Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies by Pija Lindenbaum
It’s insane but as I was purchasing a copy of today’s book (because my ding dang library system inexplicably didn’t have it) I was messaged on Twitter by author Chris Barton asking if I’d ever be interested in doing this on my podcast. That’s what I consider a sign. Particularly when you consider that the book Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies was originally released here in America in 1991 and has rented room in my brain all this time.
That’s right. It’s time for a CULT CLASSIC!!! If last week’s book was incredibly well-known, this one is not, but it is FABULOUS. And, as you will learn, it utterly and completely charmed Kate, which is tough to accomplish. Amongst its many charms, this book is probably the closest thing a kid growing up in a polyamorous household could find to an approximation of their home life in a picture book. And as we say in terms of the logistics, “Nature finds a way.” A book about feeling embarrassed and worried about your parental units in equal measures. Are you ready for the weirdness? Then enjoy småpapporna galore!
Monopoly? Who knew it translated? Still, I feel like the title is very clearly pasted in with this weird black letters. In fact, you can see this same weird dark black ink outlining all the words in this book that are being translated into English. This is a case where I get the feeling that publisher Henry Holt kind of fell down on the job.
Ahh. Wedding day pics. What could be more romantic? “When a woman loves seven tiny men very very much…”
Okay, folks. We’re going to ask you a series of questions about objects located in this book. If you can answer any of them, you’ll win Carl Kasell on your home answering device. Now, #1: What the heck is up with this red thing under the door handle?
#2: What is hanging over Else-Marie’s head in the bathroom?
#3: What is this object? A hair dryer? We’re out to sea here.
#4: Finally, what is this art? Famous? Not so?
Kate hasn’t selected an honorary tattoo in a while from a kid’s book. Today, Else-Marie’s sausage with legs gets the honor.
I know it’s just a worrying daydream sequence, but I like how Kate points out that this book normalizes boys playing with dolls.
Those of you of a certain age, you will recognize these chairs. You will also remember precisely how they feel too:
That old woman HATES that dog. I don’t know what it ever did to her, but she will never forget and NEVER forgive.
I absolutely love that Kate noticed that there were only six daddies in the picture, which means, one of them was taking the photo. That is such a delightful detail.
Kate Recommends: Come From Away, the musical
Betsy Recommends: The Bologna Book Fair, which I will be attending this year!
Care to listen to the book in its original Swedish? Well you can see it in its entirety here. And the title, oh yes oh yes, is Else-Marie och småpapporna.
And here is Pija herself being interviewed about the book!! Anyone care to translate the best parts for me?
And is she still making books? She is! Just check out this interview from October 2021 conducted by . . . yep. That’s a priest all right.
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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