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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patricia McKissack and Jerry Pinkney

“I’m giving myself extra points for doing this springy book in spring . . . which I did not realize until this moment. Patting on the backy of me!” Prior to today’s episode the only Jerry Pinkney title we’d done on our podcast was Sam and the Tigers (as part of our Little Black Sambo round-up). As for Ms. Patricia McKissack, we’d never even done a single one of her books to date. To my mind, this is a wrong that must be righted. This episode taught me about how folks change picture books to make them readable as ebooks. No one ever talks about the book’s traumatized chickens or the fact that you never get to see the cake Mirandy wins, but we do! Get ready for an extra deep dive into a book that is still a favorite of teachers nationwide.

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:

Upon seeing the cover Kate queried as to whether or not it was possible that Brother Wind was modeled at all on the Notorious B.I.G. Maybe? Probably not, but maybe.

Here is the cakewalk explanation as found in the book. One thing it doesn’t mention is that initially the cakewalk was created to mock white slaveholders to their faces. They would judge the first cakewalks and have no idea the slaves were mocking them. There’s an interesting article about it here at Face2Face Africa.

Here is where I got my education on ebooks. Notice how a section has been blown up and highlighted, and then the image is pulled back (without the text integrated in the art). Not what the artists would plan for. It affects the reading, but is it a bad idea? If I know illustrators, this kind of thing would probably drive them bonkers.

Any idea what a crock bottle is? What’s its relationship to a crock pot?

Capturing emotion on a face is an art, particularly in realistic illustration. Mirandy’s expression here alone could have earned this book its Caldecott Honor:

Is this a case of possession or more of a marionette situation? You be the judge.

Want to play Scattergories with your own distant family for a virtual game night? Here is the site Kate found. I can attest that we tried this after we recorded this podcast and it worked very well!

If you would like to read our mother’s poem Geomagnetic Reversal and My Mother’s Ethnoid Bone you’ll locate it as the fourth link on this page.

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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.