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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Tell Me a Mitzi by Lore Segal and Harriet Pincus

Let us try something a little different. Under normal circumstances, the entire premise of my podcast with Kate is that I will present her with a picture book “classic” that she has never seen before and she will read it for the first time. To change things up, she suggested that we bring a picture book that neither of us had read. At the same time, she mentioned in a previous episode that when it comes to classic Jewish picture books, the only ones we’ve ever done were Hanukkah based. Add in the fact that it’s a cult classic that came back in print two years ago, and you’ve got yourself one heckuva show.

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 implore you, gentle readers, tell us why the top of this hopscotch features the word “POTSY”.
  • Mom, getting her kids up in the morning, is looking GOOD!
  • Love those I Love Lucy / Dick Van Dyke separate beds!
  • “Elves Can Be Fun”. Can they, though? Can they?
  • Could this be an allusion to Michael diCapua? With the artist’s connection to Sendak, it’s not out of the question. I suppose there’s only one person in the world who may know, and that’s Mr. diCapua himself. Somebody ask him when you get a chance, what eh?
  • This strange side story is just fascinating to us.
  • Joni Mitchell! Alongside evidence that the pants men wear in this book are often quite remarkable.
  • It’s the President’s aides that I find absolutely fascinating.
  • Lore Segal’s family’s story was told in the Academy Award winning documentary Into the Arms of Strangers. You can see the trailer for it here:
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. Potsy is just another name for the game of hopscotch, and of course is one of many things traditionally written at the top of a hopscotch game, including (but not limited to) “home”, “heaven”, and “safe”.

  2. Potsy is what we used to call the thing–stone, usually–we threw onto the court to then pick up as we hopped.

  3. I really appreciate your new looks at classics. Marjorie’s Ingall’s article brought this book back to the center of attention, even though it hadn’t really left for many of us. It is a poignant reminder that Segal was rescued in the kindertransport; there is also a book, in addition to the film, of “Into the Arms of Strangers.”
    By coincidence, I have a piece at the Jewish Book Council about Marilyn Sachs, who was an exact contemporary of Segal, and who also wrote about Jewish characters whose Jewishness was not generally predicated on religious observance.
    Having said that, I agree with you that there is much more to Jewish children’s books than Chanukah or other holidays, although many of those Chanukah books are wonderful and deserve attention. Thanks for this piece!

  4. Such a delicious piece, Betsy! Thanks for the shout-out. And yeah, gotta love those babies with five o’clock shadow. And in my experience elves are not fun but I appreciate the old lady’s open-mindedness.

  5. Wait . . . Betsy, you haven’t read “When Sophie Gets Angry”? There’s a classic you could do for the next time you want a book that neither you nor Kate have read.

    • Even as I said it I realized how unclear I’d been. I’ve read the first Sophie but I don’t remember the second well and got the two all twisted up. Oog. But yes. Adore that book.

  6. I haven’t listened to this episode yet, but I have to tell you — Mitzi was a family favorite growing up! I think my mom still has our original copy. I never met anyone else who had heard of it…