Behind the Vids, Betsy Bird, Kidlit Rockstar Librarian, and Tough Conversations

Becoming well-known in any field is tough. There are only a handful of superstar librarians in the children’s literature realm, kidlit as we call it–Betsy Bird is one of them.

For authors/publishers, this means if Betsy gives your book a great review, it’ll generate sales. She’s the ‘Oprah’ of kidlit.

This all started in 2006 when Betsy launched her blog: A Fuse #8 Production.

At the time she had a full-time job as Youth Materials Specialist at the New York Public Library. (She has since moved to Evanston Public Library, which is great for me cuz I get to hang out with her from time to time.) So she could only blog at night.

Her passion and prescience about all things kidlit was obvious from the start. Soon School Library Journal asked her to move her blog to their site, where she’s been since 2008.

Betsy receives about 80,000 visitors monthly. She’s the one to read when you want to find that picture book for your grandkid, or a Middle Grade for your son or friend’s kid, or a MG/YA for yourself!

Betsy combines detailed/precise reviews, with an openness to unique and daring books combined with a quirky and fun sense of humor. On top of that, her passion, some may say obsession, with kids books shines through.

It’s her openness and quirkiness that made us want to interview her for our series on play and acceptance.

A tidbit from our interview: Betsy said that reading children’s books and blogging about them is a form of play for her. “My blogging allows me to have conversations with people who don’t necessarily agree with me . . .we can have discussions/conversations that I wouldn’t usually have [Because I’ll go out of my way to not confront someone about something].”

Kinda reminds me of the Dalai Lama who said that if China ever meets with him, he would invite them to a feast with music and dancing to get them laughing before he ever brought up Tibet.  They need to be in a happy mood before you talk about something difficult, he said.

Does playing with others help you ease into tough conversations you’d avoid otherwise?

The game we made for Betsy.

Please spread the word about our project/channel and encourage others to subscribe to this newsletter and/or our YouTube Channel if you think they would speak to them.

Because we view our channel as a shared experience, we’d love it if you’d send us suggestions of what you’d like to explore next on this journey. Ex. You want us to look at how personal identity plays a part in choosing acceptance. You may even know someone who can help lead us along this path. If so, brilliant! You can send us names/contact info, video ideas, and whatever else you can think of by replying to this letter, or tweeting me, or posting a comment on our YouTube channel. We can use all the help we can get.  
 
#ChooseAcceptance

Purple Passion of the Fortnight:
One of the best purple books ever!


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