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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Swallow and the Tom Cat by Jorge Amado with Special Guest Roger Mello!

We have a special guest!! It was our esteemed delight and pleasure to host international superstar, picture book creator, Hans Christian Andersen Award winner, Roger Mello in this, the latest episode of our podcast! Now it had been a while since we’d done an international picture book. We do try to make an effort to look at what other countries would consider “classics”, but it can be difficult to (A) determine what a country thinks of as a classic and (B) find translations here in the States. Fortunately we lucked out with this episode. We asked Roger what Brazilian classic Kate should read and he selected a book that not only got translated here (in 1982) but one where a copy was still available in my library’s consortium. Whew!

Of course, the book is 96 pages long so Kate’s read had to be a bit truncated. She read just the first tale in the book and the last one, and I do believe it worked out beautifully. Jorge Amado, of course, was the Brazilian novelist responsible for such serious novels about social justice as Cacao as well as more comic titles like Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.

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:

  • We are far beyond mere cat anuses. Cat testicles are on FULL display on the cover here, folks. You ain’t in Kansas anymore.
  • Here is the text at the beginning of the book. I love the part about how you can chose your own complex.
  • Curious about the Hans Christian Andersen Medal? You can find more information about it here. The Americans that are currently nominated right now are Jacqueline Woodson and illustrator Allen Say.
  • Here are some of Roger Mello’s books:

You Can’t Be Too Careful


Charcoal Boys

“I don’t know. Those teeth don’t say ‘love’ to me.”

  • Why was the book written by the great novelist Amado? According to the Kirkus review it was, “Originally written in 1948 as a birthday gift for Amado’s infant son.” And clearly that review journal wasn’t the book’s biggest fan.
  • Finally, here is the new Frances Hardinge book that’s coming out in 2020. I’m so so happy.
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.