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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

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.

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

There are so many things to talk about here. Spontaneous interior canine generation. The doctor’s disappearing/reappearing latex gloves. Why no one assumes that there isn’t another dog inside of George at the end. Whether or not George has eaten the vet at the end. And then I get into a whole thing about how this book isn’t about Death but Rebirth!!

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

It’s time for another update in one of my favorite series on this podcast: Classics From Other Countries. Normally on this show we like to consider children’s picture books from America, but how fair is that? Why not consider picture books deemed classics in other countries? So let’s jump on a plane and fly ourselves to Australia for our first Mem Fox classic.

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.