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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff

StoryofBabarOur theme of problematic picture books that deal indirectly with colonialism continue with this natural companion to Curious George. Today’s book is notable if only because it is the first “classic” we’ve discussed that I read as a child. Will that make me more inclined to like the book or not? You’ll just have to see.

We discuss Blast From the Past, the Babadook, the difference between bowler and derby hats, and the ultimate lesson in retail therapy. “You want to deal with your mom’s death? Buy yourself some spats!”

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

Show Notes:

– Mmm. Green water


– Eat your heart out Nancy Drew.


– In retrospect I don’t think that’s a tombstone. I think that’s probably a road marker.


– This image will haunt me unto my death.


– We three wiggly elephants. I absolutely love Kate’s theory that they were going to let anyone green become king.


– The tale of a skeptical dromedary.


– Busting out the base drum.


– The most beautiful image in the book.


– Meta, man.


– The confirmation. There is a dog butt.


– A link to the interview with Jean de Brunhoff’s son in the Wall Street Journal. Babar the Elephant Takes His Final Bow.

– Should We Burn Babar? Here’s the Kirkus review that didn’t find the book all that keen.


– The telltale Eiffel Tower.


– Leslie Jones can be found here on Instagram. And I believe this was the Buzzfeed article Kate referred to. It’s called Right Now the Only Thing I Care About Is Olympic Skater Adam Rippon’s Tweets.

– And what the heck. For old time’s sake. This is probably the most pinned-to-a-corkboard comic in libraries of all time:

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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. Oh God, I too was utterly haunted by that green wavering-lined elephant. I hid the book in my closet under a stack of blankets so no one would ever try to read it to me again.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      The funny thing is that I remember him having much more wavy lines on his body. Kind of like the old elephants have. I guess I conflated the two images in my mind, but there was a moment when Kate was showing me the picture when I thought to myself, “Maybe this is a newer edition where they took off the wavy lines.” Such is our adherence to memory.