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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, ill. Axel Scheffler

Poor Kate. All she wanted was a halfway scary picture book. Instead I give her a book from Team Gruffalo. This week’s choice of book for the Halloween season has appeared year after year on the Bestseller Lists here in America. It’s a book that features a kind of Mr. Gumpy’s Outing meets There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly energy on its pages. Never read it? Never fear! We’ve done it for you and found some tidbits worth discussing.

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:

Here, by the way, is the Salt Bae/Lyle Lyle the Crocodile comparison, if you missed it the first time around:

Okay. Fine. You may have heard me mention that Julia Donaldson’s career in picture books began because of a song she created called “A Squash and a Squeeze”. Who am I to deny you a vision of her performing that song herself?

There’s some Hobbes-like (via Calvin & Hobbes) qualities coming off this fine feline, wouldn’t you say? It’s all in the tail.

This crow is how we are all going to feel in a couple months when the cold weather settles in. Or, as Kate calls it, it’s a “Why am I out here watching my kid play soccer when I hate soccer?” face. And yes. This would be the image in this book that she’d make into her tattoo.

Smart lady. Tit for tat. You want a ride? Carry the cauldron!!

If you had to guess what this creature was, what would you say? Capybara was my first thought, but I guess the more accurate one would be beaver, yes? By the way, there’s a truly delightful picture book out this year called The Capybaras by Alfredo Soderguit, translated by Elisa Amado, which turned out to be a fascinating anti-Trump import. Worth looking into.

This is why the frog may well be the most intelligent animal on the broken broom. It cracks in half and what does he do? He finds the only creature on the broom that can already fly and holds on for dear life. Clever froggie.


Personally I love that the witch is reenacting a role from The Creature from the Black Lagoon here.

Behold! The most tricked out broom you have EVER seen! I’m not so sure that this even IS a broom anymore.

Once I heard it was turned into a stop animation film, I had to check it out. Here are some scenes. I hate to say it, but this is utterly UTTERLY charming. Better than the source material, perhaps:

For librarians looking to start their own library events that reconsider classic works for children, take a page out of the King County Library System’s book. There, Erin Ostrander is beginning the regular even Considering Classics. She has been exceedingly kind in mentioning our podcast as an inspiration. I think turning it into programming is some kind of inspired. Look into it!

Betsy Recommends: The new NPR podcast Book of the Day

Kate Recommends: The H.H. Holmes Murder Castle Puzzle

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.