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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Who Needs Donuts? by Mark Alan Stamaty

“It’s like the Where’s Waldo of literature!” This week we’re celebrating another cult classic picture book just as its author releases his adult collection MacDoodle Street. It fails the stranger danger test magnificently, sure, but we can all get behind its “inspired sense of the absurd.”

Review of the Day: Maybe Tomorrow? by Charlotte Agell, ill. Ana Ramírez González

Today I look at an infinitely gentle take on the feelings we lug around inside of ourselves and why we don’t have to always lug them on our own. Maybe Tomorrow? is, at its heart, about how to be a good friend. A seemingly simple lesson for a deeply complex world.

What We Keep Hidden Away

Fess up, librarians. Let it out. What do you keep in a drawer or cabinet or closet that you cannot part with?

Book Trailer Reveal: My Name is Wakawakaloch by Chana Stiefel and Mary Sullivan

Wrack my brain though I have, I can’t think of a picture book that specifically discusses the mispronunciation of the protagonist’s name. I mean, we’ve had lots of name-related picture books. My Name Is Yoon. Chrysanthemum. The Name Jar. Alma. But about the way you say it specifically? Hmmm.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Perez and Martina by Pura Belpre, ill. Carlos Sanchez

“Folktales! They don’t end the way you expect ’em to . . . if they’re authentic.” We might have quite a debate over what the oldest #ownvoices picture book published in America is, that is arguably famous to this day, and that also is written by someone who wasn’t white and European. My vote goes to today’s book circa 1932.

Review of the Day: The Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow and Steven Salerno

The ideal use of great writing without cheating. Filled with facts and backmatter, it also makes the subject interesting to kids. It’s beautiful to look at and while I would have made some changes, it stands as a pretty darn good look at a man, a plan, a crayon. Crayola.

Blurb Blurb Blurb Blurb

Who would be your Top Five aspirational blurbees? The five people you’d like to receive blurbs from for your books. They wouldn’t have to work in the children’s book field, necessarily. It would just be neat if they said something nice about your book.

Poetry Month Ain’t Over Till I Sez It’s Over: The Shockingly Good Verse of 2019

Gather round me, ye children. I know we’re in May, but poetry can shine every day of the year if it wants to. This is all the new good stuff. You know you wanna know what’s worthy.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Ramona’s not the only one calling aspects of Mike Mulligan into question anymore. This is a tale of “a man obsessed with his steam shovel,” as well as muffs, dabbing, how precisely a steam shovel would work, and the weird placement of the acknowledgement to Dickie Birkinbush, mid-book.

The Translation Conundrum: What to Do? What to Do?

If you wanted more translated children’s books here in America, what kinds of concrete proposals would you give to publishers, translators, and non-profits?

Review of the Day: Trace by Pat Cummings

With Trace, Ms. Cummings takes time to examine what we owe our ancestors, even as we try to live our daily lives. We live with their decisions, whether we want to or not, and sometimes we relive their mistakes. This is a ghost story that asks you to stop and listen to the voices that are dead but not gone. Who are the ghosts that haunt your story? And what are they trying to tell you?

Funny Girl, Funny Face: Fanny Brice and Eloise

Many of us know that Kay Thompson based the character of Eloise on a stage persona she’d once performed in nightclubs. But were you aware of Fanny Brice’s similar character from decades before Eloise’s appearance? I examine the relationship between these two “little girls”.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

There are so many things to talk about here. Spontaneous interior canine generation. The doctor’s disappearing/reappearing latex gloves. Why no one assumes that there isn’t another dog inside of George at the end. Whether or not George has eaten the vet at the end. And then I get into a whole thing about how this book isn’t about Death but Rebirth!!

Booklist’s 50 Best Middle-Grade Novels of the 21st Century (Now With Ample Edits!)

If you received your latest issue of Booklist in the mail then you might have noticed that its editors got together and created nothing less than the 50 Best Middle-Grade Novels of the 21st Century. I substitute some of their choices for my own for fun.

Review of the Day: Crab Cake by Andrea Tsurumi

A book that effectively establishes normality, disrupts it with horror, and then assures the reader that normality can return. If Tsurumi’s previous picture book, Accident, was about taking responsibility for your mistakes, Crab Cake is about taking care of yourself when the mistake is not your own.