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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: George and Martha by James Marshall

Is Martha the better hippo? Hard to determine with a single George and Martha book, but we have some serious opinions on the matter. This week we discuss methods of hiding food you don’t want to eat (when you’re a grown-up), how “The Tub” was a pre-#MeToo story, and why Rev. Buck McTooth is truly a Doctor of Divinity.

Cover Reveal + Interview: Amphibian Acrobats with Leslie Bulion and Robert Meganck

The starry-eyed montane tree frog. The mutable rain frog that goes from smooth to spiny. The pebble toad that has a unique method of escaping predators. All this and more I discuss with my special guests, even as I reveal their latest book jacket.

Review of the Day: Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women retold by Kate Forsyth, ill. Lorena Carrington

Why not crank things up a notch and hand a kid a collection of fairy tales full of strong, clever, wily female characters that have to use their brains? If you’ve waited for such a collection, brimming over with strange stories and illustrated with even stranger art, this is the book you didn’t know you deserved until it arrived. Fairytale feminism, old school style.

Because I Said So: Three Books Dare to Ask “Why?”

In 2019 we will see the publication of three picture books that all shouldered a unique challenge: How do you turn a child’s propensity for asking “Why?” all the time into a story? It almost sounds like a writing exercise when I put it that way.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey, ill. Gustaf Tenggren

The mystery of Janette Sebring Lowrey hangs over our latest episode of this podcast. Neither Kate nor I had ever read this book before, and yet it bragged back in 2001 of having sold nearly 15 million copies. But is it actually any good? We consider The Poky Little Puppy on all his roly-poly glory.

Review of the Day: The End of Something Wonderful by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, ill. George Ermos

I like a dead pet book with good practical advice, some honestly touching moments, and, yes, a bit of humor. A book like The End of Something Wonderful: A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic. Euphemisms and platitudes can take a hike. This book proves that there’s more than one way to funeral.

It’s All Relative: An Unexpected Trend in What We Value

Children find great comfort in absolutes. That which is right and that which is wrong. But the world we live in is filled with gray. It’s chock full of different perspectives and points of view. So kids would do well to learn how to consider something, whether it’s a number, a time of day, or a snowy sky, from a multitude of angles. A list of 2019 books for our times.

The Black Mermaid Booklist

For those of you prone to creating displays based on current events, why not consider a Black Mermaid Magic round-up of all the books in your library that apply? Tell ya what. I’ll make it easy on you. Here are the titles you can consider including.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Stevie by John Steptoe

Lists of “classic” picture books are often white white white, with the occasional racist inclusion. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for picture books from the past that could be deemed “classic” and come from a variety of different perspectives and voices. When it occurred to me the other day that we hadn’t done Stevie yet on this show, I was a little mad at myself. It wasn’t that we hadn’t done a Steptoe before (see: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters) but this was the book that put the man on the map.

Review of the Day: Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

There are kids out there that like comics and like realism and have long been starved for illustrated stories of the past. Hand them this book, and then hand it to all the science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts too, because this is a book for everyone. Impossible to forget, undeniable in its delights.

Press Release Fun: Announcing the Winners of the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards!

Comics are a form of literature both near and dear to my heart. This past year I had the pleasure of heading up the children’s committee of the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards. Here are the winners in the children, middle grade, and YA categories.

The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States (2019 Edition)

Having started this list in 2013, and subsequently updated it in 2017, today I give you the full monty. Readers have been very good about suggesting titles, so here is what I’ve been able to add.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Shrek! by William Steig with Special Guest Lucy Knisley

We are pleased as punch to introduce you to special guest star and graphic novelist, Lucy Knisely. Naturally we asked what book she’d like to do and to our infinite delight she selected one we’d never done. Today’s magnificent title Shrek! We get to talk about whether or not Shrek is actually Superman, how the succulent wedding bouquet was ahead of its time, and what this book has in common with the film US.

Review of the Day: A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

Lisa Moore Ramée has taken the complexity of the real world, with all its police shootings and racism and destructive tendencies and made it personal for young readers. I don’t care what kid you hand this book to. Every single one of them will understand what’s going on here and, maybe, what’s going on in the wider world. The new required reading.

Children’s Literature Statues of the U.S.: A Call for Entries

The time has come, dear readers, to update the Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States once again. If you happen to know of an obscure one that I could be missing, lay it on me and I’ll add it to the upcoming updated post.