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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Super Special Caldecott Contender Edition

I’m so excited! Kate and I are taking a little break from our usual schtick this week because a week from today is the most exciting day of the year. You know the one I mean. It’s a week until the ALA Youth Media Awards where they’ll be announcing the Newbery and Caldecott Awards!!! I’m so giddy. I think Kate’s giddy about it too. And the best way I could find to make her giddy was to show her three top contenders. Three top contenders that all feature light blue skies on their covers. That’s not something I would have noticed without Kate. That girl discovers all kinds of interesting things with these books that I’ve read a hundred times before.

Caveat: As I mention in the piece, I am 100% aware of the fact that the three books we’re looking at here are by men, about men, involving only men. That’s how it shook out and I could have done better. Next year, if we do this again, ALL WOMEN! Not even kidding about that.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection.

Source Notes:

– Something I’m sure you were just waiting for all this time… The Two and a Half Men Theme Song, just as Kate says. I can say in all sincerity that I’ve never seen this before.

– The link to the live feed of the ALA Youth Media Awards on Monday, February 12th can be found here and the hashtag #alayma

– First Book: After the Fall by Dan Santat


– I could link to any number of sources saying that Humpty Dumpty rhyme is a riddle, but I think I’ll go with this one.

– There’s no other explanation of it. Kate has clown-dar. And I can’t believe I didn’t argue that this was, in fact, a cereal called Sad Clow. Ah well.


– Itty bitty shadows, reflected in those eyes.


– Second Book: Crown by Derrick Barnes, ill. Gordon C. James


– Shout out to Agate Publishing in Evanston, IL! Woot!

– Look, I have no idea what medium Gordon C. James works in, so here’s a video talking about his process:

– No audio edition exists that I can find, but if Weston Woods gets its hands on this, I think we’re looking at a future Carnegie Medal here, right?

– The iPhone:


– I need the hive mind to correct me on this one. What other book out there has ever done a vertical shift right at its end?


– Third Book: Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell


– Girl evidence.


– Wolf close-up:


– Look at the sheer amount of emotion and expression Cordell has packed into this with the fewest lines possible.


– This is the correct reaction after encountering a mama wolf with her cub.


– And finally, for the hungry amongst you, Kate’s Whole30 Breakfast Bowl.

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. Eric Carpenter says

    More on Gordon C. James’ oil on illustration board process: