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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Napping House by Audrey Wood, ill. Don Wood

Don’t worry. You know we’re going to do some Floyd Cooper next week. That’s the problem with recording things on Thursdays.

On today’s podcast I thought we might try another Audrey & Don Wood title above and beyond the already commented upon King Bidgood’s In the Bathtub. It’s a cumulative tale that has continued to remain in print for the last 37 years. We discuss tiny ligers, whether the mouse in this book has Toxoplasma gondii, and the likelihood of a carbon monoxide leak in this particular house.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, PlayerFM, or your preferred method of podcast selection.

Show Notes:

At the top of the show we mention an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s called Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes. If you’re in the Chicago area in late August, September, or October, buy your tickets now!

The book mentioned in the course of things is The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren by the Iona and Peter Opie. Sendak was a particular fan. You see, in the 1950s, the Opies collected schoolyard poems, riddles, and chants from some 5,000 children attending 70 schools in different parts of England, Scotland, and Wales. The end result is dark and fascinating. And look! It has a jazzy little cover (as of 2001):

So let me get this straight. The grandmother is sleeping in the bed while the kid is sleeping in … a chair? How does that even happen?

My own grandmother always wore stockings constantly, so I totally dig that the granny in this book is wearing them at all times. Even while napping.

While clearly blissful, this doesn’t look like it would be comfortable for the kid. And how is she bearing up on this? Where is the weight falling? On her ribs, by the look of it.

Trust Kate to figure out my greatest ghost-related fear: Shoes moving on their own. One minute they’re there and then . . . oh man!!

I don’t do any yoga myself, so you’re gonna have to help me out on this one. If you were to give a name to this cat’s position, what would you call it?

While I am certain that the image in this window is innocuous in origins, thanks to the ruminations of Kate I cannot see it as anything but an evil ghost face. Like one of those projections Kate puts in her window every Halloween.

I pray, I PRAY, that someday I will be cool enough to deserve an author photo as good as this one from 1984. It’s like she’s doing a Dynasty/Jackie Collins redux thing here (you KNOW she spent a lot of time deciding which shoes to pair with that outfit) while he’s wearing, what my husband likes to call, “puppeteer chic”.

Kate Recommends: Defunctland on YouTube

Betsy Recommends: Made for Love on HBO Max.

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. Heather D says

    Hello Ladies,

     Heather D again…..   A few thoughts.

    To begin with, I have a little tip for fellow Fuse 8 n Kate fans. There’s definitely a way to keep the book o’ the week a secret– listen to at least 2 episodes.  If one starts by choosing an older episode soundcloud will reward you by loading the newest review automatically.  Sometimes there are moments of splendid serendipity.  For example I ended up finishing the review for Rumplestiltskin (which features a character famous for an elusive name) only to start another review with a friendly chat about Groot (a character who is very forthcoming with their name ).  One of many happy accidents thanks to the randomness of pairing new and old episodes.

    I enjoyed your review of “The Napping House”.  A book that had found its way in our reading rotation for a while.   Kiddo felt that– while it was a pleasant bedtime read– it did not need to stay in the permanent collection.  I was a little surprised when Kate the Great had such a “meh” reaction to the illustrations.  Most esp because I remember Kate having a much warmer response to the artwork for “King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub”.  I was further surprised that both sisters ranked Napping House notably higher than King Bidgood’s book.  Guess there’s no predicting how these reviews will go. 

     Speaking of King Bidgood’s review.  At one point, Betsy remarked on the fact that Audrey Wood is the daughter of a painter. Yet Ms Wood is the author of this book– not the illustrator.   I wonder…  is there a higher percentage of one or the other for creative contributions from the married collaborators in picture books?  In other words, is it more common for women collaborators to be illustrators or authors? For example, in  “Bread and Jam for Frances” the author was Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban was the illustrator.   More recently there was “A Sick Day For Amos McGee”  illustrated by Erin E Stead and written by Phillip Stead. Also, “The Latke that Couldn’t Stop Screaming” Illustrated by Lisa Brown and written by Lemony Snicket ( Daniel Handler). Then there is the notable illustrator Caldecott couple Leo & Diane Dillion.   

    This, oddly enough, leads me back to Rumplestiltskin.  Do you think y’all could review another Rumplestiltskin book next Mothers day?***   This particular book has 3 of my favourites; Virginia Hamilton and  Diane & Leo Dillion.

    In closing-  thanks for this enjoyable review.  It was a pleasant distraction from the sad news of Floyd Cooper’s passing.   Given the wealth of titles that Betsy has to choose amongst–  I’ll have a hard time selecting my classic Fuse 8 n Kate episode to listen to beforehand.

    Perhaps “Mirandy and Brother Wind”  on the chance that Betsy will go with “Dance Like Starlight”.  Another option would be “Harold and the Purple Crayon” for “A Beach Tale”.    Hmmm….  I’ve got it!   I’ll go for  “Where the Wild Things Are” to match with a story featuring a (non- bratty) boy named Max;  “Max and the Tag Along Moon”.  We just had a buck moon a few days ago.  Maybe Betsy and Kate are up for another moon book.

    Whatever title y’all review– I’m certain that it will be wise, charming, and inspiring just like Flyod Cooper.   I can hardly wait!


    Heather D

      ****  “The Girl Who Spun Gold” by V Hamiltion, Leo & Diane Dillion