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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Shrek! by William Steig with Special Guest Lucy Knisley

I will not say that when I moved to the Chicago area, the fact that graphic novelist Lucy Knisley lived in the area was a deciding factor. I will say, however, that I was perfectly aware of that fact and that probably, at some mid-move I probably indulged in that fantasy where you meet someone you really and truly respect and then you get to hang out with them a little. Well, just in time for my upcoming 4th anniversary, marking the years since I lived in Manhattan, I have finally accomplished my last Chicago-based goal. Folks, I have gotten a chance to hang out with Lucy Knisley, and she’s just as charming and intelligent as I had dreamed.

It came about at this year’s C2E2 conference. The keynote speaker for the librarian and educator day had to cancel and I was called in as a last minute sub. Now, I’m a nice gal and all, but folks don’t really want to see me when they want to kick off their day. They want a big impressive name with killer books under her belt. With that in mind, I asked around to see whether or not Lucy Knisley might (A) Be around that day (I knew she had a new book coming out called Kid Gloves that she might be promoting) and (B) Be willing to be interviewed by me as part of the keynote. Not only did she turn out to be willing, but when I mentioned my podcast to her she was willing to come on and be a guest! Naturally I asked what book she’d like to do and to my infinite delight she selected one we’d never done. Today’s magnificent title Shrek! We get to talk about whether or not Shrek is actually Superman, how the succulent wedding bouquet was ahead of its time, and what this book has in common with the film US.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, PlayerFM, or your preferred method of podcast selection.

Show Notes:

  • Here is the poem that Lucy has memorized and that served as her family’s answering machine message for years.
  • Every adult child living in his parents’ basement should be so delighted to be kicked out in such a joyous fashion.
  • One point that kept coming up in this podcast was just how good the outfits can be. This witch may be my personal style goddess. It’s the hat. So jaunty.
  • This reminds me of the old King in Babar after he ate those bad mushrooms. This man, Kate assures us, has not fainted. He is dead. And that rock is DEFINITELY Sylvester from Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.
  • Is this a Kate Greenaway reference? Compare and contrast.
  • This is like the movie US. I mean, there are even Shreks with the backs of their heads to him.
  • May all your princesses be this gloriously 80s.
  • “And then there’s this statue there and I assume it’s her dad . . .”
  • Pink alligator looking GOOOOD! Not that her veil isn’t magnificent as well. And I love Lucy’s, “The whole succulent wedding thing is so ahead of its time.”
  • Here is the Salon article “Shrek” Is Not Shrek.
  • While I was unable to find the 1996 Children’s Circle Video “The William Steig Library”, I was able to find this brief interview with the man in which he says he’s not a good illustrator. Suuuuuuuure, buddy.
  • Extra points to Macmillan for getting Stanley Tucci to do the audiobook.
  • Here are the two ramen related books that are out in 2019 that are mentioned on the podcast. Let’s Make Ramen is by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan and Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando is by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz.
About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.