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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman, David Clemsha, and Dan Yaccarino

How old are we all that Trashy Town is 21 years old? Is it just me or does that seem like a very large number? Continuing to attempt to find storytime classics that librarians love, I had Kate take a look at this readaloud classic. And, if you recall, Kate does not always take to storytime books. Many questions are raised in the course of the proceedings. Does Mr. Gilly work for the city? What is the nature of the rat’s open mouth? Is Mr. Gilly picking up syringes and blood behind that doctor’s office? And why the heck did they name their burg “Trashy Town”? Seems a poor choice and could affect the tourism industry. Please see to it that you enjoy our different rhythmic renditions of the chant in this book. The Monty Python one is now my favorite.

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:

I wasn’t lying. Beavers ARE amazing! Be sure to read the book Beavers: The Superpower Field Guide by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frithto and find out what I meant about what they eat in the winter.

I like that Kate thought that this was a spatula on the cover. These days, a lot of kids might think the same thing.

The great rat debate. Is one narrating this book or not?

Here’s a glimpse at the Weston Woods film that says, definitively, that the rats ARE narrating. However, I have issues with their chant. They’re definitely drawing it out as long as possible to fill time.

I’ll give Kate this. It is funny how Mr. Gilly looks like he’s missing half his head when he’s on a job.

Extra points to Dan Yaccarino for making these old-fashioned, Oscar the Grouch-style trash cans.

The job is done. He has a whole face again.

Kate’s problem with this scene of the dump? Too darn pretty. How are we going to teach our kids about conservation and recycling if the dumps are depicted like this?

Note the endpapers that look so so Seussian.

I am so horrified that Kate associated Mr. Gilly with … with… this:

The board book is now available as of 2018:

And here is the brand new May 1, 2020 sequel . . . SMASHY TOWN! Listen to this podcast if you want to hear my rendition of its chorus.

Want a book about the reality of the trash profession? This adult graphic novel is THE best boon on the subject. Disgusting and very enjoyable.

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. Thanks, Betsy, for all the TRASHY TOWN love in the podcast!
    As to your burning question of how Mr. Gilly was named: At the time I wrote this book I had the movie “Urban Cowboy,” featuring the Texas honky tonk club of singer Mickey Gilley, rattling around in my head. I thought the name was jaunty and cheerful so I simplified it to Mr. Gilly.