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Fuse 8 n' Kate

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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

Episode 8 - The Little House

Betsy attempts to present Kate with a Caldecott Award winning classic (shiny GOLD sticker and all)illustrated by a woman and finds the task shockingly difficult. Meanwhile Kate delves deep into an Irish brogue, Betsy entirely misses an image of nudity, and they both agree that if you're going to have a sun, have a sassy one. Show Notes: - Here's the list of all the Caldecott Award winners. If you...

Duration: 00:43:22

Episode 7 - Are You My Mother?

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...

Duration: 00:44:03

Episode 6 - Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters- An African Tale - 8:6:17, 10.49 PM

Lest you start believing that all children's book classics were penned by white people, Kate and Betsy delve deep into one of John Steptoe's best works. They consider some of the more problematic messages of the book today, its groundbreaking nature, the history of Steptoe, the most recent Caldecott Award winner (and its connection), and a lot more. And yes. Kate has some weird affection for the last page of every book she sees. Every. Single. One.

Duration: 00:39:49

Episode 5 - Rainbow Fish

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.

Duration: 00:39:17

Episode 4 - The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Betsy brings in a picture book classic that she deems a "perfect ten". Meanwhile Kate attempts to poison her sibling with a Chicago specialty, and the thunder is, as ever, perfectly timed.

Duration: 00:37:12

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