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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.

Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.

-Groucho Marx

I’m not entirely certainly why I selected this as today’s book. Maybe I wanted a book that was merely 20 years old. Maybe it was the fact that earlier in the day, before we recorded, I had read this book to my son’s preschool class. But it may be because, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here, it is one of the world’s greatest readaloud picture books. The question then becomes, what will Kate think? This isn’t her favorite style of art, after all. But there are so many other things to talk about here. Spontaneous interior canine generation. The doctor’s disappearing/reappearing latex gloves. Why no one assumes that there isn’t another dog inside of George at the end. Whether or not George has eaten the vet at the end. And then I get into a whole thing about how this book isn’t about Death but Rebirth!! Best of all, I get to talk about the art of the page turn, and that, gentle listener, has made all the difference for me.

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

Show Notes:

I’m still not sure why she mentions it at all, but in case you were curious, this is the picture of us, young, that Kate mentions at the top of the show. Note the scrunchies on my wrists. Not a thing then. Not a thing now.

The documentary The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations, A Documentary About the Classic Children’s Book has been mentioned on this podcast and blog before, but I think it bears rewatching. Buy it for the Tollbooth fan in your life.

Only Kate would look at this title and think that it was talking to a dog named George with an accent over the “e”.

Mom goes from calm to SUPER annoyed in 0.5 seconds. “Oh, HELL no.”

And, thus, the panic attack.

Meanwhile, we’re a little concerned, because it appears that George’s eyes go bigger . . .

. . . and bigger . . .

. . . AND BIGGER!!!

And mom isn’t mad. She’s just disappointed.

In herself.

And now, the case of the disappearing/reappearing gloves. Glove is placed on left hand . . .

. . . right hand remains glove free . . .

. . . and somewhere inside of the cat the vet managed to put a glove onto that right hand after all.

The term I was having a hard time thinking of is “spontaneous generation”.

Loving the 1999 huge cell phones and distinctive headphones of the era.

This is the Jules Feiffer and daughter cameo appearance near the end.

Yeah. That’s right, folks. This book came in at #9 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll of 2012. I was shocked then and a bit shocked now. I do love that PW pointed out that the book is like the opposite of the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly technique.

Here’s a small selection from the Weston Woods adaptation of the book. I think they lost something when they added all that extra text, though.

The French for “woof” is “waouh” so I wasn’t too far off.

This is the Twitter image of the boy who proved to us, ala No, David, that kids do, indeed, color on walls. TO SAY THE LEAST! Like I say on the show, this is actually so extreme that I’m feeling a bit of awe and envy.

Here’s the artist that Kate likes so much.

And these were the two adult comics that I thought were particularly keen.

Abbott by Saladin Ahmed

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

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 read this once in a job interview, and I got the job. So, apart from the book’s intrinsic merits, I am fond of it for that reason.