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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Frederick by Leo Lionni

Frederick

The old Ant and the Grasshopper fable got the Lionni touch back in 1967 when the four time Caldecott Honor winner chose to put a new spin on an old classic. So how successful was this book in the end? Is it a product of its age (the tune in and drop out 60s) or something that stands the test of time?

Not Your Nest: The Andrea Tsurumi/Gideon Sterer Comic Interview

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Interviews? They’re cool. But interviews between authors and illustrators in the form of a comic? Much much cooler. To that end, I bring you the marvelous Andrea Tsurumi (of my beloved Accident) and her partner-in-crime Gideon Sterer as they discuss their book NOT YOUR NEST.

Review of the Day: Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, ill. Kadir Nelson

Undefeated

Kwame Alexander’s words are grand. Kadir Nelson’s art soars. But when you put those two things together, and they work in tandem, they bring out the best in one another. Unrelenting, undeniable, unavoidable. Fail to read this book at your peril. I hope it is only the beginning.

For Example, Take These Joke Books . . . Please!

WorldsBestJokes

What’s the best joke book on the market for kids today? Here are some recent publications vying for the prize.

Board Book Trailer Reveal: You Are Light by Aaron Becker

YouAreLight

If you know Aaron Becker’s name it’s probably from that magnificent quest trio of picture books, Journey, Quest, and Return. Becker took a seemingly simple form, the picture book, and gave it breadth and depth without sacrificing child-interest and focus. But apparently that wasn’t enough of a challenge because now he’s created a board book and it’s a doozy of a marvel.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, ill. Michael Martchenko

paperbagprincess

I found a nice calm little book and discussed it in a nice calm little way. Fear not, though. There is PLENTY to pick apart. The fact that a Dude In Distress can be simplified to simply “The D.I.D.” Who you would cast as the dragon in the movie of this book (which, let’s admit it, it’s a little weird that it HASN’T been turned into an animated full-length feature film yet)? And how exactly do you pronounce “Munsch”? All will be made clear.

2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour: Through the Window – Talking with Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré

ThroughWindow

One of my favorite picture biographies of last year, this book captures with seeming effortlessness the life and times of one of the world’s greatest painters. His art seems tailor-made for children, and the story itself stands as a marvelous example of how to make a picture book biography at all. I got to ask Barb and Mary some questions and, in the process, get a little schooled on my own assumptions.

Review of the Day: We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey

WereNotFromHere

There’s the usual historical, factual stuff . . . and then there’s the pure science fiction. Books like We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey. Unapologetically bold, it wears its little science fiction loving heart on its sleeve. Managing to also be funny and strangely poignant, this isn’t a book about “Why can’t we all just get along?” It’s about what happens when our differences are so glaring we have no choice but to acknowledge that they’re there at all.

The Girl Sleuth Trope: An Ode to Victoria “Vikki” Allen of The Bloodhound Gang

BloodhoundGang

When I was a kid my favorite detective was Vikki from The Bloodhound Gang. In her honor I create a booklist of the great Black girl sleuths of today.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

BigRedLollipop

It just seemed to make sense to do a book this week that could kill two birds with one stone. I’ve always wanted to do a wider range of children’s picture books and we haven’t done any by Muslim-American (or, in this case, Muslim-Canadian) authors. So I took a look at New York Public Library’s 100 Children’s Books, 100 Years list (which I still love and admire) and selected Big Red Lollipop. And who did the illustrations? The latest double Caldecott Award winner, Sophie Blackall, that’s who.

The Inexpensive Way to Keep Up With the 2019 Oscar Contenders

TheFavourite

The likelihood that you’ve had a chance to see all of the Oscar contenders for Best Picture this year is slim. To lighten the load, let me make it easy on you. You may not have time to see a film, but surely you’ve time to read a book for kids! They’re so short, and many of them cover the same ground as the film nominated. Don’t believe me? Just watch.

Review of the Day: The Full House and the Empty House by LK James

FullHouseEmptyHouse

A bit of art, a bit of text, this title typifies picture books at their best. Bold and small and gutsy and quiet. A title you could easily miss, but why would you want to?

One Betsy Bird + One Dan Santat = The Great Santa Stakeout Cover Reveal/Greatest Interview of All Time*

DanBetsy

What do you get when you combine a Bird with a Santat? You get a cover reveal of their very first picture book together, that’s what! And what the heck. We’ll throw in an interview with lots of funny photos as well, just for kicks.

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature: Seusses and Ludwigs and Baums (oh my!)

BecomingDrSeuss

Now that we’re done with the award announcement delights of the 2018 season, I’d say it was high time to start thinking about something completely different. And what could be more different than cases where adult books mention children’s books and children’s book creators in some way? In my travels I ran across the following books. Keep your eyes peeled for them in the coming months!

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble, ill. Steven Kellogg

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It’s the Memento of the 1980s! Take a trip back in time with me to 1980 on the nosey. An era when children apparently eschewed backpacks for satchels and school lunches were just as elaborate as those in Bread and Jam for Frances. Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t taken an up close and personal deep dive into one of Kellogg’s most famous stories.