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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: George and Martha by James Marshall

ALERT! Before we begin, I’d like to make note that this is number 97 of our podcast so far. To celebrate our upcoming 100th we have (A) Created a Facebook page and (B) On Monday, August 5th at 8 p.m. CST we will record a Facebook Live episode of episode #100. So in case you’ve ever wanted to see the images as Kate discovers them, now you can.

This week, we wonder something. Is Martha the better hippo? Hard to determine with a single George and Martha book, but we have some serious opinions on the matter. This week we discuss methods of hiding food you don’t want to eat (when you’re a grown-up), how “The Tub” was a pre-#MeToo story, and why Rev. Buck McTooth is truly a Doctor of Divinity. But my absolute favorite line from Kate in this is: “Look the woman may be vain but she makes you food, and she doesn’t spy on YOU during YOUR private moments, so let her have her mirror!” I also love that she notices that the book ends with Martha saying that friends tell you the truth, and the first story was about how hard it was for George to tell Martha the truth. That’s how you do it, James. That’s how you do it.

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:

  • George in the hot air balloon. How did he blow that thing up? The world may never know.
  • NOT COOL, GEORGE! It is too Martha’s credit that she reacts completely appropriately. And look how she has that scrub brush raised, ready and willing to whack the heck out of that tub with him in it. You go, girl! Whack ‘im and whack ‘im and whack ‘im.
  • We talk a little bit about how much emotion Marshall was able to put into just a dot and a line. Look at this shifty shifty George, for example. He has never looked more villainous.
  • Though the text never mentions it, the flowers in George hands indicate that he’s going to apologize to Martha before being waylaid by his accident. And though I don’t mention it on the episode, let the record show that George retains his gold tooth for the rest of the series.
  • And now we come to the mystery of the dentist that we shall now refer to as the Reverend Doctor McTooth. According to his diploma, he is not a DDS (a Doctor of Dental Surgery) but a DD (Doctor of Divinity). So many possibilities of where to go with that one.
  • Martha is so sweet. “She knows he looks like a pimp, with his gold tooth and his cane . . .” But she’ll never tell.
  • This book clocked in at #48 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll back in the day.
  • Here is the Tig Notaro show Kate was referring to. I found the first episode:
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. Ooh, Betsy, I want to be at your Marshall/Hyman/Silverstein dinner party!

  2. Lovely to be reminded of James Marshall. My own memories:

    • This is just the loveliest tribute. Thank you for leading me to it. And whenever I meet you, you must tell me what happened when James and Maurice visited Dr. Seuss. THAT is a tantalizing tale!