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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: A hat on top of a hat on top of a dot

Good old Black Cauldron.  So glad to see the Boogie Woogie Kids trying their hand at synthesizing it into its most essential parts.  By the way, is it just me or do other people always hear Gurgi’s voice as that of Grover from Sesame Street?  Big time thanks to Aaron Zenz for this link.

Oh, New York schoolchildren.  Ain’t no one got voices like yours.  These budding Broadway stars  . . . aw, who am I kidding?  These kids have probably all been in shows for years, for all I know.  In any case, these kids perform What’s New at the Zoo?, a new children’s book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green with illustrations by Travis Foster while at a party hosted by Tony Award winner Phyllis Newman.  The book is based on a song from the musical Do Re Mi.  You can skip to 2:34 if you’d just like to do hear the music.  It’s kinda catchy, no?

Thanks to Rob Shaeffer for the link.

When I say the term “viral storytime” the librarians amongst us are immediately going to think of all those unique and interesting germs that get passed around during an average toddler time.  In this particular case, however, I’m referring to this grand experiment Jarrett Krosoczka has cooked up.  For his latest book Ollie the Purple Elephant, Jarrett will drum up some interest by reading his book each hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on this coming Tuesday, October 11th.  Interested?  Then log on to and use the chat feature to send him questions after each reading.  Rocco Staino wrote more about this in his HuffPo piece, and Jarrett has a page for it here.

I showed a making of video for this book some Sundays past.  Now here’s the trailer itself, straight up:

My husband the screenwriter has introduced me to a term that his business uses when a project seemingly repeats itself. “Well, that’s a hat on top of a hat” they’ll say.  That phrase came to mind recently when I heard that the French had turned Herve Tullet’s brilliant Press Here into an app.  Now I am all for picture book apps, but since I regard the book itself as an almost direct rejection of the app notion to begin with, I was skeptical to say the least.  In the end the app designers have taken the book more as a starting point for interaction and games rather than concentrating on story.  I wonder when we’ll be seeing it over here.

Very big thanks to Playing by the Book for the link.

Our final off-topic video at first appears to be just your average psychedelic meandering of a possibly drug-addled brain.  But I’m sorry.  Not to hold this to the high standards of H.R. Pufnstuf, but at least on a Sid and Marty Krofft venture there was an internal logic.  If folks had a problem, they SOLVED IT!  And not just with a narrator singing “they solved it” either.  Lazy, if entrancing, storytelling.

Thanks to James Kennedy for the link.

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. I DID. I DID do the Gurgi/Grover thing.

  2. Oh I’m so glad you’ve shared “Malakapalakadoo, Skip Two” with the world, Betsy! I first saw it at a short film festival in 2004 but then lost track of it for a long time. For a while I almost believed it was an insane dream . . . that it couldn’t possibly have been as weird as I remembered . . . But then I finally rediscovered it . . . and yep, completely inexplicable. “Like a beanbag’s mind,” indeed.

    Congratulations to the Bookie Woogies for their new “Black Cauldron,” and also for their Trailee nomination for their 90-Second Newbery version of “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”! I’m pulling for them!