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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Unfortunately by Remy Charlip

In some ways, 2019 was kind of a fortunately/unfortunately kind of year. Seems appropriate that we would tackle Remy Charlip’s best known work in one of our final podcasts of the year. Librarians adore this title because its readaloud potential is huge. Will Kate love it for its originality, or detest it for the complete lack of sense it makes? I sort of love the fact that she believes that given Charlip’s origins, letting Ned die would have been the Frenchest ending of them all. I also like that if you try to work out the geography of this book, you’re in trouble. He goes from New York to the water with sharks to an island with tigers . . . to Florida?

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:

Kate’s tattoo, ladies and gentlemen. Yeah. It was one of those days for her.

Had it not been for Kate, I never would have realized that the cake’s candles change in number in the course of this book. At the beginning there are eleven candles:

And at the end, fourteen.

Naturally, this suggests one of two things. Either Ned was thinking about someone else’s potential party where they would turn eleven, or it took him TWO YEARS to get to the party after escaping a plane crash, sharks, tigers, etc. No matter what the outcome, you gotta admire his dedication to keeping his pants clean. They’re practically creased. Observe them in moments of crisis:

“I don’t know much about farming, but I’m pretty sure that hay isn’t planted next to large bodies of . . . saltwater, I guess?” Never mind that “hay” isn’t what you plant. I caught the mistake later, but you see my point vis-a-vis the location of the haystack.

Kate’s favorite lady is Long Arms Woman. “I don’t know what to do with my arms! I’ll put them up in the air now!” You know . . . sometimes we all feel like Long Arms Woman. Don’t we?

Kate’s theory is that these are Ned’s parents. She has no evidence for this. Just this look that passes between them. She defines it as self-congratulatory.

Another mystery. Why did these two decide to kiss at a kid’s birthday party? Those eyeballs are WAY too close to one another. If your eyeballs are in that close a contact to another human’s, you’re doing it wrong.

The book I mention at the end is Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder. Find it! Read it!

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.


  1. The “fortunately/unfortunately” format reminded me of the picture book Good News, Bad News!