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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Imogene’s Antlers by David Small

While this may not be the first time we’ve ever covered an illustrator that I’ve collaborated with (remember when we discussed Dan Santat and After the Fall?) this is one of the few cases where we’ve done a collaborator of mine who has an honest-to-goodness older classicky classic. We discuss the strength of Imogene’s neck muscles, you get to hear an impromptu jingle for the Emergency Hat Service, I manage to work in a tiny reference to Gregor Samsa, and we marvel at Imogene’s good nature. As I say on the show, “Imogene’s most defining quality is her lack of freaking out over pretty much anything. This is a real go-with-the-flow kind of kid.”

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:

Stitches, the book that I praise so highly, is one of my favorite adult graphic memoirs. If you haven’t read it then there is a gap in your knowledge.

It’s hard not to respect a girl that sleeps with a whole lotta crap on her bed. This is the kind of heroine I can get behind.

Kate didn’t mention it (because she didn’t know it) but I’m pretty sure this little tugboat here is a direct reference to that classic Little Golden Book called Scuffy the Tugboat. I dunno. You be the judge:

Before you start judging the mom too harshly for her fainting spells, I should say that these are appropriate reactions to this situation. Were I to find my daughter had acquired antlers sometime in the night, I can’t say I’d take it any better than this woman.

If ever there was a character in a picture book that had a backstory, it is this principal. Look at the guy. Sheer waves of rage are just ebbing off of him, and why? What has Imogene done to incur such wrath? There’s a story here.

How rich are you if the BIRDS outside your home get homemade donuts? Lucky lucky birdies.

Speaking of which, this one’s for the birders out there. How many types of bird can you name?

Best milliner motto of all time. No contest.

I sort of love the idea that Imogene’s shoes are the reason for her transformations. Behold! In one shot, shoes! In the next shot, no shoes!

Kate pointed out that Imogene is wearing the same outfit the second day in a row. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but it’s possible that this is an homage to Alice in Wonderland. I know that Mr. Small is a fan of the book, so perhaps this was a hat tip to it.

It’s true! There’s a sequel out this fall! Look for it September 15th.

The blog Don’t Read This to My Kids has many thoughts on the book and they’re worth reading here.

This Imogene Halloween costume is brilliant. Two thumbs up! And it comes from the post Five Super Simple Halloween Costumes from the blog This Picture Book Life.

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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.