said...

I like the list season for kids' books but from a book consumer's point of view (I have a two-year-old) I get a little bleary-eyed at their formatting, scope, and organization. I made a "compendium" of interesting titles from several of this year's lists that covers kids through age 6 for those who want a few recommendations for holiday purchases, drawing titles from the School Library Journal, Carnegie awards, Caldecotts, etc. and also noting when Booklist (to my mind a much more critical eye than that of SLJ) starred the review as well. It's posted at Z Recommends for anyone who's interested!

At 1:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Roger's list earlier today, well before this post. And I sat saying "Really?"

No hat eating required on my account.

At 2:06 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Roger has a good point. For example, my library has placed "Ballet of the Elephants", "Moses", and "Mama" all in the picture book section while we agree that "Dizzy", "John, Paul, George, and Ben", and "Marvelous Mattie" are non-fiction. I would argue that "Moses" is more a fictional narrative than a biography since the text is God speaking to Harriet and her responses. Unless this comes directly out of a non-fiction source. Does anyone happen to know?

At 5:42 PM , Blogger Sherry said...

I just read Fly By Night by Ms. Hardinge, and I liked it very much. But isn't it fantasy? Why is it on the Middle Grade fiction Cybils list?

At 5:53 PM , Blogger Brooke said...

Truthfully, I didn't utter a single "really?" at this list. There are a lot of titles on the list that I thought have been overlooked and underrated -- Thumb on a Box, Aggie and Ben, and Emily's Balloon (my Cybils nomination for Best Picture Book) among 'em -- and hopefully this will get them some more readers.

Emily's Balloon also showed up on the Kirkus best-books list. Can I do a chair-dance in its honor?

Hmm . . . I would love to ask you to make your own best-books list (I'm curious to know what would be on it), but that might compromise your position on the Newbery Committee.

Hey, how about this: why not list your best non-U.S.-published titles (i.e. books that don't qualify for the Newbery)? I'd be a-foamin' at the mouth to see it, and you could use it as an excuse to sing even more praises to Fly By Night. Eh?

At 10:07 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

There was great debate as to whether or not "Fly By Night" constituted fantasy. It's sort of an alternative history story, but not in the straightforward sense. No magic is involved. If "Tulane" can be considered fiction then we figure so too "Fly By Night".

As to the other comment, I thought about doing a best books list. As you yourself have pointed out, probably not a great idea with the whole Newbery thing. And due to the fact that I really haven't read many foreign titles (for the same reason) I don't feel qualified to do a list of those books either. So what I've decided to do is to award The Golden Fuse Awards first thing January 1st. You'll just have to wait and see what exactly that means.

At 3:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that NYPL put John, Paul, George, and Ben in nonfiction and Ballet of the Elephants in picture books---when J,P,G and B clearly includes made-up stuff and Ballet is all true. Comments?

At 5:07 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

The answer lies in the mysterious world of cataloging. Who knows how those shadowy persons operate. We can only pause in wonder at their works.

Which is to say, I haven't a clue. Your guess is as good as mine.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home