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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik, ill. Maurice Sendak

Sometimes you just gotta read something awkward. Today, in spite of my determination never to do so, I skipped over ALL the previous Little Bear books produced by Minarik and Sendak and handed my sister the strangest of them all. Will Kate or I think that this book is essentially the cringe comedy easy book of children’s literature? Will Kate find a good image for a tattoo? Is there any situation where it is not weird to “kiss the bride”? Before I discussed this book with Kate I actually Googled, “A Kiss for Little Bear weird” and found nothing. As such, let THIS be the first online article or posting to declare this book to be downright peculiar.

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:

Here you can see for yourself new Dan Santat 90th anniversary illustrated edition of The Little Engine That Could.

See, here’s the moment Dan included of the toys waving goodbye to the previous engine. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that he added this element to the book. That poor engine never gets its due.

Normally publication pages in books are dull. There are, however, exceptions. This page turns out to be even more peculiar than we let on in the recording. Not only is Sendak’s first name spelled as “Manurice”, later you can see that this is “a division of HarperCollis Publishers.” How to account for not one but TWO major spelling mistakes? My only clue is that this is a FollettBound Plantinum edition. Think that has something to do with it?

A variation on a Wild Thing? Kate said it best. “I dunno, those teeth are intense.”

Yeah, I dunno. If a chicken comes along pecking at my back, I won’t care that it’s a kiss. I’m going to be a little perturbed too.

We don’t point this out on the show, but clearly the skunks are still holding a grudge against Hen since her name is way way down on that guest list.

Kate’s tattoo. Fifty points if you can identify what the heck Sendak thought this animal was. The longer I look at it, the more I’m convinced that this is a caricature of a friend that he worked into the book quietly.

So not cool, Little Bear! Seriously, Skunk, that there’s a spraying offense. Worst best man ever.

The Kirkus review of this book is THE BEST!

My Grown-Up Things I Like was The Good Neighbors show and it looked like this. Any other fans out there?

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. There appears to be a THIRD typo on the publication page!! It reads “Manufacture in China” rather than “Manufactured in China.” Curse you, FollettBound Platinum edition! As always, great job with the show, Betsy and Kate!