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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: No, David! by David Shannon

Kate set me up with a challenge. We’ve been deeming too many books as “classics” later. What book could I produce that would engender more of a debate? Well, after all these episodes (82!) I think I’ve figured out Kate’s least loved genre. It involves childlike art. It involves kids who aren’t entirely saintly. Really, it was just a matter of time before we got to this one.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer

Tomi Ungerer died just this past year on February 9th so it seemed logical to me that we should try to do one of his books on the show. This begs the inevitable question, which one should we do? I had so many to consider. I decided to go with the only one I ever saw adapted by Weston Woods.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring by Lucille Clifton, ill. Brinton Turkle

Lucille Clifton was one of the most prolific Black picture book authors in the 70s. Spring has officially sprung and I realized that today’s book (which New York schoolchildren are read and given to read every single year around this time) would be the perfect way to celebrate not just the season but Clifton herself.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber

You see, there’s a bit of a problem with old Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. Most people remember the title of the second book in the series, but are we to ignore Book #1? I gave Kate the chance to decide which one to do, so what did she decide? To do both, of course!

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, ill. Margaret Bloy Graham

Kate got a dog! A doggy dog of her very own. And you know what goes together well, like peaches and cream? Dogs and picture books. So I had to figure out a classic dog picture book. And lo and behold I realized that in spite of its relative fame we had never done a book about this particular dirty dirty dog.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Frederick by Leo Lionni

The old Ant and the Grasshopper fable got the Lionni touch back in 1967 when the four time Caldecott Honor winner chose to put a new spin on an old classic. So how successful was this book in the end? Is it a product of its age (the tune in and drop out 60s) or something that stands the test of time?

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, ill. Michael Martchenko

I found a nice calm little book and discussed it in a nice calm little way. Fear not, though. There is PLENTY to pick apart. The fact that a Dude In Distress can be simplified to simply “The D.I.D.” Who you would cast as the dragon in the movie of this book (which, let’s admit it, it’s a little weird that it HASN’T been turned into an animated full-length feature film yet)? And how exactly do you pronounce “Munsch”? All will be made clear.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

It just seemed to make sense to do a book this week that could kill two birds with one stone. I’ve always wanted to do a wider range of children’s picture books and we haven’t done any by Muslim-American (or, in this case, Muslim-Canadian) authors. So I took a look at New York Public Library’s 100 Children’s Books, 100 Years list (which I still love and admire) and selected Big Red Lollipop. And who did the illustrations? The latest double Caldecott Award winner, Sophie Blackall, that’s who.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble, ill. Steven Kellogg

It’s the Memento of the 1980s! Take a trip back in time with me to 1980 on the nosey. An era when children apparently eschewed backpacks for satchels and school lunches were just as elaborate as those in Bread and Jam for Frances. Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t taken an up close and personal deep dive into one of Kellogg’s most famous stories.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Doctor De Soto by William Steig

And we’re back to the classics. So far on this podcast show, Kate and I had tackled only one William Steig (Sylvester and the Magic Pebble). I was thinking maybe we should do Shrek next, but then I thought better of it. It seems to me that there’s a lot more fodder in this title.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: 2019 Caldecott Contenders

Last year Kate and I discussed three potential Caldecott winners, and two later received medals. This year, Kate and I are discussing Dreamers, Blue, and We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. And as per usual, Kate brings up stuff I never considered before. Questions like, how exactly does Penelope Rex eat her classmates so quickly (does she unhinge her jaw?). What does “caminantes” mean? And does the guy in Blue rename his girlfriend’s dog? Stay tuned!

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, ill. Lillian Hoban

In the course of things, Kate starts looking up what the USDA recommendations are for children, we consider the wackadoodle utensils of the Badger household, what exactly a lobster salad sandwich is, etc. And as Kate points out, this is a perfect New Year’s Resolution book because in the story you are encouraged to try new things and break out of your comfort zone.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

So I know you’re all wondering what elements Kate chose to focus on with this book. Would she like it more than Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus? Less? Well, I’ll sum it up for you. We discuss at length the proper way to wash a pure white bra, the genetic dominance of a character’s eyes (or lack thereof), and the proper way to pick up a sack of screaming, flailing meat when it is your child.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Perhaps my favorite episode of this podcast in a long time. We talk about Thurl Ravenscroft, odd Grinch theories, like the fact that his heart may expand and shrink regularly, if the chimneys are essentially pneumatic tubes, and that the Jim Carrey Grinch film had a key party in it.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket, ill. Lisa Brown

“It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told that you mean something else, it can make you want to scream.” Kate and Betsy discuss a new Hanukkah classic. On that involves a lot of screaming, and a protagonist that (you guessed it) gets eaten.