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Fuse 8 n' Kate

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Episode 28 - The Lonely Doll

At long last Betsy moves Kate from the standard "classic picture books" into the far stranger "cult classic picture books" territory. But don't they deserve love as well? That's the question the sisters set out to answer. Along the way Betsy discusses her most successful Halloween costume of all time, and Kate suffers through her third day on the Whole30. Show Notes: - I wasn't making that up. Famke Janssen really did have a home invasion and this book really was left behind:...

Duration: 00:43:37

Episode 27 - The Snowy Day

The crummy weather has determined the subject of this week's particular podcast. And there are few picture books out there snowier than this old Keats classic. Easily considered one of the Top 5 picture books in the nation in terms of fame and popularity, Kate had nevertheless not really even heard of it. Betsy sets about to do some serious sis-splaining. Source Notes: - Here are The Snowy Day stamps: -Here's the Snowy...

Duration: 00:37:33

Episode 26 - The Little Engine That Could

Happy New Year! It's another edition of Fuse 8 n' Kate which, at this rate, may be soon renamed The Random Facts About Koalas Show. With today's book Betsy sought out a classic with a strong female protagonist. Kate (and some of you out there) may contest whether or not this engine is, indeed, is the real deal. Or (and here the sisters butt heads) even female at all. Source Notes: - Koalas Fighting a.k.a. The sound of the devil. Wait for it, though. You don't hear the hellspawn that is the...

Duration: 00:41:41

Episode 24 - The Polar Express

In honor of the holiday season, the sisters tackle a Christmassy classic. Betsy creates a name drop jar, produces a weirdly Yoda/Elmo-like elf voice, and explains why her blog is called A Fuse #8 Production. Kate, meanwhile, compares this book to Hunger Games (and it makes sense)and creates a connection between The Polar Express and Love Actually (which makes no sense but still works). Show Notes: - In case you'd like to hear Liam Neeson read this book you can do so here:...

Duration: 00:33:51

Episode 24 - Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Kate asks for a Hanukkah book this week so Betsy turns to an old reliable: Caldecott Honor books. Today's has been performed by and read to children for years. You might debate the degree to which this book is part of the cultural zeitgeist, but that shiny silver sticker on the cover means that it is certainly one of the only (THE only?) Hanukkah books to win a Caldecott anything. Christmas books win all the time. Jewish holidays? Not so much. Here then is a sickly Kate and a very well...

Duration: 00:33:23

Episode 23 - Madeline

If you've ever found yourself thinking, "You know, I like the Fuse 8 n' Kate podcast, but would it kill them to occasionally do terrible French accents for long periods of time?" then have we got a show for you!! This week Kate's sick, but the sisters plod onward and upward. In the course of things the episode turns out to be a momentous one. We doubt you'll see where this conversation will turn. It's a shocker. Show Notes: - In case you missed it you can check out this 9-second Vine of...

Duration: 00:40:01

Episode 22 - Corduroy

Betsy and Kate welcome in the holiday season with a bit of copious consumption. Show Notes: - This episode was brought to you by . . . Viola Davis. - I am so right. There is no comic duo like Strega Nona and Anthony. NO ONE! - I am very interested in your evidence as to whether or not Corduroy really does have agency, or if this is just in the girl's head. - The two sequels to...

Duration: 00:36:00

Episode 21 - Strega Nona

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...

Duration: 00:36:41

Episode 20 - Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

Today Betsy and Kate decide to class up the joint. Leo Dillon was the first African-American Caldecott Award winner and it was for this book in 1976. The era of the folktale has long since passed and yet, for all that, this book endures. Why? The sisters decide to get to the bottom of the matter. Show Notes: - For the record we highly recommend the CDs of LuAnn Adams, who is a truly magnificent storyteller: - In case you're curious, here's the link to...

Duration: 00:41:47

Episode 19 - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

In lieu of a famous Thanksgiving picture book (which does not exist) Betsy and Kate decide a good way to go would be to do something food-related. And what's more foodie than food falling from the sky? This one is easy since it had a film of the same name. It's remembered . . . sorta. Due to its length it isn't really performed in storytimes, and affection for it has more to do with nostalgia than anything else. Or is it fantastic? A little gem we've all ignored? The sisters tackle the...

Duration: 00:42:39

Episode 18 - Love You Forever

After a month of good but relatively obscure titles it's Very Special Episode Day for the Fuse 8 n' Kate podcast. Folks have requested this one since the show's inception and now, for your listening enjoyment, Kate at last meets this infamous title. Will she pull a Rainbow Fish on Betsy and defend it? Will the sisters see eye-to-eye on the matter? Will Betsy bring up the book's complicated backstory or let sleeping dogs lie? Warning: May also include the jazziest version of the Love You...

Duration: 00:42:51

Episode 17 - Creepy Carrots

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: - By the way, can YOU name a classic Thanksgiving...

Duration: 00:40:18

Episode 16 - The Spider and the Fly

She likes it! She really likes it! Not to give anything away but Kate is fully enamored of The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. And why not? That seductive spider clearly knows what he's doing from the get-go. In this episode the sisters consider killing flying monkeys, Hocus Pocus (it is October after all), and whether or not a book this new really deserves to be called a "classic" quite so soon. Show Notes: - No apologies. Frank Morgan was marvelous in...

Duration: 00:39:06

Episode 15 - Millions of Cats ft. James Kennedy

Spooky October offerings continue with a book that Kate calls "Hunger Games . . . but cats!" Special guest James Kennedy joins us for a talk about cannibalistic kitties, stating accurately, "Of all of the children's books, maybe all the books ever written, this one has the highest body count." Along the way you are privy to an acapella rendition of the theme song, bad John Travolta puns, and lots of Yacht Rock. - Be sure to read The Order of Odd Fish by James Kennedy. SLJ called it...

Duration: 00:40:40

Episode 14 - Outside Over There

Sisterhood is stronger than fights over Jawas vs. Ewoks, though in this particular case the two come dangerously close to exchanging blows. In honor of October they decide to tackle some spooky picture book classics. And it's hard to get spookier than Sendak's classic tale of babynapping and ice changelings. Hold on to your horn, your little sister, and your sanity for this crazy ride. Show Notes: - Anyone who puts together a picture book cover involving Jim, the chicken, and the old lady...

Duration: 00:39:45

Episode 13 - Hop on Pop

In this episode, Betsy and Kate decide to try to steer clear of Seussian controversy, unaware that even as they record this there is a debacle brewing with a school librarian, Melania Trump, and a host of Dr. Seuss books. Fortunately, while this book has been challenged in a library system (we'll get to that) it was not one of Ms. Trump's donations. Thank goodness for small favors. Along the way Kate identifies the most terrifying person in the book, Betsy has flashbacks to an old Smurfs...

Duration: 00:35:42

Episode 12 - If I Ran the Zoo

We're back! Kate's voice has healed up so the sisters sit down to talk about our first Seuss. And what a Seuss it is too. Just in time for Banned Books Week they consider what should, in many ways, be Seuss's most controversial picture book. Along the way there may also be some talk about Bill Cosby, nerds, and raves. Show Notes: - Here is ALA’s list of Frequently Challenged Books for 2016. - Like I say, I found nuthin’. So I went to...

Duration: 00:42:26

Episode 11 - Lon Po Po

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...

Duration: 00:38:28

Episode 10 - The Berenstain Bears and the Bully

Our tenth episode and what a splendid one it is too. Killing two birds with one stone, Betsy and Kate wrestle to the ground a listener recommendation AND a series title. Between speculating about alternate realities, corporal punishment, and baby wigs (which are apparently a thing) the sisters come to a mutual understanding on a title for once. Show Notes: - Yeah. We know King Lear doesn't actually get his eyeballs removed. That was Gloucester. Our bad. - Different Lllama Llama rapper...

Duration: 00:42:18

Episode 9 - Goodnight Moon

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....

Duration: 00:35:29

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