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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb

With the full and present knowledge that monkeys in children’s literature are problematic to the extreme, Kate and I tackle a book that involves a kind of animal that is professed to be a monkey but is, in fact, an ape, much like the problematic-in-his-own-way Curious George (seen on a previous podcast). When I was a new mom, I used today’s book endlessly with my kids. Yet it was only recently that I realized that I knew next to nothing about either Mr. Perkins or Mr. Gurney. Kate gets to do her Beatnik imitation again (you’d be amazed how often it comes up on this show) and later brings up Silent Bob. I wrestle with the book’s legacy in the 21st century.

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:

The site Dadwagon screetched to a halt in 2015, but if you’re curious about Al Perkins, check out the comments on this post. It’ll clear a lot of information for you.

Kate: “I dig the muttonchops.”

Toe discrepancies. So Kate noticed that the monkey picking the apple has four toes on each of his feet, but the same cannot be said of the monkey plucking the plum. Why the difference?

This photo was about where Kate started to wonder, where do the monkeys get these drums?

I didn’t quite understand Kate’s telling me that this one particular monkey looked like Silent Bob, but then she sent me this image and thanks to her, now I can’t unsee it.

If the rise of the Planet of the Apes comes as it did in the movies, the drums are going to be terrifying.

Finally, as I mention on the show, The Rabbit Hole in North Kansas City should be opening some time this year. Check ’em out!

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. Nope. Nope. Nopeity nope nope nope. Never had it, never would.

  2. Library Teacher says:

    This is so ridiculous. I remember this book as a child and I read it to my own children. I’ve also read it to my niece and nephew (bi-racial) with no issues. In fact, I gave the board book to my niece at her baby shower and she has nothing but good memories. Nobody in attendance felt that books she received with monkey characters were inappropriate or racist. Only those looking to cause problems see problems where there aren’t any.

  3. Amazed you made over 10 minutes into the podcast before saying “dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum”! I said this refrain every time you said the title. It really is Pavlovian!