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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Curious George Takes a Job by H.A. and Margret Rey

Thinly veiled racism! Drug-sniffing monkeys (that are actually apes)! Roving hoards of wiener dogs! A Cervantes-esque arc! Oh, we have just loads to talk about in this episode, that’s for sure. More questions are raised than answered in this latest episode of Fuse 8 n’ Kate and that’s okay. We return to the world of Curious George with all its peculiarities. There’s a lot to discuss here and we’re ready for it.

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 is this year’s fabulous Strollercoaster. Yay, crediting spouses that color!

Hooboy. “Africa”. Never you mind the fact that the colonialism in the first book is as thinly veiled as possible. Now we add the double insult of not even identifying where it was The Man in the Yellow Hat stole George from.

Alligator: I know where he is! He’s in my BELLY!

Clearly he gets his kicks by making these guys worried.

George knows that this is the safest place in the zoo because this elephant clearly does not have an anus.

This is a fascinating series of locations that I think may have been references at the times. 20 points if you know what “Double Night” bookstore ever was.

After closer inspection, I’m not sure that these are chickens on this roof. I think that they may be pigeons.

Wow. Just a dog peeing on a newsstand. Like it’s no big deal.

Please, I ask of you. Think hard. Can you think of any picture book in which there is an unapologetic, clear as crystal drug sequence on its pages? Books, specifically.

This is the moment when I need to praise Furious George by Michael Rex, which is the only picture book to make perfectly clear what’s really going on in this and other Curious George books.

I do urge you to seek out and read The Unexpected Profundity of Curious George by Rivka Galchen for The New Yorker which touches on many of the issues we’ve mentioned here.

Betsy Recommends: As You Like It, currently being performed by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Kate Recommends: Dressing up her Home Depot skeleton so that he now looks like this:

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. George getting hammered on ether truly is one of the greatest moments in children’s literature. I’m racking my brain trying to come up with an equivalent moment, and drawing a blank. The only thing I can think of, and it doesn’t even come close, is the chapter when Petit Nicolas (Goscinny and Sempe) gets horribly sick from smoking cigarettes. But again, not even close.

    • I have to agree. There are books where there’s an interpretation of getting high, but nothing half as overt. I’m particularly intrigued by the use of cursive suddenly in the text. Would love to know why they went with that choice.

      • Holy smokes! I’m genuinely ashamed of myself! I just remembered that I have an incident that comes even closer in one of MY OWN books. Kitty gets a big whiff of cat nip while out on a hike and hallucinates Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of cats. To this day, I’m pretty surprised that I haven’t received any accusations of encouraging a drug culture.

      • For the record, this takes place in “Bad Kitty: Camp Daze”.

      • Ask not for whom the monkey sniffs ether.

        It sniffs for THEE!!

  2. The bookstore is probably referring to the Doubleday Bookstore (owned by the publisher). You’ll see it referenced here: