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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson

I broke the rules. Under normal circumstances I won’t consider a children’s book for this podcast unless that title is less than 20 years old. But since I made that rule in the first place, I guess I’m the one who gets to break it. And today’s book is, in its blood, a rule breaker. In the course of this episode I attempt to encapsulate all of Jacqueline Woodson’s major awards (this is a difficult thing to attempt, by the way), Kate and I honor Juneteenth, and we try desperately to figure out why this book never won any Caldecott love (to add to its Newbery Honor love).

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’s the interview with Jacqueline Woodson about the background to Show Way on Reading Rockets with Carole Boston Weatherford.

Kate found it interesting that there was no quote here from Malcolm X. But I think 15 years ago that would have been an idea discouraged by the publisher. Of course that may remain the case today . . .

I take back my claim that only Little Man, Little Man is a picture book to mention police brutality. This shot right here contains some. And as Kate points out, the events in this spread, they are still happening. Which makes this a VERY good book to read right now.

I have read this book many times before. But until Kate pointed it out to me, I had never seen that woman in the sky.

Jackie deserved the Newbery Honor for this, absolutely. But after seeing scenes like this, where Talbott has placed her family story into paper quilt squares covered in her own writing . . . well where’s the Caldecott love?

Toshi was friends with Trixie from the Knuffle Bunny books. This fact was confirmed by Jackie herself at the blog The Happy Nappy Bookseller in 2011:

“Doret: I bring this up so I have an excuse to show the beautiful cover and ask if Fuse#8 was right about her Tit for Tat ?

Jackie: She’s completely right – That’s Trixie in Pecan Pie [Baby] and Toshi does appear in KB2 as one of the people Trixie plans to show Knuffle Bunny to. Toshi and Trixie are great friends so it’s only right that they get to play together on the page!”

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. Enjoyed this episode very much! Would like you to review Smoky Night by Eve Bunting & see if it has stood the test of time or not. 🙂