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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

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.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg


Truly a book for our times. Is there any other picture book out there that causes kids to question what they’ve been told right from the start, more than this one? I make the argument in the podcast that this book is timely. It prepares children, in an era of news that is not always […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott


Let’s see. We did Tikki Tikki Tembo and Little Black Sambo. Seems like Arrow to the Sun is the natural complement to those two, don’t you think? Kate and I haven’t dug deep into a book with racist issues in a while, and we’ve never done any books where white folks told the stories of […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow, ill. William Pene du Bois


William’s Doll: Revenge of the Ascot! As you’ll hear on today’s podcast, we’re big time fans of this book, but we’d rather like it if Harper Collins could publish a re-illustrated edition. The reasons for this are, as you can see from the images below, pretty clear. With different clothing, we think William’s story could […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff


I’m just going to give away the game and break down exactly how this podcast plays out between Kate and myself. As you will recall, I’m a parent of two small children. Kate is not. So when we read this book, Kate became a full-throated supported of Team Mouse, while I put all my money […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Olivia by Ian Falconer


Since Kate had such strong feelings about Madeline and Eloise, I figured that we had to go with what I consider to be the third in the triumvirate of . . . let’s call ’em strong-minded ladies. If ever you’ve wanted to know the difference between miniature pigs, pot-bellied pigs, and razorback pigs, boy, have […]