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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Dinosaurs Divorce by Laurene Krasny Brown, ill. Marc Brown

This week’s challenge from Kate: Deliver unto her a “classic picture book about divorce”. So I conferred with my fellow librarians and we all agreed that there is really only one that would fit the bill: A little number from 1986. So how has it aged over the years?

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman

I’d been meaning to do this, Eastman’s third most famous easy book, and the first one he ever did on his own, for a while. Now, for years I’ve believed that Eastman has illustrated “night” better than most artists. After this recording I feel justified in having felt this way.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

To celebrate this podcast being picked up by SLJ, Betsy and Kate tackle Sendak’s best known book. Does it deserve its everlasting fame and glory? Find out for yourself! And believe me, there is a special kind of challenge in finding new things to say about this old chestnut.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Tuesday by David Wiesner

While normally we might post our podcast episodes on Mondays, it seemed that for this book, of all books, a Tuesday debut was the most appropriate. When my mother suggested we do a David Wiesner title, specifically this one, I pooh-poohed her. Silly mother. Surely we’d already done it. Turns out, not so much. So […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, ill. Maurice Sendak

“This is like Schrödinger’s ‘s Cat. The hole both is and is not there when the digging takes place.” Kate and I discuss that old Ruth Krauss chestnut and figure out if it has any pertinence for the 21st century child.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

This is a book that ignores the rather good advice that, “If you’re in a picture book and a tiger says he’s hungry, run the other way.” Kate discovers that this may well be one of the MOST English picture book we’ve ever encountered. She also identifies this tiger as a brat as a cat and you KNOW how Kate feels about brats.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Tell Me a Mitzi by Lore Segal and Harriet Pincus

To change things up, Kate and Betsy read a picture book that neither of has ever seen before. At the same time, she mentioned in a previous episode that when it comes to classic Jewish picture books, the only ones we’ve ever done were Hanukkah based. AND it’s a cult classic that came back in print two years ago

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Pete the Cat – I Love My White Shoes by James Dean

“Watch where you step.” Kate identifies the true message behind Pete the Cat. Meanwhile, I get to riff on James Dean the actor (if he were ever to make a picture book), Kate tells me that hedgehogs are super smelly (who knew?), and we dive deep into Pete’s confusing lineage.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Who Needs Donuts? by Mark Alan Stamaty

“It’s like the Where’s Waldo of literature!” This week we’re celebrating another cult classic picture book just as its author releases his adult collection MacDoodle Street. It fails the stranger danger test magnificently, sure, but we can all get behind its “inspired sense of the absurd.”

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Perez and Martina by Pura Belpre, ill. Carlos Sanchez

“Folktales! They don’t end the way you expect ’em to . . . if they’re authentic.” We might have quite a debate over what the oldest #ownvoices picture book published in America is, that is arguably famous to this day, and that also is written by someone who wasn’t white and European. My vote goes to today’s book circa 1932.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Ramona’s not the only one calling aspects of Mike Mulligan into question anymore. This is a tale of “a man obsessed with his steam shovel,” as well as muffs, dabbing, how precisely a steam shovel would work, and the weird placement of the acknowledgement to Dickie Birkinbush, mid-book.