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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss


Perhaps my favorite episode of this podcast in a long time. We talk about Thurl Ravenscroft, odd Grinch theories, like the fact that his heart may expand and shrink regularly, if the chimneys are essentially pneumatic tubes, and that the Jim Carrey Grinch film had a key party in it.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Easy Books


I think you’ve heard me say before that in many ways easy books are the most difficult titles to write. They are most perfect when they are most simple. And they are most simple, when they limit their text complexity. Can you make complex characters and plots with such small words? You can. These did.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Poetry Books


Poems used to be the sole property of April a.k.a. Poetry Month. Now that’s changing. Publishers are rapidly putting more faith into the poetry books they produce. So let’s take a look at what we saw this year, and the wide range of topics that were touched.

31 Days, 31 Lists: Oddest Children’s Books of 2018


What one person might consider “odd” could easily be another’s cup of tea. It’s important, then, to clarify that I don’t see “odd” as a bad thing at all. It’s healthy for a kid to see a book written for their age level that’s outside the norm and dares to get a little bit freaky.Here then, are the 2018 titles that dared to be strange in some way. May they inspire others in the future!

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Fairy Tales, Folktales, and Religious Tales


Interestingly, 2018 turned out to be a very strong year for folktales, fairy tales, and religious stories. Why? Well, look closely and you’ll see that this is nothing so much as a gathering of small publishers. It’s like I always say. The more the big guys consolidate, the more cracks and fissures remain for the little folks to sneak through. Here then are the titles published in 2018 that really stood out and shone:

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Fabulous Photography Books for Kids


Every year I try to keep an eye out for any children’s book that gives ample attention to photographs in some way. Thanks to advances in technology and printing, it’s never been easier to make books with photographic images. Yet despite this, few come out. Today’s list is a small one, but I’m grateful that each and every single one of these books exists.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Books with a Message


The earliest American picture books had only one goal: To provide some form of moral instruction. These days books with clear messages are exceedingly common. The ones that do it well? Much rarer. Here are the 2018 titles that knew what they were doing this year.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Translated Picture Books


They come and they go into our bookstores and libraries and out again without a whisper of awards or significant praise. Yet the true mark of whether or not you are opening up your child to the world is to show them books made internationally. Today we celebrate translations. Even the weird ones. I take that back. ESPECIALLY the weird ones!

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Bilingual Books for Kids


Whether a book contains two languages on the page, was published simultaneously in another language, or was published in a new language in a subsequent year, it’s time to give bilingual books their due. Whenever possible I try to credit the translators, but it can be tricky sometimes. In any case, here are some truly beautiful and inventive books.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket, ill. Lisa Brown


“It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told that you mean something else, it can make you want to scream.” Kate and Betsy discuss a new Hanukkah classic. On that involves a lot of screaming, and a protagonist that (you guessed it) gets eaten.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Math Books for Kids


From shapes to biographies of mathematicians to novels unafraid to incorporate math into the plot (no mean feat, pardon the pun), here are the stand out mathy titles of 2018.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Picture Book Reprints


What convinces a publisher to bring a picture book back into print? It could be a popular creator, a timely title, librarian/bookseller love, or a combination of all these factors. One thing’s for certain. 2018 yielded a fabulous crop of oldies but goodies.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Calde-notts


Definition: A “Calde-nott” is an illustrated book for children that is, for one reason or another, ineligible for consideration as a true Caldecott Award contender. Today we pay tribute to the beautiful books from beyond our borders.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Funny Picture Books


This might be my favorite picture book list of the 31 Days, 31 Books countdown. How could it not be? Get ready for titles that’ll have the small fry howling in the aisles.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2018 Alphabet Books


Every year we see alphabet books that inform, instruct, and entertain. For today’s list, these are the 2018 titles that really took the ball and ran with it.