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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater

Sometimes I honestly don’t know what my sister will think of any given book. It seemed like it would be a pretty safe bet that she wouldn’t have heard of this little 1977 beauty. We’d not done a Pinkwater book before, and this is a heckuva way to begin. It’s a glorious celebration of disappointing the homeowner’s associations of the world. It also apparently has to do with Nickelodeon, how to keep a pet alligator, and magical mystery lemonade.

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 can only assume that a poor printing job was at fault here with poor Mr. Plumbean’s face on this particular edition of the book (circa 2002). He don’t look so hot.

For further information about that weird moment when a standardized test took one of Pinkwater’s stories and asked kids to explain it, check out this New York Times article on the subject.

Kate has a problem with these peoples’ noses. And had she not pointed it out, I would have continued to remain blissfully unaware of them.

Here’s the thing. If you’re gonna have an alligator in your front yard . . .

PLEASE do not let it off the leash!

20 points if you can name whatever Greek god is featured at the top. My pet theory is tied into the fact that Selene, the goddess of the moon, had a son named Mousaios.

Who wore it better? This book . . .

Or Nickelodeon in the 1990s?

Woohoo! Teaching Children Philosophy is baaaack! Here is their section dedicated to The Big Orange Splot.

Aww. Here’s the present Kate got in the mail from Josh Funk, who is now officially her favorite:

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 could have sworn The Big Orange Splot made the Top 100 Poll BOTH times you ran it. I only remember because it was on MY list, and I thought that would be the one no one else would pick, and yet it somehow made it after all. But then, I guess that could have been just the first time. Maybe I’D replaced it with something else on my own list the second time around, too!