Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit by Werner Holzwarth, ill. Wolf Erlbruch
If you looked at the title of this week’s podcast book and thought to yourself, “I’ve never even heard of that one before” then you may know what time it is . . . IT’S CULT CLASSIC TIME! With periodic regularity Kate and I will discuss on our podcast Fuse 8 n’ Kate those picture books that are, as I like to call them, “cult classics”. That means that they are popular with some segment of the audience, if not the entire world. Today that “segment of the audience is” [checks notes] Germany. Yup. Germany once again. We’d already talked about illustrator Wolf Erlbruch in our episode on Death, Duck and the Tulip. Germans aren’t afraid to tackle death in picture books. Nor are they afraid of excrement. This book is ample proof of that (though it’s the English that are the true fans). Bonus: By the end, we discover the International Rule of Anuses in Picture Books. It’s the line the Europeans will not cross! Listen to find out why!
As I mentioned before, this book had a very different title than the one they did in America:
And yes. I am sad to report . . . they made a stuffed animal out of him!
Arms akimbo, just give this mole some arm garters and a vest and he’d be QUITE the dapper little fellow!
Just the loveliest pigeon in a book! Also a great example of how different Wolf Erlbruch’s art is here than in the aforementioned Duck, Death and the Tulip.
Not every children’s book illustrator has the GUTS to do sideways pupils on a goat. Though, to credit Kate’s point, he does look stoned out of his gourd.
Glasses or pince-nez? You be the judge.
I’m a bit peeved that this publication by Abrams in 2007 didn’t give any mention or credit to the translator. Because the onomatopoeia of the poop landing is rather clever. Not that we’ll ever know who did it.
And now, two videos that may be of particular note in this case.
First, a bit of animation of the book:
Second, a bit of what can happen when schools get creative.
Like I say, folks. Cult classic.
Kate Recommends: Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeney
Betsy Recommends: Here’s information on The Rabbit hOle’s upcoming shindig on Friday, November 18th (VIP tickets are sold out but there are plenty of teacher/librarian and general admission tickets here) and its auction. I don’t wanna brag but my own piece of art is included and is actually getting some bids! Check it out. The theme is “This Is Not a Rabbit”:
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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