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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: I swoop and I soar and I fly. Back up, back up

Yes, we’re beginning today by sneakily seeking out weirdo memories from my own youth.  This week my attention was directed to that picture book version of the Peter, Paul and Mary song Puff the Magic Dragon.  It reminded me that long before Yarrow’s words were set to paper, they were appropriated for this bizarre television series where Puff became a kind of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  Watching it you can’t help but notice that first off, that’s the least frolicksome dragon in the history of the world.  Then you have this episode (which I believe is the first) that if you look at it today appears to be hinting at several very serious mental diagnosis for Jackie.  Ah well.  I remember liking the show, though I suspect I just liked the theme music.

Moving on, I have a lot of fun on Wednesdays in my library showing a variety of different picture book to film adaptations (mostly Weston Woods).  Two of my sure-fire favorites are Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (I always play the credits) and Knuffle Bunny.  Now that I see that The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog is on the horizon as well.  Hooray!  Flower and confetti toss.  Here’s a sampling Scholastic posted for the masses.

Trixie’s voice is really changing over the years.

Sometimes Video Sunday will elegantly flow from one topic to another.  Other days there’s a herky-jerky quality to it that leaps from topic to topic without any rhyme or reason.  Such a day is today (it’s raining outside and I’m feeling antsy).  In this next video, Margaret Atwood speaks about the future of book publishing.  If you’ve a half an hour to spare it could be interesting.

Thanks to Nina Crews for the link.

My friend Meredith Arwady, one of the best operatic contraltos in the world (and if you don’t believe me believe the Times) gets to travel all of the globe performing.  She also gets to see a lot of theatrical productions.  Recently she informed me that the musical version of Matilda that some of you may have heard of not only lives up to the hype, it exceeds it.  The production is currently attempting to make its way to the West End (after selling out entirely) and then (perhaps?) to Broadway.  Fingers are crossed.  Just this little trailer for it whets my whistle, it does.

Thanks to Watch. Connect. Read. for the link!

Our buddy Ed Spicer runs the site Spicy Reads where he reviews, conducts video interviews, the whole kerschmozzle.  Recently my attention was drawn to this interview with Tim Ditlow about the world of audiobooks.  Says the video description, “He talks about how students could explore becoming a narrator, about what makes a good audio book, and the differences between audio and print. He makes a great case for why audio books are an important and necessary addition for schools and teachers. He does all this and still seems like someone we would want for our best friend.”  Good enough for me.

Finally, for our regular off-topic final video, the aforementioned Meredith met up with actor Alan Rickman the other day (opera enthusiast, who knew?).  By complete coincidence my travels had brought me to this delightful video from the British television show QI.  It contains four of my favorite British performers (David Mitchell of That Mitchell & Webb Look, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, and John Sessions) as well as the best #1 Alan Rickman imitation I’ve ever seen.  Be sure to watch it to the end.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Pagecrawler says

    I was lucky enough to see Matilda and it is excellent! Should definitely be in the West End

  2. So glad I discovered this site. I enjoyed every video. yep I even listened to 30 mins of Atwood. But I have to admit the BBC QI clip made my afternoon. 🙂

  3. I’m so envious of those who have seen the Matilda musical. Was hoping it would still be up when I got to England this summer, but no luck. Fingers crossed that it goes to both the West End and Broadway. (I did a couple of posts on it this past December including this one with the trailer you have here and another video on one of the songs being developed by the composer and child players as well as some links to various articles:

  4. Thanks for posting the link to Tim Ditlow’s video!