Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Doctor De Soto by William Steig
And we’re back to the classics. So far on this podcast, Kate and I have tackled only one William Steig (Sylvester and the Magic Pebble). I was thinking maybe we should do Shrek next, but then I thought better of it. It seems to me that there’s a lot more fodder for discussion in this title. And, as per usual, Kate notices things. She notices that the initials of Doctor De Soto are DDS, which is a dental detail I’d 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 my part, I get to imitate the sound of a rotten tooth being removed from a fox’s mouth (there’s a distinct pop at the end) and we debate whether or not the old No Cavities Forever solution is legit or not.
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– Nope. No reason for the open flame on the cover. Is it even a flame? Alternate theories welcome. Failing that, maybe in 1982 this was a common sight. I don’t remember. I was four at the time.
– Dragon umbrella stand. Considering its size in proportion to the De Sotos, we assume they had it brought in by movers.
– I’m a sucker for arm garters. Even if they’re on donkeys.
– This definitely was published after Sylvester, by the way. Sylvester came out way back in 1969.
– In Kate’s words, this hangin tooth is “just a lawsuit waiting to happen”.
– Why did people wrap their heads up with handkerchiefs when they had toothaches?
– So Kate was seriously freaked out by these teeth. To what animal would they belong, oh budding biologists?
– The first instance we’ve seen dripping blood in a picture book, that we can recall.
– Can you think of a classic fox book where the fox is heroic rather than sneaky and sly?
– Look, maw! One-handed dentistry!
– This book came in at #57 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll.
– Here’s the sequel. We suspect you can definitely miss this one.
– 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 narrator.
– This has been positively confirmed as a cameo appearance of editor Rotem Moscovich in Ryan T. Higgins’ We Don’t Eat Our Classmates.
– Here’s the cookbook I mentioned. The recipe for The World’s Luckiest Biscuits also happens to be the recipe for the best biscuits I’ve ever tasted.
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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