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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Review of the Day: Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis

Appealing to older and younger readers alike, Portis has outdone herself with the book’s design and art. A book for everybody. After all, who doesn’t like water? Hey, Portis! You made a really good book.

Newbery/Caldecott 2020: Summer Prediction Edition

Let’s go and make predictions that will, in the end, only break our hearts when they turn out to be way off. And yet, there’s is an off chance that one or two of these books really will make it to the finish line. Which ones? Let’s see if you can figure it out . .

Books for Dyslexic Child Reader: Why the British Do It Better

“Don’t ask what’s wrong with the reader, ask what’s wrong with the book.” After discovering that the British have a publisher that produces high quality books specifically aimed at dyslexic readers, I investigate further and attempt to figure out why America hasn’t taken similar steps to meet this evident need.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, ill. Maurice Sendak

“This is like Schrödinger’s ‘s Cat. The hole both is and is not there when the digging takes place.” Kate and I discuss that old Ruth Krauss chestnut and figure out if it has any pertinence for the 21st century child.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker

oxes? How scary can that get? Answer: Hoo-boy. Hold onto your hats folks. Turns out, what terrifies a fox can terrify a child just as easily. For some readers the fact that everyone here sports red fur will make the horrors a little better. For others, much much worse.

Cover Reveal: Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, ill. by Juana Martinez-Neal

It is my supreme pleasure to introduce you to a charming picture book slated for 2020. Too early, you say? Nonsense. It is never too early to get excited by a book. Particularly when it’s coming from a recent Caldecott Honor winner . . . .

Do We Expect Nonfiction to Be Serious?

Funny Nonfiction isn’t particularly common, but it most certainly exists. But how do you go about it? Let’s look at some of the funnier books of 2019 and see how they tackled the challenge.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

This is a book that ignores the rather good advice that, “If you’re in a picture book and a tiger says he’s hungry, run the other way.” Kate discovers that this may well be one of the MOST English picture book we’ve ever encountered. She also identifies this tiger as a brat as a cat and you KNOW how Kate feels about brats.

Phantom Twin Cover Reveal and an Interview with the Incomparable Lisa Brown

I don’t truck with YA. Not my bag, baby. But, of course, it’s so difficult to determine where a book falls on the Middle Grade/Young Adult spectrum. That’s why, when I hear that Lisa Brown, one of my favorite people, is doing a graphic novel, I drop everything and pepper her with questions. I’d hold back but darned if her answers aren’t so good . . .

Review of the Day: Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons and Daniel Minter

Maybe I’m a little envious of Kelly Starling Lyons. She knows how to write a killer book. Plus she got paired with the incomparable Daniel Minter, so right there. Right there. But really, I have no time to be envious of anyone. I’m using that time instead to be just so darn grateful this book exists at all. Family rendered in its most beautiful light. A treasure in hand indeed.

In the Public Eye: Iranian Creators of Children’s Books

Iran. For whatever reason, Iranian children’s books and creators from Iran are on the rise. Today, I’d like to give a bit of a rundown on these books. They vary in content and style. Some are folktales and others are contemporary. Some were published in Iran first, and some were published here in the States.

2019 Comics for Kids You Should Keep an Eye On

We’re almost halfway through the year, so why not take a gander at seventeen of the great graphic novels/comics for kids out so far (or about to come out)? I have read a LOT of 2019 comics so far. These are the ones that I’ve enjoyed the most. Let’s see if you agree (and if you can name any I haven’t seen yet that you absolutely adore).

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Tell Me a Mitzi by Lore Segal and Harriet Pincus

To change things up, Kate and Betsy read a picture book that neither of has ever seen before. At the same time, she mentioned in a previous episode that when it comes to classic Jewish picture books, the only ones we’ve ever done were Hanukkah based. AND it’s a cult classic that came back in print two years ago

Review of the Day: Climbing Shadows by Shannon Bramer, ill. Cindy Derby

Do you remember that scene in Orlando by Virginia Woolf where a bunch of witty people are in a room saying witty things and then Alexander Pope walks in and says three things so devastatingly witty that he just destroys everything? That’s what happens when Climbing Shadows gets paired alongside other collections of poetry. Smart. Honestly heartfelt. Utterly beautiful to look at. See the bar? Yeah. It just got raised.

Live Oak, With Moss: Selznick and Whitman (and Sendak?) Together At Last

Beautiful to its core. Today we examine the Whitman/Selznick collaboration that was sparked by Maurice Sendak and we think about why the adult publishing world is afraid of trying something new sometimes.