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Kids & Family

Fuse 8 n' Kate

Updated 2 months ago

Kids & Family
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Two sisters, one in L.A. and one in NYC, both move to the Chicago area and start a podcast. The premise? Picture books and are they really that great? Join Kate and Fuse 8 (Betsy Bird) as they track down a picture book "classic" each episode and try to determine if it deserves to remain in the canon of children's literature.Profile image by Andrea Tsurumi

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Two sisters, one in L.A. and one in NYC, both move to the Chicago area and start a podcast. The premise? Picture books and are they really that great? Join Kate and Fuse 8 (Betsy Bird) as they track down a picture book "classic" each episode and try to determine if it deserves to remain in the canon of children's literature.Profile image by Andrea Tsurumi

iTunes Ratings

22 Ratings
Average Ratings
22
0
0
0
0

Hilarious

By GrubReport - Nov 06 2017
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This is a surpassingly hilarious podcast and one that has been missing from my life for a long time. I burned through three episodes just today and have had so many laugh-out-loud moments which are sorely needed these days.

Irreverence at its Best

By LarkElisabeth - Oct 26 2017
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I’ve been a fan of Betsy’s blog for ages. It turns out that humor and excellence run in the family. Sisters Betsy and Kate have a hilarious, dry camaraderie perfect for their subject. It’s fun to hear both a novice and an expert review classic children’s books and discuss crazy things about them. A number one choice for any teacher or librarian.

iTunes Ratings

22 Ratings
Average Ratings
22
0
0
0
0

Hilarious

By GrubReport - Nov 06 2017
Read more
This is a surpassingly hilarious podcast and one that has been missing from my life for a long time. I burned through three episodes just today and have had so many laugh-out-loud moments which are sorely needed these days.

Irreverence at its Best

By LarkElisabeth - Oct 26 2017
Read more
I’ve been a fan of Betsy’s blog for ages. It turns out that humor and excellence run in the family. Sisters Betsy and Kate have a hilarious, dry camaraderie perfect for their subject. It’s fun to hear both a novice and an expert review classic children’s books and discuss crazy things about them. A number one choice for any teacher or librarian.
Cover image of Fuse 8 n' Kate

Fuse 8 n' Kate

Latest release on Aug 10, 2020

Read more

Two sisters, one in L.A. and one in NYC, both move to the Chicago area and start a podcast. The premise? Picture books and are they really that great? Join Kate and Fuse 8 (Betsy Bird) as they track down a picture book "classic" each episode and try to determine if it deserves to remain in the canon of children's literature.Profile image by Andrea Tsurumi

Rank #1: Episode 133 - Stellaluna

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Seems to us that bats are shouldering a great deal of the blame for our current COVID-19 crisis. Considering the fact that their P.R. wasn't all that great to begin with(Batman aside), Betsy decided this week's episode would combat this problem with the most famous bat-related picture book in America. It doesn't hurt matters any that this entire episode is pretty much just an excuse for her to post cute videos of baby fruit bats in the Show Notes.

Show Notes:

Betsy mentions that her falcons are currently nesting on her library building right now. Here they are on the live cam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hOZ0BMx12Y

Care to be pandered to? Here's the video of the juvenile fruit bat being petted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVz8rvIl_vY

And here is a video of a baby fruit bat eating a banana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaPXhYaFReY\u0026t=28s

The book came in at #71 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll. http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/21/top-100-picture-books-71-stellaluna-by-janell-cannon/

For the rest of the Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/04/20/fuse-8-n-kate-stellaluna-by-janell-cannon/

Apr 20 2020

31mins

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Rank #2: Episode 129 - Leo the Late Bloomer

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Since Betsy's library is all closed up and she has no access to the books inside, she wasn't able to do a celebrity picture book with Kate this week. Such is the state of the world in which we live today. Not to worry! In this episode you will find a multitude of plover adjacent ideas, thoughts about developmental issues and when it's right to seek help vs. let things work out on their own, and why it's weird Leo isn't a lion. Like, not even a little bit.

Show Notes:

Betsy happens to mention right at the top of the show the book Sick Simon by Dan Krall. If you want the ultimate title showing why you should wash your hands, VERY few books cover the information as well as this one. If there were any justice in this world, sales of this book would be currently through the roof.

Here's the obit of Jose Aruego via Phil Nel's Nine Kinds of Pie: http://www.philnel.com/2012/08/14/aruego/

For a full accounting of the Ariane Dewey controversy, please check out this excellent piece on Dewey, created by Lisa Von Drasek at the Blue Ox Review: https://www.continuum.umn.edu/2018/06/women-artists-ariane-dewey/
This is the Muppet Show rendering of Danny Boy that we keep referencing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCbuRA_D3KU

Let the record show that we recorded this long before the episode of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me that ALSO happened to mention the Cats butt cut. We talked about it first!! https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/cats-movie-butthole-cut/

Kate mentions a show that she's enjoying. If you didn't catch it, it's called Letterkenny: https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/10/11/20909844/letterkenny-hulu-review-pitter-patter

Here's that Today Show post "How to homeschool during the coronavirus crisis with free resources". It's a shockingly useful collection of links: https://www.today.com/parents/how-homeschool-during-coronavirus-crisis-t176020

And here is Betsy's BYU Radio interview with the show Constant Wonder where she discussed Anne Carroll Moore: https://www.byuradio.org/episode/a5f07ed4-819f-4027-b5bb-590606625488/constant-wonder-no-children-in-libraries

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/03/23/fuse-8-n-kate-leo-the-late-bloomer-by-robert-kraus-jose-aruego-and-ariane-dewey/

Mar 23 2020

28mins

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Rank #3: Episode 71 - Bread and Jam for Frances

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Hungry? With the new year comes a whole set of resolutions. Not knowing that Kate is on the Whole30 again, Betsy forces her to read a book where bread plays a major role. Bread, heck. This is a book that could turn children into bonafide foodies. In spite of the fact that all badgers are born in February, we've decided to do this book in January. And then, in the course of things, Kate starts looking up what the USDA recommendations are for children, we consider the wackadoodle utensils of the Badger household, what exactly a lobster salad sandwich is, etc. As Kate points out, this is a perfect New Year's Resolution book because in the story you are encouraged to try new things and break out of your comfort zone. Justification!

Show Notes:

- If you're curious about the interview Betsy conducted with Russell Hoban in 2010, you can read the transcript here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/04/24/discovered-in-the-archives-an-interview-with-russell-hoban-2010/

- Is Frances actually the most famous badger in children's literature? The only other contender that comes immediately to mind is Badger from The Wind in the Willows but how many American children can remember him off the tops of their heads?

- The book showed up at #27 on the Top 100 Picture Books poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/05/top-100-childrens-novels-27-bread-and-jam-for-frances-by-russell-hoban-illustrated-by-lillian-hoban/

- You can hear the entire text of the book here in this video. And you have to admit, that's a better egg song than the one Betsy came up with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-KggLPnRYg

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/01/07/fuse-8-n-kate-bread-and-jam-for-frances-by-russell-hoban-ill-lillian-hoban/

Jan 07 2019

43mins

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Rank #4: Episode 98 - Sam and the Firefly

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Betsy had been meaning to do this, Eastman's third most famous easy book, and the first one he ever did on his own, for a while. Now, for years Betsy has believed that Eastman has illustrated "night" better than most artists. After this recording she feels justified in having felt this way.

Show Notes:

If you'd like to see all the ratings of this podcast, they are now avaiable for viewing at https://www.betsybirdbooks.com/lesson-plan

Curious about Kate's mention of Can Can Wonderland? You learn a lot more about it at https://www.cancanwonderland.com/

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/08/05/fuse-8-n-kate-sam-and-the-firefly-by-p-d-eastman/

Aug 05 2019

30mins

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Rank #5: Episode 5 - Rainbow Fish

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It has taken five books but at long last Kate and Betsy disagree on a book. Who knew it would be the shiniest one in the sea? Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, the book that every American schoolchild knows by heart, is dredged up out of the deep for a fine conversation about Shark Week, holograms, and why sharing is caring.

Jul 31 2017

39mins

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Rank #6: Episode 120 - Caldecott Contenders

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If you get your kicks out of Kate and Betsy disagreeing about books, today's episode may not be for you. Each year Betsy presents Kate with 2-3 Caldecott contenders. Which is to say, they discuss books that may or may not win the Caldecott Award (which will be handed out a week from today on Monday, January 27th at 8:00 ET here: http://ala.unikron.com/). This gives the two of them a chance to discuss the art and, to a lesser extent, the books' chances. There were actually a fair number Betsy wasn't able to get my hands on for today's recording, but happily two of her favorites WERE available!

Show Notes:

When discussing the idea of opening the Newbery and Caldecott Awards to artists from other countries the articles, Betsy refers to Leonard Marcus's piece in the New York Times called The Caldecott Medal Needs an International Makeover and found here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/12/books/review/make-caldecott-medal-international.html

- She also discusses The Horn Book editorial Bordering On the Absurd by Martha Parravano here: https://www.hbook.com/?detailStory=jan-feb-20-editorial

- You can read Betsy's official review of Going Down Home With Daddy here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/06/06/review-of-the-day-going-down-home-with-daddy-by-kelly-starling-lyons-and-daniel-minter/

You can read Betsy's Caldecott thoughts on A Stone Sat Still here: https://www.hbook.com/?detailStory=a-stone-sat-still

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/01/20/fuse-8-n-kate-2020-caldecott-contenders/

Jan 20 2020

30mins

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Rank #7: Episode 119 - Trashy Town

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How old are we all that Trashy Town is 21 this year? Is it just us or does that seem like a very large number? Continuing to attempt to find storytime classics that librarians love, Betsy has Kate take a look at this readaloud classic. And, if you recall, Kate does not always take to storytime books. Many questions are raised in the course of the proceedings. Does Mr. Gilly work for the city? What is the nature of the rat's open mouth? Is Mr. Gilly picking up syringes and blood behind that doctor's office? And why the heck did they name their burg "Trashy Town"? Seems a poor choice and could affect the tourism industry. Please see to it that you enjoy the different rhythmic renditions of the chant in this book. The Monty Python one may become your favorite.

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/01/13/fuse-8-n-kate-trashy-town-by-andrea-zimmerman-david-clemsha-and-dan-yaccarino/

Jan 13 2020

30mins

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Rank #8: Episode 132 - One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

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True Fact: The longest book written in the English language is the easy book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.

Other True Fact: That first fact is untrue, but it's certainly what Kate believed in her heart when she finished reading that book during this recording. While many people remember all too well the title of today's book, its plot (such as it is) remains, for many, a mystery. Kate certainly didn't know what to expect and, to be fair, how could she have? Can anyone truly predict Clark or the Ying or Ned? Sweet sweet Ned? We think not.

Show Notes:

One image in this book was once parodied when Betsy made a post challenging artists to Re-Seussify Seuss. Which is to say, re-illustrate a Dr. Seuss work in the style of another illustrator. And Nathan Hale (of Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales) decided to take on "yellow teeth guy" (as Kate calls him) in the style of Stephen Gammell. You know. The fellow who illustrated Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. And the result is beautiful. Go here and scroll to the bottom: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/03/01/re-seussification-project-the-results/

Here is a video of famous novelists Kevin O'Leary, Ami McKay, and Erin Morgenstern reading this book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0waeG_x2eow
Here is the article we were told about in this episode (in reference to Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith)called, "Created during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Jingle Dresses are once again offering inspiration, healing" - https://nativenewsonline.net/entertainment/created-during-the-1918-spanish-flu-pandemic-jingle-dresses-are-once-again-offering-inspiration-healing/

For more Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/04/13/fuse-8-n-kate-one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-blue-fish-by-dr-seuss/

Apr 13 2020

30mins

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Rank #9: Episode 111 - The Big Orange Splot

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It seemed like it would be a pretty safe bet that Kate wouldn't have heard of this week's book. A little 1977 beauty it is. Betsy and Kate haven't done a Pinkwater book before, and this is a heckuva way to begin. It's a glorious celebration of disappointing the homeowner's associations of the world. It also apparently has to do with Nickelodeon, how to keep a pet alligator, and magical mystery lemonade.

Show Notes:

For further information about that weird moment when a standardized test took one of Pinkwater's stories and asked kids to explain it, check out this New York Times article on the subject: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/21/nyregion/standardized-testing-is-blamed-for-question-about-a-sleeveless-pineapple.html

Woohoo! Teaching Children Philosophy is baaaack! Here is their section dedicated to The Big Orange Splot: https://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org/BookModule/TheBigOrangeSplot

For the full Show Notes, please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/11/11/fuse-8-n-kate-the-big-orange-splot-by-daniel-pinkwater/(opens in a new tab)

Nov 11 2019

30mins

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Rank #10: Episode 109 - In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories

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Halloween is almost upon us! And like every year, Kate is always challenging Betsy to come up with some classic scares. This year, we've seen Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark adapted to the silver screen. Seems only natural to then pull out what many would consider to be Schwartz's other scary classic for kids. And, oh joy, it's part of the I Can Read series! What we had not counted on was that in 2017 Harper Collins re-illustrated the series. What to do? Well... why not do both versions? Original illustrator Dirk Zimmer originally hailed from Germany while current illustrator Victor Rivas lives in Barcelona. Who is scarier in the end? Will this be like that time Harper Collins re-illustrated Scary Stories with Brett Helquist instead of Stephen Gammell and the world went mad? Guess you'll just have to find out for yourself.

Show Notes:

Here are Kate's Grown-Up Things she liked:

First up the game Zombie Dice: https://www.amazon.com/SJG-131313-Zombie-Dice/dp/B003IKMR0U

Second up, a Zombie catnip toy you can make yourself and the link here goes to Kate's old and, frankly, amazing blog from 2014: http://katokula.blogspot.com/2014/03/zombie-catnip-toy.html

Betsy is serious. She LOVES the American Writers Museum of Chicago. No lie. When you all come to Chicago next (and for some of you that will be the next American Library Association conference in June) you must visit it: https://americanwritersmuseum.org/

For the full Show Notes, please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/10/28/review-of-the-day:-in-a-dark,-dark-room-by-alvin-schwartz/

Oct 28 2019

30mins

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Rank #11: Episode 17 - Creepy Carrots

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Who says horror never wins the big awards? This is perhaps the last time a scary picture book got serious Caldecottian love. It also marks the end of the October spooky books for Betsy and Kate. At least you get to hear them run through a range of Halloween sound effects. Poor ones, granted, but it's the thought that counts.

Show Notes:

- When the book first came out, this was the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag0LPVYpIu4

- By the way, can YOU name a classic Thanksgiving picture book? You can’t. You can name Thanksgiving picture books, sure, but one that’s massively famous? Not so much.

- By the way, the answer to the quiz question this week is COMPLETELY incorrect. Can you guess the right answer?

- I wasn’t wrong, as it turns out. From 2002-2003 there was indeed a “new” Twilight Zone: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318252/

- That Creepy Crawlers commercial Kate remembers? It existed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0RK-l97NHY

-The Peter Brown book about the dog that I couldn’t remember (and that Jon Stewart’s son loved) was Chowder.

- The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs is best described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monkey%27s_Paw

-At this point I wanted to include a video of Aaron reading from this book. Trouble is, I couldn’t find one online. That meant I had to find the next best thing. So, apparently at TXLA they have this lip-synching contest between kidlit vs. YAlit folks. And if Aaron Reynolds didn’t win it for this then what are we even talking about? This is THE best thing you’ll see all day long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPRaQG8Zsz4

- In case you’re curious about the New Yorker piece here it is: Birth of a Supremacist - https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/16/birth-of-a-white-supremacist

- For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/10/30/spooky-october-infused-fuse-8-n-kate-creepy-carrots-by-aaron-reynolds-and-peter-brown/

Oct 30 2017

40mins

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Rank #12: Episode 66 - Arrow to the Sun

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Let's see. After Tikki Tikki Tembo and Little Black Sambo, it seems like Arrow to the Sun is the natural complement to those two, don't you think? Kate and Betsy haven't dug deep into a book with racist issues in a while, and they've never done any books where white folks told the stories of American Indians. In this post-Thanksgiving episode the sisters give as much of the history of this book as possible, all thanks to the work of K.T. Horning and Debbie Reese. Meanwhile, Kate gets confused about the actual storytelling itself, and Betsy cannot get over how a book from 1974 looks this much like a video game.

Show Notes:

- Behold and marvel at the lack of information on the Wikipedia entry for this book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_to_the_Sun

- K.T. Horning's Horn Book article Arrow to the Sun and Critical Controversies is a piece Betsy cribbed (read: stole) from heavily for this podcast episode: https://www.hbook.com/2013/09/choosing-books/horn-book-magazine/arrow-to-the-sun-and-critical-controversies/

- Pitfall came out in 1982, by the way.

- For the record, the song "Cat's in the Cradle" came out in 1974. The same year as this book. Coincidence?!?

- There are two articles on Arrow to the Sun on the blog American Indians in Children's Literature. The first dates back to 2006: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2006/10/gerald-mcdermotts-arrow-to-sun-gerald.html

- The second from 2009 looks at the book's discussion guide: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2009/04/scholastic-guide-to-arrow-to-sun.html

- Ten years later that discussion guide is still going strong on the Scholastic site: http://www.scholastic.com/browse/collateral.jsp?id=32388

- This would be the "book" sequence in Hocus Pocus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKNm3KVDq28

- Go here to see The Neon Museum of Las Vegas: https://www.neonmuseum.org/

- For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/11/26/fuse-8-n-kate-arrow-to-the-sun-by-gerald-mcdermott

Nov 26 2018

44mins

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Rank #13: Episode 21 - Strega Nona

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In this episode the sisters make it clear that Strega Nona has committed a cardinal sin. Not the creation of magic (the priest and nuns seem a-okay with her on that point). No we're talking about the moment she snatches away a pregnant woman's fork. What's up with that? Amidst Italian draculas and injured space monkeys, Kate and Betsy attempt to ascertain if Strega Nona really does deserve to be considered a classic of children's literature.

Show Notes:

- To know more about the life of Big Anthony, check out Big Anthony: His Story : https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-23189-6

- For the sequel with Strega Amelia, you'll want Strega Nona Meets Her Match : https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-22421-8

-Minh Le's bit on Strega Nona can be found here but its brilliance belongs to the masses: http://www.bottomshelfbooks.com/2007/06/strega-nona.html

- Can you crack The dePaola Code? It's a doozy: http://discomermaids.blogspot.com/2006/05/depaola-code-nana.html

-You can find Handsome Big Anthony in Big Anthony and the Magic Ring: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/books/big-anthony-and-the-magic-ring-by-tomie-depaola/

-Kate mentions the Freelance Wrestling Show in Chicago: http://freelancewrestling.com/

-Cannot recommend this book enough. Cake Magic by Caroline Wright : https://www.workman.com/products/cake-magic

For the complete Show Notes please visit http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/11/27/fuse-8-n-kate-strega-nona-by-tomie-depaola/

Nov 27 2017

36mins

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Rank #14: Episode 3 - In the Night Kitchen

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In this episode, Betsy tries as hard as she can to find a book that she and Kate can safely disagree on. Things don't go according to plan, though there are plenty of instances of the word "Penis!" being yelled at inopportune moments.

Score Thus Far:
Betsy: 0
Kate: 0
Maurice Sendak: 1

Jul 17 2017

46mins

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Rank #15: Episode 31 - Curious George

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About two weeks ago Kate and Betsy recorded a killer episode where they discussed the classic status (or lack thereof) of Curious George. Naturally, the computer ate the whole dang thing. This week they try it again. Kate’s already read the book so they're changing things up a little. Together, they get to use the phrase, “predicated on a lie”, discuss Zul’s hair, 1940s sailor twerking, and the ultimate lesson that white men get to do anything they want. Interestingly it makes for a much more succinct episode.

Show Notes:

- The real Betsy Bird: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pjU_WuA7pY

- Where George showed up on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/29/top-100-picture-books-41-curious-george-by-h-a-rey/

-Werner Herzog reads Curious George: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T8y5EPv6Y8

- And for the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/02/12/fuse-8-n-kate-curious-george-by-margret-and-h-a-rey/

Feb 12 2018

36mins

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Rank #16: Episode 9 - Goodnight Moon

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Things get off to a bang when Kate immediately throws Betsy off by calling the entire Harry Potter series "YA". After that things get weird. Sure, Goodnight Moon is one of the best known, best loved, most-received-at-baby-showers picture book classics of all time, but does it deserve the acclaim? The sisters discuss its sordid controversies, the book's forgotten ghost, and the danger of anatomically correct udders.

Show Notes:
- Proof of the existence of a pinhole camera saltine cracker. http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/08/17/solar-eclipse-glasses-cracker-slotted-spoon/575694001/

- The two podcasts that gave us shout outs? First up is The Secrets of Story podcast, created by my very own Matt Bird and his partner-in-crime, YA author and 90-Second Newbery's papa, James Kennedy. https://soundcloud.com/matt-bird-35537727

- The other is the Books Between podcast. Hat tip to Corrina Allen for interviewing me recently. There is a really nice fart noise contest at the end of my episode that I highly recommend. http://www.allthewonders.com/podcasts/betsy-bird-books-between-episode-32/

The link to Goodnight Moon on my Top 100 Picture Book Poll. http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/23/top-100-picture-books-4-goodnight-moon-by-margaret-wise-brown-illustrated-by-clement-moore/

- Answer to The Little House : What book did Virginia Lee Burton create that was ahead of its time? Just prior to writing The Little House, Burton actually attempted to write a book that can only be described as far and away ahead of her time. In the late 30s, early 40s she noticed that her nine-year-old son loved his comic books. The answer? Calico the Wonder Horse; or, The Saga of Stewy Slinker was an honest-to-goodness picture book in a comic-book format. As Minders of Make-Believe puts it, the book was a “gallant though futile gesture.” The Little House was made soon thereafter and got itself a Caldecott Medal in 1943, so there you go.

- Here's a link to the Children's Books Made Horrific take on Goodnight Moon (you'll see why we didn't read it aloud). http://the-toast.net/2015/05/14/childrens-stories-made-horrific-goodnight-moon/

- By the way, want to hear some proof that children's books have a weird relationship to cow udders? Check out this story that got cut out of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature.
http://wildthings.blaine.org/?p=486

- Controversy #1: http://www.joshuaprager.com/articles/runaway-money/

- Controversy #2: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/17/books/17moon.html?_r=2

- If you would like to read the Ugly Volvo piece of reader's theater just go to All My Issues with the Goodnight Moon Bedroom. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/opinion/04karbo.html?ex=1291352400&en=7a28d82e45f39af8&ei=5088

- Grown-Up Things We Like: Kate's volunteer event was The Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange. Feel free to volunteer yourself. https://www.creativechirx.org/

- You can reach us at FuseKate8@gmail.com.

You can find full show notes for this episode here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/08/28/new-fuse-8-n-kate-episode-goodnight-moon-by-margaret-wise-brown/

Aug 28 2017

35mins

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Rank #17: Episode 88 - Pete the Cat

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Kate gave Betsy a challenge to go out and find a picture book that the two of them hadn't read. And in the end . . . Betsy completely and utterly failed to do honor the request. She decided to do Pete instead. So it goes.

With this entry, Kate makes a VERY strong case for why this book missed an opportunity involving the color wheel. Kate also points out that the actual moral of this story is, "Watch where you step." Meanwhile, Betsy gets to riff on James Dean the actor (if he were ever to make a picture book), Kate tells Betsy that hedgehogs are super smelly (who knew?), and the two dive deep into Pete's confusing lineage.

Show Notes:

Here is Eric Litwin's interview with Line Up the Books: https://www.lineupthebooks.com/an-interview-with-ny-times-bestselling-author-and-former-special-ed-teacher-eric-litwin-2/

How do you sing this song? Here's how Litwin would do it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUubMSfIs-U

Here’s the Pete the Cat website in case you want to check out all those Pete videos: http://www.petethecatbooks.com/

And here’s the Pete the Cat television show. You know you’re curious. Behold the trailer. Is it just us or is it really painful to watch anytime you see Pete’s mouth? Plus we miss the messiness of the original art here. Seems like a lost opportunity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5w1F-_SDls

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/05/28/fuse-8-n-kate-pete-the-cat-i-love-my-white-shoes-by-james-dean/

May 28 2019

34mins

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Rank #18: Episode 110 - The Kissing Hand

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If there's one thing we know, it's that there are two kinds of picture books that are most often divisive: the message-y books and the sweet and fuzzies. Combine the two and you get The Kissing Hand. There is NO doubt that the book is loved deeply by Kindergarten teachers, but would you call it a picture book classic worthy of keeping on shelves for decades to come? Betsy really didn't know how Kate would react to this one when I handed it to her. Would she be charmed? Be appalled? And, as ever, Kate surprises Betsy. She's good at that.

Show Notes:

- Honestly, if you know why there used to be two illustrators associated with this book and then, later, only illustrator Ruth E. Harper was mentioned on the book's website, please let us in on the story.

- Yep. On the Top 100 Picture Books Poll it came in at #95: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/16/top-100-picture-books-95-the-kissing-hand-by-audrey-penn/

- Here's the link to Letters to Chester, which is entirely free and online for you: http://www.tanglewoodbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Letters-to-Chester_Layout_LowEmail3c.indd_.pdf

- Want to cook up some Kissing Hand cookies of your own? This one with Hershey's Kisses makes a lot of sense: http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2011/08/kissing-hand-keepsake-craft-math.html

And finally, here is the book trailer for Fabulous Monsters by Alberto Manguel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXg1bPoqHDU

For the full Show Notes, please visit http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/11/04/fuse-8-n'-kate:-the-kissing-hand-by-audrey-penn,-ruth-e-harper-&-nancy-m-leak/

Nov 04 2019

30mins

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Rank #19: Episode 60 - A Tiger Called Thomas

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Older holiday books for kids have a tendency to be a bit on the white side. So Betsy was thinking she was pretty slick when I came up with A Tiger Called Thomas for today's discussion. But here's the thing; she thought the version illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal was the only one out there. She was unaware that this book hadn't just been re-illustrated once but has FOUR different artists! Just to make all of this clear from the start, the four versions discussed on this podcast are:

A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Kurt Werth (1963)

A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Catherine Stock (1988)

A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal (2003)

A Tiger Called Tomás by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguéns (2018)

- This is not the first time Betsy has gone into a full-blown William's Doll rant. It's not mentioned in the podcast but the real difference here is publishers. William's Doll came out with Greenwillow. Thomas, in contrast, was originally published by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., then by Hyperion, and now by Sourcebooks. It bounces around!

- Has a purely Photoshopped book ever won a Caldecott? We call upon you, my readers, to help us come up with the answer to this.

- Here are the trolls that Kate saw at the Morton Arboretum: http://www.mortonarb.org/events/troll-hunt

- For the full Show Notes, please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/10/15/fuse-8-n-kate-a-tiger-called-thomas-by-charlotte-zolotow

Oct 15 2018

43mins

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Rank #20: Episode 7 - Are You My Mother?

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Load up on the Kleenex and stuff some hankies up your sleeve. We wrench out the tears (and the post-apocalyptic hellscape conspiracy theories) with P.D. Eastman's classic text. In the course of things Betsy and Kate also take time to consider chicken's eyelashes, great big rubber stamps, and Betsy manages to work in at least one more reference to holograms (yesss!).

Show Notes In Brief:

- In terms of feedback from Monica Edinger, please check out her blog post John Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Extra Bonus: A member of the Caldecott committee that awarded Steptoe the Honor makes a comment at the end! https://medinger.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/john-steptoes-mufaros-beautiful-daughters/

- Interested in reading the post on my Top 100 Picture Books Poll from 2012? Here's the one I did for Are You My Mother? http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/29/top-100-picture-books-45-are-you-my-mother-by-p-d-eastman/

Make sure you read the entire text of the Mallory Ortberg Are You My Mother? rendered horrific here. http://the-toast.net/2013/11/27/mother/

God, I love Robin Sparkles (though I still think she peaked with "Sandcastles in the Sand"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY_bhVSGKEg

- Not sure if my description of The Big Sick proved enticing enough? Then read the New Yorker piece Kumail Nanjiani's Culture-Clash Comedy. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/08/kumail-nanjianis-culture-clash-comedy

- And finally, next time you're in Cleveland, that Christmas Story House really does exist. http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com/

Full Show Notes can be found at http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/08/14/new-fuse-8-n-kate-episode-are-you-my-mother-by-p-d-eastman

Aug 14 2017

44mins

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Episode 148 - Imogene's Antlers

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While this may not be the first time we've ever covered an illustrator that I've collaborated with (remember when we discussed Dan Santat and After the Fall?) this is one of the few cases where we've done a collaborator of mine who has an honest-to-goodness classicky classic. We discuss the strength of Imogene's neck muscles, you get to hear an impromptu jingle for the Emergency Hat Service, I manage to work in a tiny reference to Gregor Samsa, and we marvel at Imogene's good nature. As I say on the show, "Imogene's most defining quality is her lack of freaking out over pretty much anything. This is a real go-with-the-flow kind of kid."

Show Notes:

The blog Don't Read This to My Kids has many thoughts on the book and they're worth reading here: http://www.drttmk.com/books/imogenes-antlers

This Imogene Halloween costume is brilliant. Two thumbs up! And it comes from the post Five Super Simple Halloween Costumes from the blog This Picture Book Life: http://thispicturebooklife.com/super-simple-picture-book-halloween-costumes/

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/08/10/fuse-8-n-kate-imogenes-antlers-by-david-small/

Aug 10 2020

27mins

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Episode 147 - Chato and the Party Animals

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When we consider classic Latinx picture books that would qualify as #ownvoices, only a few have been covered on this show. I mean, sure we did Pura Belpre's Perez and Martina a while ago, but let's get a little more contemporary, eh? Today's book premiered in 2000, which means it just barely squeezes in under the 20 year rule for inclusion. Now, granted, we probably should have started with the first book in the series, Chato's Kitchen. The only problem with that is (A) It's not as good and (B) Betsy couldn't find it on the library shelf and grabbed this instead. Eh. That's okay.

Show Notes:

Susan Guevara's vision for this book goes far and beyond anything Soto could have included in the text. Her interpretation covers a wide swath of influences and references, making it one of the most interesting picture book reads out there. Read the transcript of her interview or listen to it on Teachingbooks.net here: https://www.teachingbooks.net/book_reading.cgi?id=11932&a=1

If you'd like to read Gary Soto's essay "Why I Don't Write Children's Literature", you can find it here: https://muse.jhu.edu/book/38019

If you'd like to see the Spanish version of the Weston Woods video of this book, you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vix5GUph2JY

For the full Show Notes, please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/08/03/fuse-8-n-kate-chato-and-the-party-animals-by-gary-soto-ill-susan-guevara/

Aug 03 2020

29mins

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Episode 146 - The Keeping Quilt

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A lot of this show consists of Betsy thinking up an author (say, Patricia Polacco) then saying to herself "What's their most famous book?" In the case of Ms. Polacco, she was a bit stumped. This book was definitely in the top five, and she figured it would make for an interesting choice. Particularly since its shiny Sydney Taylor Award on the cover was intriguing. With its 1988 pub date, there's still a lot to really enjoy about this title. It's aged nicely, and ties in well with stories like Jacqueline Woodson's Show Way or Papa Had a Little Overcoat, even.

Show Notes:

I'm not kidding about the fact that Polacco went to school with Frank Oz and babysat Tom Hanks. Read all about it here: https://lifechums.wordpress.com/tag/tom-hanks/

If you would like to see the additional pages that Patricia Polacco made for the 25th anniversary edition of this book, take a gander at this video by the Mazza Museum. Our sole objection to this vid is that you never get a good close look at the quilt itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIHG0vLoyjk

Want to see the full Show Notes? Then join us at : http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/07/27/fuse-8-n-kate-the-keeping-quilt-by-patricia-polacco/

Jul 27 2020

29mins

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Episode 145 - Goodnight Gorilla

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If you had to pick all the Peggy Rathmann books that exist, you probably wouldn't begin with her title The Day the Babies Crawled Away (which Kate and Betsy did do on a previous episode). Instead, you'd probably want to do today's book! Is it her most famous? Dunno. Probably a toss up between this and Office Buckle and Gloria. Today Kate and Betsy dig deep into a title that certainly contains the world's most short-sighted escape plan. The Great Escape, this is not.

Show Notes:

- Here is the New York Times article that talks about Peggy Rathmann's new life and grand good life is Can Dirt Save the Earth: Agriculture Could Pull Carbon Out of the Air Into the Soil: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjlhueW79rqAhWCBc0KHSyDDM0QFjAAegQIARAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2018%2F04%2F18%2Fmagazine%2Fdirt-save-earth-carbon-farming-climate-change.html&usg=AOvVa...

This book came in at #40 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/01/top-100-picture-books-40-good-night-gorilla-by-peggy-rathmann/

It also came in at #12 on the Top 100 Board Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/08/09/the-top-100-board-books-poll-countdown-15-11/

And if you'd like to check out the podcast ArtCurious, try it here: http://www.artcuriouspodcast.com/artcuriouspodcast

For the full Show Notes, please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/07/20/fuse-8-n-kate-good-night-gorilla-by-peggy-rathmann/

Jul 20 2020

29mins

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Episode 144 - The Five Chinese Brothers

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"Bring me a bad book. Like, a really good bad book." So Kate asked Betsy. Well, we don't want to give anything away but Betsy may have hit on something. If you were born in the late 70s or early 80s, the odds are good that somebody you know read it to you. And this all ties in quite closely to current discussions of picture books with racist elements that sit blithely on shelves in children's rooms anywhere.

Show Notes:

In case you've ever wondered what this show's recording set-up looks like, Drew, the resident Penguinologist, put together this quickie video on a whim. It's haphazard but fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP3f_UtbXK0

While we appreciate that The Book Hound took the time to draw a connection between the Dionne quintuplets and the publication of this book, the assertion that, "While it is possible to conclude the illustrations in The Five Chinese Brothers are ethnic stereotypes, although not everyone agrees with that, it is impossible to make a case that the text contains or implies a racist premise, unless one misreads the first sentence," is an idea that holds no water: https://thebookhound.com/2018/07/31/when-looking-alike-is-not-racism-the-five-chinese-brothers-the-dionne-quintuplets/

It is not difficult to find the Weston Woods/Scholastic Teacher's Guide for this book. Note what it says at the end: "Other book based films and videos about Chinese culture are available from Weston Woods. These include: THE STORY ABOUT PING by Marjorie Flack TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent". Just . . . . wow. http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/westonwoods/study_guides/the_five_chinese_brothers.pdf

Finally, Betsy was able to track down the video of the boy reading Owl Babies to actual baby owls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i33i2VDsRU

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/07/13/fuse-8-n-kate-the-five-chinese-brothers-by-claire-huchet-bishop-and-kurt-wiese/

Jul 13 2020

30mins

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Episode 143 - Owl Babies

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Betsy didn't want to have a whole conversation about elongated eye tubes. She really, really didn't, but that's the price you pay when you show Kate the book Owl Babies. Today the two tackle the ebook edition of the picture book (rather than board book) version of this title and it makes for an interesting read. They end up wondering about where the gutter falls on certain two-page spreads, and have a lengthy talk about repetition in picture book texts and what this book has to do with working mothers.

Show Notes:

Josh Funk is correct. Splash Mountain will indeed be redone: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/25/media/splash-mountain-disney/index.html

The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore was, I believe, an Oscar-winning short animated film. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad3CMri3hOs

For the full Show Notes please go to: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/07/06/fuse-8-n-kate-owl-babies-by-martin-waddell-ill-patrick-benson/

Jul 06 2020

26mins

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Episode 142 - George Shrinks

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Funny to think about the authors and illustrators we've never quite gotten to on the show. Sometimes the trick behind selecting a book isn't so much which artist to do but what book to do from a given artist. After much soul searching Betsy decided that George Shrinks trumps Dinosaur Bob and the Family Lazardo in terms of sheer fame. It's a funny kind of book, and you can trust Kate to winnow out every possible detail on the page. Hope you like your kids short, your cats cruel, and your teddy bears creepy, because we're going all in on Joyce's best known today.

Show Notes:

You can find Bill's account of what happened when his made his last New Yorker cover here: https://apps.centenary.edu/newsarchive/2006/February/B-Joyce-cover-article.html

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/06/29/fuse-8-n-kate-george-shrinks-by-william-joyce/

Jun 29 2020

30mins

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Episode 141 - Show Way

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

Show Notes:

Here's the interview with Jacqueline Woodson about the background to Show Way on Reading Rockets with Carole Boston Weatherford: https://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/woodson/transcript

Toshi (Jackie's daughter) 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: http://thehappynappybookseller.blogspot.com/2011/02/interview-with-jacqueline-woodson.html

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/06/21/fuse-8-n-kate-show-way-by-jacqueline-woodson/

Jun 21 2020

29mins

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Episode 140 - Daddy's Roommate

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In honor of Pride this month, we figured it would be a good idea to check out one of the first big-time LGBTQIA+ picture books published in America. We've already covered Heather Has Two Mommies in a previous episode, so what's left? Well, if Heather Has Two Mommies came out in 1989, Daddy's Roommate followed just a year later in 1990. It was on ALA's top 10 banned list from 1990-1999. Researching it, we had no idea this would be such a fruitful book to explore. Above and beyond little things like the details Willhoite is just throwing in there there's the fact that Sarah Palin hated it and it was brought up during the 2008 presidential campaign. Plus Betsy gets to tell her Jon Waters purple velvet fainting couch story (which so rarely comes up).

Show Notes:

If you would like to see the video that Kate was critiquing from, you can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/304030343

As Lark pointed out the Barnes Children's Literature Festival features, amongst other things, Stanley Tucci reading The Tiger Who Came to Tea: https://www.barneskidslitfest.org/whats-on/

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/06/15/fuse-8-n-kate-daddys-roommate-by-michael-willhoite/

Jun 15 2020

29mins

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Episode 139 - Little Man, Little Man

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Kate gave Betsy a tricky challenge this week. She wanted her to find a book worth discussing that was pertinent to the times in which we live. So, after a great deal of soul searching, Betsy decided to focus on a book by a Black author. Even better, a book that was ahead of its time when it came out and may only find its true audience today. And few books for kids tackle the issue of police brutality as honestly as this one does. Reprinted two years ago, James Baldwin's 1976 title (the only book for children he ever made) feels both timeless and in desperate need of a new illustrator.

Show Notes:

The book Betsy alludes to at the start is Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature, edited by Julia L. Mickenberg and Philip Nel: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2009/02/16/review-of-the-day-tales-for-little-rebels-by-julie-l-mickenberg-and-philip-nel/

If you want additional information on Little Man, Little Man, Betsy wrote about it at length here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/05/17/a-childs-story-for-adults-digging-deep-into-james-baldwins-only-childrens-book/

Please consider listening to other episodes of this podcast featuring Black creators including:

The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring - http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/03/25/fuse-8-n-kate-the-boy-who-didnt-believe-in-spring-by-lucille-clifton-ill-brinton-turkle/

Mirandy and Brother Wind - http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/05/11/fuse-8-n-kate-mirandy-and-brother-wind-by-patricia-mckissack-and-jerry-pinkney/

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters - http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/08/08/new-fuse-8-n-kate-episode-mufaros-beautiful-daughters-by-john-steptoe/

Sam and the Tigers - http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/02/26/fuse-8-n-kate-the-story-of-little-black-sambo-by-helen-bannerman/

Stevie - http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/07/15/fuse-8-n-kate-stevie-by-john-steptoe/

Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears? - http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/11/20/fuse-8-n-kate-why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears/

For the full Show Notes please visit us at http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/06/08/fuse-8-n-kate-little-man-little-man-by-james-baldwin-ill-yoran-cazac/

Jun 08 2020

44mins

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Episode 138 - A Fish Out of Water

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For whatever reason, Kate and Betsy spoke for a whopping 45 minutes about today's book. Somehow, Kate (who is our editor on all this) cut it down to mere 28 minutes, which is a feat worth remarking. The sisters tackle whether or not "Helen Palmer" was or was not Dr. Seuss (the answer is far more complicated than you might think). They delve into what kind of reputation Mr. Carp must have to be on the watch list of both the police and the firemen. And now they have to research when fluoride entered the drinking water and when chlorine entered the public pools. It's important!

Show Notes:

- As we now know, in its original incarnation, this story began its life as Gustav the Goldfish by Dr. Seuss (originally appearing in Redbook magazine in June 1950). It only became A Fish Out of Water when Seuss's wife Helen adapted it to the easy book format.

- Our recent episode about The Cow That Sneezed caused our listener Christine to write in, "Listening to this episode reminded me of Stand Back," Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” Think I’ll go read it." Here is the link: http://readingtokids.org/Books/BookView.php?pag=5&bookID=00001169

- And here's the Ninja Warrior squirrel video that Kate and Betsy were both obsessed with this week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFZFjoX2cGg

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/06/01/fuse-8-n-kate-a-fish-out-of-water-by-helen-palmer-ill-p-d-eastman

Jun 01 2020

30mins

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Episode 137 - The Day the Cow Sneezed

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Kate and Betsy haven't done a cult classic picture book in a while. Really, the ultimate compliment any book can receive from its fans is that their love allows it to see life once more, decades after publication. This was one of the rare titles from the 1950s republished by the publisher Enchanted Lion. Betsy has always been a big fan of this book, but as we have learned time and time again, just because she likes something, that is NO indication that Kate will as well.

Show Notes:

Here is the link to the James Flora archives in the Kerlan Collection, should you wish to see them firsthand: https://archives.lib.umn.edu/repositories/4/resources/5433

Curious about Flora's album cover art? You can see a whole slew of it here: https://www.jimflora.com/galleries/flora-classic-album-covers/

And if, by any chance you're interested in seeing Betsy's library's community cookbook, you can find the link here: https://inkie.pressbooks.pub/cozyevanstoncookbook/

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/05/25/fuse-8-n-kate-the-day-the-cow-sneezed-by-james-flora/

May 25 2020

30mins

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Episode 136 - Jumanji

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Today's 1981 classic turned out to be a surprise to Kate. She, like many people in America, had no idea that Jumanji was a picture book before it was a movie (or two, or three). Thanks to her read, a lot of questions about this book were cleared up. For example, there is the fact that the parents must be going to a matinee (which explains why the kids eat dinner after their return later). And did you know that the two kids at the end of this book are the ones in the sequel Zathura? But here's the crazy thing. Kate actually managed to find a continuity error in the art. Don't believe us? Check it out.

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/05/18/fuse-8-n-kate-jumanji-by-chris-van-allsburg/

May 18 2020

30mins

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Episode 135 - Mirandy and Brother Wind

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"I'm giving myself extra points for doing this springy book in spring . . . which I did not realize until this moment. Patting on the backy of me!" Prior to today's episode the only Jerry Pinkney title Betsy and Kate had done on the podcast was Sam and the Tigers (as part of their Little Black Sambo round-up). As for Ms. Patricia McKissack, they'd never even done a single one of her books to date. Consider this a wrong now righted. This episode taught us about how folks change picture books to make them readable as ebooks. As for the plot of the story, no one ever talks about the book's traumatized chickens or the fact that you never get to see the cake Mirandy wins. Get ready for an extra deep dive into a book that is still a favorite of teachers nationwide.

Show Notes:

Initially the cakewalk was created to mock white slaveholders to their faces. They would judge the first cakewalks and have no idea the slaves were mocking them. There's an interesting article about it here at Face2Face Africa: https://face2faceafrica.com/article/how-the-popular-cakewalk-dance-was-actually-a-mockery-of-white-slave-masters-in-the-1800s

Want to play Scattergories with your own distant family for a virtual game night? Here is the site Kate found. We can attest that we tried this after we recorded this podcast and it worked very well! https://swellgarfo.com/scattergories/

If you would like to read our mother's poem Geomagnetic Reversal and My Mother’s Ethnoid Bone you'll locate it as the fourth link on this page. https://www.escapeintolife.com/poetry/mothers-day-2020-mothers-moleskine/

For the complete show notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/05/11/fuse-8-n-kate-mirandy-and-brother-wind-by-patricia-mckissack-and-jerry-pinkney/

May 11 2020

30mins

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Episode 134 - A Time to Keep

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Because it was recently Betsy's birthday, she got to choose a book that was her favorite when she was growing up. And let us say this about Tasha Tudor. The Queen of England herself is second only to Tasha Tudor in terms of corgi love. Tasha was the original corgi lover. The sisters spend a great deal of time trying to explain some of the oddities of the book by saying, "It's New England!" Like it helps or something. The best way to put it is that this book is 70s/1870s.

Show Notes:

If you ever care to show up at the Tasha Tudor website, it's a real class act: https://www.tashatudorandfamily.com/

Is Betsy the only one who makes this association when she sees a monk marionette? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK19zONpd04

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/05/04/fuse-8-n-kate-a-time-to-keep-by-tasha-tudor/

May 04 2020

30mins

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Episode 133 - Stellaluna

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Seems to us that bats are shouldering a great deal of the blame for our current COVID-19 crisis. Considering the fact that their P.R. wasn't all that great to begin with(Batman aside), Betsy decided this week's episode would combat this problem with the most famous bat-related picture book in America. It doesn't hurt matters any that this entire episode is pretty much just an excuse for her to post cute videos of baby fruit bats in the Show Notes.

Show Notes:

Betsy mentions that her falcons are currently nesting on her library building right now. Here they are on the live cam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hOZ0BMx12Y

Care to be pandered to? Here's the video of the juvenile fruit bat being petted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVz8rvIl_vY

And here is a video of a baby fruit bat eating a banana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaPXhYaFReY\u0026t=28s

The book came in at #71 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll. http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/21/top-100-picture-books-71-stellaluna-by-janell-cannon/

For the rest of the Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/04/20/fuse-8-n-kate-stellaluna-by-janell-cannon/

Apr 20 2020

31mins

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Episode 132 - One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

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True Fact: The longest book written in the English language is the easy book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.

Other True Fact: That first fact is untrue, but it's certainly what Kate believed in her heart when she finished reading that book during this recording. While many people remember all too well the title of today's book, its plot (such as it is) remains, for many, a mystery. Kate certainly didn't know what to expect and, to be fair, how could she have? Can anyone truly predict Clark or the Ying or Ned? Sweet sweet Ned? We think not.

Show Notes:

One image in this book was once parodied when Betsy made a post challenging artists to Re-Seussify Seuss. Which is to say, re-illustrate a Dr. Seuss work in the style of another illustrator. And Nathan Hale (of Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales) decided to take on "yellow teeth guy" (as Kate calls him) in the style of Stephen Gammell. You know. The fellow who illustrated Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. And the result is beautiful. Go here and scroll to the bottom: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/03/01/re-seussification-project-the-results/

Here is a video of famous novelists Kevin O'Leary, Ami McKay, and Erin Morgenstern reading this book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0waeG_x2eow
Here is the article we were told about in this episode (in reference to Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith)called, "Created during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Jingle Dresses are once again offering inspiration, healing" - https://nativenewsonline.net/entertainment/created-during-the-1918-spanish-flu-pandemic-jingle-dresses-are-once-again-offering-inspiration-healing/

For more Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/04/13/fuse-8-n-kate-one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-blue-fish-by-dr-seuss/

Apr 13 2020

30mins

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Episode 131 - Oliver Button is a Sissy

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In honor of Tomie dePaola, who left us last week, Betsy wanted to do one of his possible classics. The show had already done Strega Nona, but one other book might qualify for "classic" status. Trouble was, all the libraries are closed and Betsy couldn't get a physical copy of this book. Happily, Overdrive offered this ebook for borrowing. The title totally threw Kate off, and Betsy couched it by saying that it is considered one of the original GLBTQIA+ books created for kids in America. It is by NO means as brave as Heather Has Two Mommies, but it has its place in the culture.

Show Notes:
If you're interested in the GLBTQ chapter I refer to in this podcast, it's in the book Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature: http://wildthings.blaine.org/?page_id=2

And once again, ladies and gentlemen, The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington D.C. performing this book themselves!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuBA86Ohg94

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/04/06/fuse-8-n-kate-oliver-button-is-a-sissy-by-tomie-depaola/

Apr 06 2020

30mins

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Episode 130 - Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born

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For WEEKS Kate has been bugging Betsy to find her a celebrity picture book. The catch was that Betsy was insisting that the book be considered a "classic". So she asked the listeners what the most classicky classic was and they managed to come up with today's book. Published in 1996 this definitely falls within the 20 year rule (a.k.a. don't read anything that's younger .... in theory) so they went for it. But Betsy had no idea Kate would take issue with tons of illustrations that she finds degrading to women. She has a point. This book, you will find, has not aged as well as you may hope.

Show Notes:

Tis true! This is the second Laura Cornell book on this podcast. Take a listen to the Heather Has Two Mommies episode, because Ms. Cornell illustrated it for the reissue: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/06/27/new-fuse-8-n-kate-episode-heather-has-two-mommies/

This is the article in Education and Career News with Ms. Curtis which explains why she started writing picture books in the first place: https://www.educationandcareernews.com/early-childhood-education/why-jamie-lee-curtis-is-passionate-about-childrens-literacy/

As listener Erica told us "This story from Minnesota Public Radio is about how jingle dancers have been dancing and praying for healing during the quarantines. The story includes some history of the jingle dance and some links to videos.": https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/03/17/every-step-you-take-is-prayer-as-coronavirus-spreads-women-lead-virtual-dance-for-healing

And in case you missed it, here was Betsy's discussion with listener Carolyn Jeziorski, our official Expert Disaster Librarian: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/03/24/report-from-china-from-an-international-school-librarian-making-sense-of-school-closures/

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/03/30/fuse-8-n-kate-tell-me-again-about-the-night-i-was-born-by-jamie-lee-curtis-ill-laura-cornell/

Mar 30 2020

28mins

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Episode 129 - Leo the Late Bloomer

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Since Betsy's library is all closed up and she has no access to the books inside, she wasn't able to do a celebrity picture book with Kate this week. Such is the state of the world in which we live today. Not to worry! In this episode you will find a multitude of plover adjacent ideas, thoughts about developmental issues and when it's right to seek help vs. let things work out on their own, and why it's weird Leo isn't a lion. Like, not even a little bit.

Show Notes:

Betsy happens to mention right at the top of the show the book Sick Simon by Dan Krall. If you want the ultimate title showing why you should wash your hands, VERY few books cover the information as well as this one. If there were any justice in this world, sales of this book would be currently through the roof.

Here's the obit of Jose Aruego via Phil Nel's Nine Kinds of Pie: http://www.philnel.com/2012/08/14/aruego/

For a full accounting of the Ariane Dewey controversy, please check out this excellent piece on Dewey, created by Lisa Von Drasek at the Blue Ox Review: https://www.continuum.umn.edu/2018/06/women-artists-ariane-dewey/
This is the Muppet Show rendering of Danny Boy that we keep referencing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCbuRA_D3KU

Let the record show that we recorded this long before the episode of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me that ALSO happened to mention the Cats butt cut. We talked about it first!! https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/cats-movie-butthole-cut/

Kate mentions a show that she's enjoying. If you didn't catch it, it's called Letterkenny: https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/10/11/20909844/letterkenny-hulu-review-pitter-patter

Here's that Today Show post "How to homeschool during the coronavirus crisis with free resources". It's a shockingly useful collection of links: https://www.today.com/parents/how-homeschool-during-coronavirus-crisis-t176020

And here is Betsy's BYU Radio interview with the show Constant Wonder where she discussed Anne Carroll Moore: https://www.byuradio.org/episode/a5f07ed4-819f-4027-b5bb-590606625488/constant-wonder-no-children-in-libraries

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/03/23/fuse-8-n-kate-leo-the-late-bloomer-by-robert-kraus-jose-aruego-and-ariane-dewey/

Mar 23 2020

28mins

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Hilarious

By GrubReport - Nov 06 2017
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This is a surpassingly hilarious podcast and one that has been missing from my life for a long time. I burned through three episodes just today and have had so many laugh-out-loud moments which are sorely needed these days.

Irreverence at its Best

By LarkElisabeth - Oct 26 2017
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I’ve been a fan of Betsy’s blog for ages. It turns out that humor and excellence run in the family. Sisters Betsy and Kate have a hilarious, dry camaraderie perfect for their subject. It’s fun to hear both a novice and an expert review classic children’s books and discuss crazy things about them. A number one choice for any teacher or librarian.