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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Animalia by Graeme Base

My attempts to break Kate go nowhere, even when she is presented with the most detail heavy book of her podcast career. Now Kate starts off this podcast saying that she does NOT want to talk about the presidential race. Indeed, we recorded this on Thursday, and you all know how different the world was then. Quote Kate, she just wanted to do a book about “cute cats and slugs”. And for the first time ever, that is a request I could accommodate. Now I gave her the choice of splitting this into two separate episodes but she was determined to see it through to the end in a single show. The end result is still a bit of a deep dive. Just not an extensive one.

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:

Remember when Kate said all she wanted to read about was “cute cats and slugs”? Behold!

Example A:

Example B:

About the time that Kate was questioning whether or not this book kicks off with an alligator that might be a crocodile, I was worried that we might be taking a deep deep dive into this book too soon. Science nerds! Is this an accurate representation of an alligator? Inquiring minds would like to know:

It’s not every picture book for children that contains a great big Dr. Who reference on its pages.

Anyone get why this date was on the “D” page? It took Kate a second or two but she got the reference much more quickly than I would have.

Eventually Kate and I start to question some of the book’s choices. We have a particular difficulty when it comes to plants. What are these flowers? Anyone want to help us out with these? They were on the “F” page.

Meanwhile these flowers, looking suspiciously like daffodils, appeared on the “J” page. Any idea why?

How was making a Gremlin legal in this book? My theory is that it’s such a poorly drawn gremlin that he gets away with it. So this is the first product placement in the book . . .

And this is the second. How did Base manage to work a KitKat into this book?

Here’s our biggest mystery. Why is this guy on the “H” page? From his outfit I would think something along the lines of the Knave of Hearts who stole the tarts, but there are no tarts here. Just this guy trying to feed someone a sunflower seed. Help us out!

And voila! Here is Kate’s chosen tattoo design from this book . . . a kilted kiwi!

Finally, on the “U” page we can’t identify what this little guy is. Any ideas? And why is he crying?

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. Fuchsia, jonquil

  2. The H one is a herald (with a horn).

  3. My son l-o-v-e-d this book as a kid, so I emailed him your post. He quipped that the book itself is much like a place called “House on the Rock” in Spring Green, Wisconsin…
    Reading your fun unpacking, I agree!

    • Oh my gosh! We are HUGE House on the Rock fans here. We went 2 summers ago and my son still talks about it all the time. That place is marvelous and weird! Can’t wait to go back.

      • That’s so awesome! While my grown kids DIG the place– minimalist mom hyperventilates at the thought of it! But people who love The House on the Rock, REALLY love it. Thanks for this fascinating post, Betsy!

  4. Urchin?

  5. Sophie Blackall says:

    Ah I see someone beat me to it with fuschia and jonquil. I’m not entirely sure who the Herald is, but in his hand the thing that looks like a sunflower seed is a boiled sweet called a Humbug.

    • Oh. My. Gosh. How did I miss that that was a Humbug?

      When I was growing up I was a huge fan of the British cartoon Danger Mouse. Humbugs played prominently into the plot of one of the episodes and so when one of my mom’s friends went to England she came back with Humbugs for me. They were delicious. Well spotted, oh wise Australian lady!

  6. And he’s crying because he’s Unhappy.