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Kids & Family

Fuse 8 n' Kate

Updated 8 days 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 Jan 20, 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 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 #2: Episode 46 - Frog and Toad Are Friends

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The name of the game here is A Break From Brats. Betsy wanted to get Kate out of the realm of bratty children's book protagonists, so she thought the world's greatest friendship pair was the way to go. But before we get to that, the sisters do a rundown of the best and worst picture books they've ever looked at. As for the rest of the show, Kate writes down morals for every story in this book, and her interpretations aren't entirely canon. For Betsy's part, she gets to wax loquacious on her horizontal pupil theory of children's literature. Could you ask for anything more?

Show Notes:

- The Eric Carle exhibit was turned into a catalog, available for purchase. You can find Seeking a State of Grace: The Art of Arnold Lobel at the Eric Carle Museum's bookstore: https://shop.carlemuseum.org/seeking-state-grace-art-arnold-lobel

- We just want to say with sadness that apparently with the publication of The Merry Spinster, The Toast no longer hosts Daniel Ortberg's magnificent Children's Books Made Horrific. So we weren't able to provided a link here. Life is disappointment.

- Couldn't find an ideal video of it, but here's the original Broadway recording of the Toad looks funny in a bathing suit song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FetfyMbGnXo

- This isn't an ideal recording, but this singer is the strongest Snail we were able to find on YouTube, so in it goes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpuoog92e2Q

- As is mentioned, this book came in at #15 on the Top 100 poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/15/top-100-picture-books-15-frog-and-toad-are-friends-by-arnold-lobel/

-The Aaron Zenz version of Frog & Toad is, by far, superior to almost all others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=mq8Hz8Xv_z0

-Still, we harbor affection for this delightful French-ish version of The List: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvNLKeaeQ7w

- Read the full Source Notes here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/06/11/fuse-8-n-kate-frog-and-toad-are-friends-by-arnold-lobel

Jun 11 2018

41mins

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Rank #3: Episode 83 - Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

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It's time for another update in one of our favorite series on this podcast: Classics From Other Countries. Normally on this show we like to consider children's picture books from America, determining if they deserve their "classic" status. But how fair is that? Why not consider picture books deemed classics in other countries? We did Duck, Death and Tulip via Germany. We did The Gruffalo via the U.K. So let's jump on a plane and fly ourselves to Australia for our first Mem Fox classic. What will Kate think when she encounters a book with a title composed entirely out of names? And how many children's librarians out there can remember the full name at all times? Inquiring minds want to know.

To get a full dose of info on this book, there is no better place to go than Mem Fox's own website. Here's the Wilfrid page, chock full of fascinating info: https://memfox.com/gossip-behind-mems-books/wilfrid-gordon-mcdonald-partridge/

Bradley Whitford, everyone! Reading this book! Why? No idea! But it's there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dLCKYTbR5c

And while we're doing videos, this one about a staged production with puppets is worth your time too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wu5ldoGd68

For the full Show Notes, please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/04/22/fuse-8-n-kate/

Apr 22 2019

35mins

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Rank #4: 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 #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 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 #7: Episode 78 - Harry the Dirty Dog

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Kate got a dog! A doggy dog of her very own. And you know what goes together well, like peaches and cream? Dogs and picture books. So Betsy had to figure out a classic dog picture book. And lo and behold she realized that in spite of its relative fame the show had never done a book about this particular dirty dirty dog. In the course of things Betsy and Kate solve the mystery of why Harry never rolls in mud. Meanwhile, this is a VERY springtime-related book. We hope you appreciate the robins and the daffodils. Here in February, our eyes are hungry for any and all spring things.

Show Notes:

- Here's an obit for Margaret Bloy Graham: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/books/margaret-bloy-graham-harry-the-dirty-dog-illustrator-dies-at-94.html

- And another article about her from WBUR: https://www.wbur.org/artery/2015/04/17/margaret-bloy-graham

- The book was #43 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/29/top-100-picture-books-43-harry-the-dirty-dog-by-gene-zion-illustrated-by-margaret-bloy-graham/

- Curious to see the Complete Listing of All Public Children's Literature Statues in the United States? Well here it is: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/03/28/updated-the-complete-listing-of-all-public-childrens-literature-statues-in-the-united-states/

- And at Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, WI you'll find this adorable little Harry. You can clean him. Look at that adorable guy!! http://www.bookwormgardens.org/

- I wasn't wrong. The Scottish Granny did read I Need a New Bum. Here, you can watch her yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQoYjU2Fh0M

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/02/25/fuse-8-n-kate-harry-the-dirty-dog-by-gene-zion-ill-margaret-bloy-graham/

Feb 24 2019

40mins

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Rank #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: 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 #11: Episode 112 - Green Eggs and Ham

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When Kate challenged Betsy to find a classic Thanksgiving book, she made the mistake of saying off-handedly, "Oh, it could just be about food too." Ah HAH! Food, eh? Well, they'd already done Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, so that could leave only one other famous food-related piece of children's literary history. That's right. Time to down some Green Eggs and Ham.

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/11/25/fuse-8-n-kate-green-eggs-and-ham-by-dr-seuss/

Betsy anticipated our discussion of whether or not this book is more of a St. Patrick's Day title. What she did not think of was whether or not this book would tap into Kate's bottomless knowledge of sales. It does, she shares her opinion, and Betsy get scared. And really, isn't being scared by your relatives exactly what Thanksgiving is all about anyway? Happy listening!

Show Notes:

This book showed up at #12 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll. There are some very funny links in there that you might find worth checking out: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/15/top-100-picture-books-12-green-eggs-and-ham-by-dr-seuss/

Betsy wasn't wrong. Here is the bizarre description of this book in the NYPL catalog: https://browse.nypl.org/iii/encore/record/C__Rb18712668__Sgreen%20eggs%20and%20ham__Orightresult__U__X7?lang=eng&suite=def

Do you harbor any curiosity at all about the Netflix show? Here's a trailer to clarify matters. It's . . . uh . . . it's something all right. Guess Kate was right about the two being strangers at the start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaqKPRxxaSk

And I found the video of the Rev. Jesse Jackson reading snatches of the book on Saturday Night Live. Darndest thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1mqg4C0awA

Nov 25 2019

30mins

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Rank #12: 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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Rank #13: Episode 40 - Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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After promising Kate that they'd do a book by a lady, Betsy had to determine the best possible choice. Her idea was to look on her old Top 100 Picture Books Poll and see who the top women on there were. #1? Margaret Wise Brown. #2 was Judith Viorst and this book. You know, you never know which books are going to provide you with a plethora of information. This book? Kate had to edit every "um" and "uh" out of the recording to winnow the yammering down to a mere 45 minutes. Still was fun, though.

Show Notes:

- Betsy couldn't conjure up the name on the spot, but the Boxtrolls movie was based on Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow.

- Here's the Viorst bio on Wikipedia. Betsy still finds it oddly charming: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Viorst

- Is Ray Cruz dead? No, but it was difficult to find that information online. If you look at the webpage dedicated to his papers at the de Grummond collection, they state that "Cruz lived in New York City until his death." http://www.lib.usm.edu/legacy/degrum/public_html/html/research/findaids/DG0240f.html

-For the full Show Notes please visit http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/04/23/fuse-8-n-kate-alexander-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day-by-judith-viorst

Apr 23 2018

45mins

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Rank #14: Episode 73 - Doctor De Soto

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And we're back to the classics. So far on this podcast, Kate and Betsy have tackled only one William Steig (Sylvester and the Magic Pebble). As per usual, Kate notices things. She notices that the initials of Doctor De Soto are DDS, which is a dental detail Betsy had never thought of before. She notices a rather lovely umbrella stand bedecked with dragons. She notices mouse dentures (and how creepy mouse dentures would be in real life). For Betsy's part, she gets to imitate the sound of a rotten tooth being removed from a fox's mouth (there's a distinct pop at the end) and the two debate whether or not the old No Cavities Forever solution is legit or not.

Show Notes:

- This book was definitely was published after Sylvester, by the way. Sylvester came out way back in 1969.

- Why DID people wrap their heads up with handkerchiefs when they had toothaches?

- Can you think of a classic fox book where the fox is heroic rather than sneaky and sly?

- This book came in at #57 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/25/top-100-picture-books-57-doctor-de-soto-by-william-steig/

- The animated short of Doctor De Soto that was nominated for an Academy Award does not appear to be online. Unless, of course, it's this Weston Woods video with its simply marvelous narratorhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGDz1orKRY8

- Read the full Show Notes here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/01/21/fuse-8-n-kate-doctor-de-soto-by-william-steig

Jan 21 2019

43mins

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Rank #15: Episode 76 - The Paper Bag Princess

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This week, Betsy found a nice calm little book and discussed it in a nice calm little way. Fear not, though. There is PLENTY to pick apart. The fact that a Dude In Distress can be simplified to: "The D.I.D." Who you would cast as the dragon in the movie of this book (which, let's admit it, it's a little weird that it HASN'T been turned into an animated full-length feature film yet)? And how exactly do you pronounce "Munsch"? All will be made clear.

Show Notes:

- Kudos to Mr. Munsch for including all kinds of wonderful information for each of his books on his website. With that in mind, here's his page for The Paper Bag Princess: https://robertmunsch.com/book/the-paper-bag-princess

- I think we had the image of the princess punching Ronald in the nose in an early draft of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature: http://wildthings.blaine.org/?page_id=32

- We dunno. We think we kind of want to see the version of this where the princess takes Ronald's clothes when he criticizes her.

- This is the great school photography project photograph that we love so very very much: https://www.deviantart.com/fit51391/art/The-Paper-Bag-Princess-144606128

- It comes in at #86 on the Top 100 Picture Book polls: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/18/top-100-picture-books-86-the-paper-bag-princess-by-robert-munsch/

- We quote from Tales for Little Rebels. Can't help but always recommend this book. It was ahead of its time when it first came out: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2009/02/16/review-of-the-day-tales-for-little-rebels-by-julie-l-mickenberg-and-philip-nel/

- Here is what The Toast had to say about The Paper Bag Princess: http://the-toast.net/2015/05/12/they-didnt-get-married-after-all-robert-munschs-the-paper-bag-princess/

- For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/02/11/fuse-8-n-kate-the-paper-bag-princess-by-robert-munsch-ill-michael-martchenko

Feb 11 2019

42mins

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Rank #16: Episode 35 - Go, Dog. Go!

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Our latest podcast marks a first. Yes what we have here is the first time that Betsy has ever discovered that she's been mispronouncing the title of a popular children's book for years and years and years. You might ask yourself, "How the heck do you mispronounce P.D. Eastman's most classic book?" It's all in the punctuation. In fact, we doubt anyone has ever picked apart the punctuation of this book as intensely as Kate and Betsy do on this episode. As it turns out, the female hat-wearing dog's use or lack of use when it comes to exclamation points practically warrants a conspiracy theory in and of itself.

Show Notes:

- After looking at this particular video of the show, Betsy is pretty sure the one she saw was just a case of poor direction. This looks MUCH livelier! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_To7faUGBI

- Be sure to check out the full text of The Ugly Volvo's An Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog From "Go, Dog, Go". http://www.theuglyvolvo.com/an-open-letter-to-the-female-hat-wearing-dog-from-go-dog-go/

- Here's the book coming in at #28 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/05/top-100-childrens-novels-28-go-dog-go-by-p-d-eastman/

- For a complete listing of Show Notes please go to: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/03/12/fuse-8-n-kate-go-dog-go-by-p-d-eastman/

Mar 12 2018

41mins

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Rank #17: 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 #18: Episode 30 - Caldecott Contenders

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We're so excited! Kate and Betsy take a little break from their usual schtick this week because a week from today is the most exciting day of the year. You know the one we mean. It's a week until the ALA Youth Media Awards where they'll be announcing the Newbery and Caldecott Awards!!! To celebrate, Kate and Betsy find three top contenders for this year's Medal. Three top contenders that all feature light blue skies on their covers, apparently.

Show Notes:

- The link to the live feed of the ALA Youth Media Awards on Monday, February 12th can be found here: http://ala.unikron.com/2018/index_home.php

- The hashtag for the Awards on Twitter will be #alayma

-If you would like to see the full Show Notes for this episode, just go to: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/02/05/fuse-8-n-kate-super-special-caldecott-contender-edition/

Feb 05 2018

43mins

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Rank #19: Episode 11 - Lon Po Po

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In desperate need to get the taste of The Berenstain Bears and the Bully out of their mouth, Betsy and Kate turn their sights to yet another Caldecott Award winner. This time it's Ed Young's take on the classic Chinese folktale Lon Po Po. Like the Red Riding Hood tale? Then you'll certainly enjoy this lovely tale where a trio of clever sisters break every friggin' bone in a wolf's body.

Show Notes:
- Pudding is not actually the 10th anniversary gift. But it should be.

- This is where Kate couldn't see the wolf in the first two-page spread:
http://www.vickiblackwell.com/lit/images/panelpics.jpg

- Had the wolf frequented his local supermarket he might have gotten the delicacies another way:
http://victor.iwi.com.sg/gjh/product_image/Mili_GingkoNuts.jpg

- Some light reading? Try your hand at Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale Book by Catherine Orenstein:

- You know I'm desperate when I pull out my old copy of The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales Book by Bruno Bettelheim

- Here's Yeh-Shen by Ed Young, which Kate mentions: http://www.mariespastiche.com/2013/07/yeh-shen-chinese-cinderella.html

- The truly gorgeous Mighty Moby by Barbara DaCosta is illustrated by Ed Young. Find it. Read it. Love it. https://mightymoby.wordpress.com/about-the-creation-of-mighty-moby/

- The Berenstain Bears picture book The Harvest Festival and, as you can see, there's a little light in the corner. If you know what it means you're fine. If you don't, you end up in Rebecca's position. http://d2qxx3fqcmq0dz.cloudfront.net/media/catalog/product/cache/7/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/9/7/9780310748656.jpg.1446997872.jpg

- The episode of Secrets of Story that mentions us can be found here. This is particularly recommended for fans of Dan Harmon as well. https://soundcloud.com/matt-bird-35537727/secrets-of-story-episode-6-raiders-of-the-story-circle

- A little information on The Good Place. I will say it again. This. Show. Is. A. Delight. https://www.nbc.com/the-good-place?nbc=1

- For the complete show notes, visit http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/09/11/new-fuse-8-n-kate-episode-lon-po-po-by-ed-young/

Sep 11 2017

38mins

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Rank #20: Episode 55 - Make Way for Ducklings

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Didn't Kate and Betsy just do a Robert McCloskey book? They did, but it was not his most famous work. In spite of the fact that Betsy springs the tale of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard on her poor unsuspecting sister the two somehow manage to say a LOT about it! Vicious egg-eating turtles and all.

Show Notes:

- Just in case you're curious, the Twitter handle for this show is @fuse_kate and on Instagram at fuse8kate.

- You can visit sculptor Nancy Schon's website on the ducklings here: http://www.schon.com/public/ducklings-boston.php

- A bit of a correction here. Betsy got her story COMPLETELY mixed up. The true tale is that McCloskey saw Nixon somewhere (this being 1941 we've no idea where), noted his profile, and decided to use it for the book. So the theory that it's one of the kids was way WAY off. Read more about this at the ALSC blog: https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2012/10/wheres-dick/

- It came in at #6 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/20/top-100-picture-books-6-make-way-for-ducklings-by-robert-mccloskey/

- Please do tell us what you consider to be the most unknown Caldecott Award (not Honor) winner of all time. Write in!

- And as a reminder, if you've nothing going on this coming Thursday at 3:00, tune in to Author's Voice where Betsy will be interviewing, Sean Rubin, the creator of Bolivar. It's a great way to get a signed copy (and not a bad idea if you need a graphic novel for a younger reader that would make yet another gorgeous holiday present). You can watch live, order the book, and write in questions here: http://authorsvoice.net/event/ladybird-friends-sean-rubin-bolivar/

- Full the full Show Notes visit us at http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2018/09/10/fuse-8-n-kate-make-way-for-ducklings-by-robert-mccloskey/

Sep 10 2018

43mins

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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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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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Episode 118 - Knuffle Bunny Too

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This past weekend Betsy took a trip to the Chicago Children's Museum with her kids, and lo and behold she stumbled upon a Mo Willems exhibit currently showing. She marveled at how the show cleverly integrated elements of the artist's books with honestly good, interactive stations. In a nod to Mo's background in animation, for example, kids can turn (oddly sturdy) cranks which flip pages featuring his characters doing an array of different things.

Of course, by complete coincidence Kate and Betsy had just finished recording their episode on Knuffle Bunny Too. It's been a while since they've done a particularly famous book, and this would be the perfect way to kick off the new year. Mind you, longtime listeners might remember that Kate has never been the biggest Mo Willems fan out there. She wasn't particularly enamored of Knuffle Bunny the first. How would the second fare?

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2020/01/06/fuse-8-n-kate-knuffle-bunny-too-by-mo-willems/

Jan 06 2020

30mins

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Episode 117 - Hanukkah Bear:The Chanukkah Guest

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It's the last day of Hanukkah and what better way to celebrate than with one book split into two parts? In 1990 Eric Kimmel adapted a story he'd written for Cricket Magazine to a picture book format and called it The Chanukkah Guest. Then, in 2013 he took that same Cricket Magazine tale and turned it into the slightly different Hanukkah Bear. One story. One author. Two different versions. Are they both Hanukkah classics or will only one make the final cut? Betsy and Kate discuss every possible angle and come up with the perfect title for a new holiday book: Hanukkah Hangry. You are welcome to use it. Just credit us with the title.

For the complete show notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/12/30/fuse-8-n-kate-the-chanukkah-guest-hanukkah-bear-by-eric-a-kimmel/

Dec 30 2019

30mins

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Episode 116 - The Nativity

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Today's book is sort of a favor to Kate and Betsy's mom. She's always been very fond of this particular telling of The Nativity, and it remains a favorite to this day. And it's so nice to return to Julie Vivas again! When last seen on this podcast we were looking at her book with Mem Fox called Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (found here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/04/22/fuse-8-n-kate/).

By the way, Betsy begins by saying that this book is out-of-print. Turns out there's a paperback edition (ISBN: 9780152060855) that's absolutely in print and FINE! So no worries there. False alarm!

Show Notes:

Thanks to the wonders of Google Books, you can actually find the selection from Censorship: A World Encyclopedia where the objections to this book are recorded here: https://books.google.com/books?id=nzisCQAAQBAJ&pg=PT1869&lpg=PT1869&dq=the+nativity+julie+vivas+censorship&source=bl&ots=gR_0T8y8Cv&sig=ACfU3U0l6llPRJ27Pmyb0nw3Bb1s4E8now&hl=en&ppis=_e&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwitrbK9-8rmAhWCGM0KHd8CAkEQ6AEwD3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&...

For the full show notes, please visit us here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/12/23/fuse-8-n-kate-the-nativity-by-julie-vivas/

Dec 23 2019

30mins

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Episode 115 - A Small Miracle

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Ah! At last! The chance to combine three of our favorite types of literature: Holiday Books, Wordless Books, and Cult Classics. In trying to find a new Christmas classic to do with Kate, it occurred to Betsy that the two had never done this particular book. It first came to Betsy's attention years ago thanks in large part to Alison Morris (now working at First Book). Unfamiliar with it? We hope you like a book that leans into its weirdness.

For full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/12/16/fuse-8-n-kate-a-small-miracle-by-peter-collington/

Dec 16 2019

30mins

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Episode 114 - Fortunately

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In some ways, 2019 was kind of a fortunately/unfortunately kind of year. Seems appropriate that we would tackle Remy Charlip's best known work in one of our final podcasts of the year. Librarians adore this title because its readaloud potential is huge. Will Kate love it for its originality, or detest it for the complete lack of sense it makes? You cannot help but love the fact that she believes that given Charlip's origins, letting Ned die would have been the Frenchest ending of them all. Or that if you try to work out the geography of this book, you're in trouble. He goes from New York to the water with sharks to an island with tigers . . . to Florida?

For the full Show Notes visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/12/09/fuse-8-n-kate-unfortunately-by-remy-charlip/

Dec 09 2019

28mins

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Episode 113 - A Kiss for Little Bear

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Sometimes you just gotta read something awkward. Today, in spite of Betsy's determination never to do so, she skipped over ALL the previous Little Bear books produced by Minarik and Sendak and handed her sister the strangest of them all. Will Kate or Betsy think that this book is essentially the cringe comedy easy book of children's literature? Will Kate find a good image for a tattoo? Is there any situation where it is not weird to "kiss the bride"?

Show Notes:

The Kirkus review of this book is THE BEST! https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/else-holmelund-minarik/a-kiss-for-little-bear/

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/12/02/fuse-8-n-kate-a-kiss-for-little-bear-by-else-holmelund-minarik-ill-maurice-sendak/

Dec 02 2019

27mins

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Episode 112 - Green Eggs and Ham

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When Kate challenged Betsy to find a classic Thanksgiving book, she made the mistake of saying off-handedly, "Oh, it could just be about food too." Ah HAH! Food, eh? Well, they'd already done Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, so that could leave only one other famous food-related piece of children's literary history. That's right. Time to down some Green Eggs and Ham.

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/11/25/fuse-8-n-kate-green-eggs-and-ham-by-dr-seuss/

Betsy anticipated our discussion of whether or not this book is more of a St. Patrick's Day title. What she did not think of was whether or not this book would tap into Kate's bottomless knowledge of sales. It does, she shares her opinion, and Betsy get scared. And really, isn't being scared by your relatives exactly what Thanksgiving is all about anyway? Happy listening!

Show Notes:

This book showed up at #12 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll. There are some very funny links in there that you might find worth checking out: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/15/top-100-picture-books-12-green-eggs-and-ham-by-dr-seuss/

Betsy wasn't wrong. Here is the bizarre description of this book in the NYPL catalog: https://browse.nypl.org/iii/encore/record/C__Rb18712668__Sgreen%20eggs%20and%20ham__Orightresult__U__X7?lang=eng&suite=def

Do you harbor any curiosity at all about the Netflix show? Here's a trailer to clarify matters. It's . . . uh . . . it's something all right. Guess Kate was right about the two being strangers at the start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaqKPRxxaSk

And I found the video of the Rev. Jesse Jackson reading snatches of the book on Saturday Night Live. Darndest thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1mqg4C0awA

Nov 25 2019

30mins

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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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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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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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Episode 108 - The Swallow and the Tom Cat

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We have a special guest!! It was our esteemed delight and pleasure to host international superstar, picture book creator, Hans Christian Andersen Award winner, Roger Mello in this, the latest episode of our podcast! Now it had been a while since we'd done an international picture book. We do try to make an effort to look at what other countries would consider "classics", but it can be difficult to (A) determine what a country thinks of as a classic and (B) find translations here in the States. Fortunately we lucked out with this episode. We asked Roger what Brazilian classic Kate should read and he selected a book that not only got translated here (in 1982) but one where a copy was still available in Betsy's library's consortium. Whew!

Of course, the book is 96 pages long so Kate's read had to be a bit truncated. She read just the first tale in the book and the last one, and I do believe it worked out beautifully. Jorge Amado, of course, was the Brazilian novelist responsible for such serious novels about social justice as Cacao as well as more comic titles like Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.

Show Notes:

Curious about the Hans Christian Andersen Medal? You can find more information about it here. The Americans that are currently nominated right now are Jacqueline Woodson and illustrator Allen Say: http://www.ibby.org/awards-activities/awards/hans-christian-andersen-awards/

Why was the book written by the great novelist Amado? According to the Kirkus review it was, "Originally written in 1948 as a birthday gift for Amado's infant son." And clearly that review journal wasn't the book's biggest fan: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jorge-amado-4/the-swallow-and-the-tom-cat/

You can find the full Show Notes here: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/10/21/fuse-8-n'-kate:-the-swallow-and-the-tom-cat-by-jorge-amado-with-special-guest-roger-mello!/(opens in a new tab)

Oct 21 2019

35mins

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Episode 107 - The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

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In memory of the great Mr. Gerstein we decided to do his best-known, most classicy classic title. Of course, by doing this title, it means that for the first time, in all of our history, we are doing a nonfiction picture book. Not a bad way to start out, eh? Have no fear, we'll be getting to the spooky Halloween fare soon enough, but first we wanted to pay an homage to one of children's literature's greats.

Show Notes:

- Quiz Question: Which Disney animated film begins with a shot of the Twin Towers?

- How old was Philippe Petit when he did this? We looked it up. He was about to turn 25.

- Here is the trailer for the documentary Man on Wire. I love that it includes the moment he balances the policeman's hat on his nose and then drops it onto his head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz6oddi0mts

- And here is the trailer for the biographical drama called The Walk. Looks like the supplemented the actual drama with some unnecessary dramatic flourishes. I like the shots though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W6byFcD5uE

The Weston Woods version of this book is read by Jake Gyllenhal and it's lovely. Here's a quick peek at it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-FzEGNsH8w

- Here is the $5 hand candle holder that Kate was discussing: https://www.target.com/p/halloween-votive-candle-holder-white-hyde-38-eek-boutique-8482/-/A-54381257?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Seasonal%2BShopping_Brand&adgroup=SC_Seasonal&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&l...

For the full Show Notes please visit us at: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/10/14/fuse-8-n-kate-the-man-who-walked-between-the-towers-by-mordecai-gerstein/(opens in a new tab)

Oct 13 2019

30mins

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Episode 106 - Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type

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How do you type with hooves? Would this book today involve the cows texting? What are the logistics of not giving milk and then proceeding to start up production again? Who's buying from the underground milk market? How do you strap a typewriter to a duck? Betsy and Kate are just full of questions with today's book. Kate comes up with the cruelest advice for Farmer Brown you've ever heard and Betsy gets to come up with fake sequel names to this story

Show Notes:

- As it happens, Betsy was not quite right when she said this book was "definitely older than 20 years old". It is, in fact, 19-years-old. It could not buy a drink in a bar if it wanted to.

Here is where we found the information about the right-wing talk show hosts finding this book too pro-union and anti-creationist: https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/beware-the-insidious-agenda-of-click-clack-moo-cows-that-type/

This book came in at #39 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/06/01/top-100-picture-books-39-click-clack-moo-cows-that-type-by-doreen-cronin-illustrated-by-betsy-lewin/

Betsy other podcast that she mentions? It's the Story Seeds Podcast and she highly recommends that you listen to it with your older kids: https://www.storyseeds.co/

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/10/07/fuse-8-n-kate-click-clack-moo-by-doreen-cronin-betsy-lewin/

Oct 07 2019

29mins

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Episode 105 - I Want My Hat Back

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We have a good good rule here at Fuse 8 n' Kate. Betsy and Kate do not judge any picture book that younger than 20 years of age. And with today's episode, Betsy broke that rule. She broke it hard. Clocking in at a mere 8 years of age, it's a bit premature to consider Klassen's best known title as a "classic" picture book or not. And yet, Betsy clearly could not help herself. In the course of things they discuss the fact that this book is essentially a school play, the speed of a bear, and the likelihood that the rabbit is, in fact, under the bear at the story's end.

Show Notes:

This book came in at #74 on the Top 100 picture book poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/21/top-100-picture-books-74-i-want-my-hat-back-by-jon-klassen/

Then there were lots of memes of this book out there: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-want-my-hat-back

Here is the Re-Seussification Project Betsy alluded to, where Dan Santat redid The Cat in the Hat in the style of Jon Klassen: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/03/01/re-seussification-project-the-results/

Turns out the Remember Reading podcast mentioned this show because Betsy was a guest. She spoke on the episode about the beauty of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark-ft-j-a-white-betsy-bird/id1447897366?i=1000446362118

Remember when Kate mentioned the Severus Snape song? You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eax4oQb5p04

And here are the comics that show Dumbledore as a jerk. Good stuff: https://www.indy100.com/article/a-cartoonist-has-reimagined-dumbledore-as-a-jerk-and-its-hilarious--ZyxEIWFCT4e

For the full Show Notes, please visit us at: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/09/30/fuse-8-n-kate-i-want-my-hat-back-by-jon-klassen/

Sep 30 2019

30mins

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Episode 104 - The Carrot Seed

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Betsy had been avoiding today's book, not because it isn't famous enough, but because it's on the simple side. 101 words simple, in fact. The sisters get a little silly in the course of things, but boy do they learn all kinds of things! Lawnmower parenting! How had Betsy not known about it all these years? Kate decides that the boy is secretly working for Monsanto. Betsy defends the parents, which Kate didn't see coming. Kate learns all about the germination cycle of carrots. And Betsy compares the boy to Buster Keaton.

Which is right.

Show Notes:

Betsy doesn't mention it on the podcast but this book came in at #100 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/16/top-100-picture-books-100-the-carrot-seed-by-ruth-krauss-illustrated-by-crockett-johnson/

In his essay Ruth Krauss and Me, Maurice Sendak praises ‘that perfect picture book, The Carrot Seed (Harper), the granddaddy of all picture books in America, a small revolution of a book that permanently transformed the face of children’s book publishing. The Carrot Seed, with not a word or a picture out of place, is dramatic, vivid, precise, concise in every detail. It springs fresh from the real world of children’.” Read more here: http://www.k-state.edu/english/nelp/purple/bibliography.html#sendak.krauss_and_me

And finally, here's the Carrot Seed song, so popular with many a storytime around this great nation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHxLfBSU-9E

For the full Show Notes, please visit with us at http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/09/23/fuse-8-n-kate-the-carrot-seed-by-ruth-krauss-ill-crockett-johnson/

Sep 23 2019

30mins

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Episode 103 - Swimmy

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Betsy is very proud of herself. She managed to go this entire episode of the podcast without mentioning Rainbow Fish once. She and Kate do discuss Frederick briefly, but how can you not? In this episode Betsy discovers that no one has ever written a fun background story on how Leo Lionni came up with this book. Instead the sisters discuss whether or not Lionni was good at making art with cut potatoes, whether fish have eyebrows, and how hard it is to say the term "Mom pun" repeatedly.

If you would like to see the Reading Rainbow where Tyne Daley reads Amazing Grace, here is the episode: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6f5eek

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/09/16/fuse-8-n-kate-swimmy-by-leo-lionni/

Sep 16 2019

30mins

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Episode 102 - The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!

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"Nobody wants your bunny snot cake, buddy."

Betsy and Kate had done The Stinky Cheese Man on their podcast, but that still left a great big wolf-shaped hole in the canon. Time for Scieszka/Smith Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. In this episode Kate decides to take the Wolf at his word and, as you might expect, she find some holes in his defense. This guy would never be able to hold it together if that woman cross-examined him on the stand. As you might imagine, the sisters have a lot of fun with this one.

Show Notes:

Betsy just thinks Binge Boxes are a neat concept. If you'd like to see them in action, check out this posting from the Marion County Public Library System: https://mcpls.org/bingebox/

For the record, if you want a killer authentic version of The Three Little Pigs (though it cuts out the weird apple picking/fair going parts) try reading Yummy! by Lucy Cousins. http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2009/07/30/review-of-the-day-yummy-by-lucy-cousins/

Betsy didn't mention it, but she just loves this Sesame Street version of the story. Maybe that's just because she's House of Cards fan, though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92NXMtVtv8o

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/09/09/fuse-8-n-kate-the-true-story-of-the-3-little-pigs-by-jon-scieszka-and-lane-smith

Sep 09 2019

28mins

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Episode 101 - Amazing Grace

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A British book just snuck into the pack. When Betsy picked it up from the library for Kate to read, she was positive that what they had on their hands was an American title through and through. Not as such. Mary Hoffman, a white British woman, wrote this back in 1991. It was also a Kate Greenaway Honor book when it was released, which is impressive. This book is not without its controversial elements, but in Betsy's library the only edition available was the reprinted 2015 edition. And, as you will see, that is probably for the best.

Show Notes:

- For a fun time, Google "Pantomimes about Aladdin" sometime. You will subsequently be taken to a wide world of very British holiday oddities.

I love this kid with his hand only partly up. Like he wasn't paying attention and isn't sure what everyone's volunteering for, but he doesn't want to be left out.

As mentioned, back in 2015 Amazing Grace was re-released, but the American editions (not the British editions?) quietly excised the illustration of Grace as Hiawatha. No announcement was made at the time. On her blog, Debbie Reese has the complete rundown and history of the controversy surrounding the image and the silence that accompanied its change. Mind you, this change might have appeared earlier. As Roger Sutton says in the comment section of Debbie's piece, "The U.S. edition of Amazing Grace has always been Dial. But what i don't know is whether the elimination of the Hiawatha picture happened with this anniversary edition or if the (American) publisher had removed it before--it's a book that's been through many years and printings, so this change might not be new. I just don't know." https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2015/10/big-news-about-hoffmans-amazing-grace.html

The book that's a lot like this one that's out this year is Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin, illustrated by Ebony Glenn. When Betsy saw it this year she wondered if Amazing Grace had just been completely forgotten.

If you would like to hear what a Neanderthal sounds like, check out the RadioLab episode Asking for a Friend: https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/asking-friend

For the full Show Notes please visit: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/09/02/fuse-8-n-kate-amazing-grace-by-mary-hoffman-ill-caroline-binch/

Sep 02 2019

30mins

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iTunes Ratings

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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.