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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse #8 TV: Chris Grabenstein and Reading (Too Much Into) Picture Books

Hi all!

Okay. For this month’s Fuse #8 TV I decided to premiere a new series.



Reading (Too Much Into) Picture Books

Ladies and gentlemen, I like a good conspiracy theory.  Nothing makes my heart go pitter pat faster than an opinion about a picture book that takes a right hand turn into Crazyville.  Trouble is, there just aren’t enough out there.  Sure, you can tell me that Horton Hears a Who is anti-abortion and Rainbow Fish is pro-Communist but sometimes it feels like I’ve heard them all.  Time to shake things up a little!

Announcing a series where I make up crazed interpretations of classic picture books.  This month: Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley.  We all know it.  We love it.  Now what’s the kookiest theory you can come up with for it?  I say my own and it’s a doozy.  I’m weirdly proud about it.

After that I interview the very fun, funny, and infinitely patient Chris Grabenstein. Chris has a new middle grade novel out this year called The Island of Dr. Libris.  He entertains my questions and then pulls out this Jim Henson story that will seriously make your eyes water.  I’m not even kidding about that.


Thanks to Random House Children’s Books for sponsoring this month’s episode!

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. Loved the whole video. Betsy and Chris 🙂 And I have to tell you a little anecdote here…

    Back in 1989 when my son was in preschool, at a “parents’ night” a friend and I were sitting together listening to all the teachers had to say. I was at a time when they were trying to teach preschoolers about prejudice and racial differences. This is at an age where they don’t really care about differences, so really, it was being brought to their attention before it was necessary, I think. Anyway, that sets the stage. The teacher basically said, about picture books, “What are we teaching our children?” She then spotlighted a book about puppies: one black, one white, one brown with spots. She said we were teaching our children prejudice. I turn to my friend to see her jaw dropped, mirroring mine, and we both said, “You have got to be kidding.” It was all we could do to not laugh hysterically. Talk about reading too much into it. Sheesh!

    Love your new series 🙂 Looking forward to more good stuff as you go!