Fuse 8 n’ Kate #200!: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss
“Oh no! We don’t have a fish to protect us now!”
We did it! We managed to reach freakin’ two HUNDRED episodes of Fuse 8 n’ Kate!! To celebrate, Kate and I did a live recording of our show. Want to see it? Thanks to the power of Vimeo, now you can!
Don’t worry. We don’t shy away from the controversy surrounding Seuss and his cat in this episode. We also get to bandy about sentences like, “The chain of signification is interminable and, being interminable, indeterminate.” In the end, we realize once and for all that while this cat may come back that doesn’t mean we’ll ever have to see him again.
Before we begin, I’d like to note that some folks are coming to this post without listening to the episode. Out of context, these images might look like tacit approbation of Seuss’s work. However, the whole point of selecting a “Cat in the Hat” book at all for our 200th episode was to do a problematic book. While we might point out some of the sillinesses in the art, there is no denying that the Cat’s long legacy of minstrel-styled choices is a serious topic worth discussing. Please see the video at the bottom of this post for some additional information and clarification about the Cat and his history.
One theory of where the pink ring in the bathtub comes from involves the pink frosting on this cat’s cake. Could it be the culprit? Considering that Kate’s other theory was “cat dander mixed with gum” I’m going with the frosting idea.
Would you call this dress “hideous”? We can admit that part of its weirdness is the boob padding, sure, and the lace on those cuffs make it look more like a nightgown than anything else, but “hideous”? Dunno.
I love Sally’s expression here. There’s a freakin’ psychotic cat in that house and she not getting anywhere near to it. Smart gal.
Who owns a white runner in a home with two young children? A person asking for trouble, that’s who! Cat shoulda stopped right there and left the print. Would have looked better.
Wait wait wait…. Dad has his own bedroom? Was this 1958 book trying not to imply that mom and dad shared sleeping quarters?
This little boy has aged fifty years in a single day.
Hooboy. These eyes are seriously trippy. This would be Kate’s children’s literature tattoo from this book. Can you blame her?
As this bird shows, this is not how snow works. This is salmon goo. It’s a pink oobleck. It has lost the most basic qualities that make snow snow.
More than a few million dollar words are on display in this (I think anyway) charming New Yorker piece Cat People: What Dr. Seuss Really Taught Us.
And, as ever, you really should read Phil Nel’s book Was the Cat in the Hat Black? Failing that, you can watch him talk about it in this video:
Here is the truly marvelous piece of art that Sarah Brannen produced for us. As you might imagine, I am the beaver and Kate is the porcupine (spikes, you understand).
Kate Recommends: The Hulu streaming show Only Murders in the Building
Betsy Recommends: 19th century ukiyo-e prints. More specifically Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre or Mitsukuni Defying the Skeleton Spectre Invoked by Princess Takiyasha. It is, definitely, Kate’s 12-foot-tall skeleton.
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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