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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson

StoryofFerdinandOur longest episode yet! That’s not a selling point, is it? Well, I found it notable. As it turns out, I had a LOT to say about this book. Kate had a LOT to opine about this book. Together we just got to ah-gabbin’ and lost track of time. And along the way we learn that someone with a retainer may have a very hard time saying the words “pacifist” and “pacifism”. Let’s all say “passive pacifism” together now three times fast!

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:

– Them’s good flower! Here are a couple rolling eyes for you:



– The stand your ground turtle. If any of you can come up with a Dirty Harry turtle pun, I’m all ears.


– Pretty sure they cut off his initials on some of these printings:


– Cork trees!


– Okay. You’re going to have to look at this pictures to get what Kate is saying here. I’ll break it down for you.

Clint Eastwood:


Rotund Adrian Brody:


And the tricked out mustaches of days of yore:


– Male pattern baldness


– The horse has good reason to be scared here!


– Not a human soul anywhere near that bull.


– And I’m climbing that cork tree . . .  to heaven!


– I was able to find the Ferdinand balloon! In Wired Magazine you can find a piece called Amazing Old Pics of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with lots of amazing images, including this one:


– Here’s the 1938 Disney short:

– Here’s the popular song about Ferdinand as sung, in this particular case, by The Lennon Sisters:

– And here was the most recent iteration:

– On the picture book poll it showed up as #17.

– Yay! Here’s the Bottom Shelf Books take on Ferdinand and mortality. Go, Minh Le, go! I should note that we did a shortened version of the original text.

– There’s a whole lotta vultures in this book going on.


– Confused about what I meant about the Caldecott Award winning book They Were Strong and Good being racist? No one ever summarized the situation better than Peter Sieruta at Collecting Children’s Books. Find the info here.

– Kate mentioned the podcast Armchair Expert so check it out here.

– I didn’t mention it to you on the podcast, but Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major, ill. Kelly Bastow is out May 1st. If you have any affection for cats at all, you will adore this:



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’m wondering if you’ve thought of redoing the 100 top polls, given the many books that have been published since they were first conducted…

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Actually, we’ve a similar but different poll slated for April. But shhhh! That’ll be our little secret for now. Don’t tell anyone!

  2. yay!

  3. If you watch the Disney short, the cow is offended by being called a cow. So Kate’s totally on the money with that one.

  4. My mother has a copy of this book when it first came out, and the jacket flap copy specifically quotes the line “his mother, who was a cow” on it. That’s the only specific bit of content it mentions, which suggests that in 1936, that was quite the laugh line.