Betsy Bird: Books Between, Episode 32

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An interview with Betsy Bird

Interview Outline:

This is Episode #32 and today, as promised last week, I’m sharing with you a conversation with Betsy Bird – librarian, host of the new Fuse 8 n’Kate podcast, and the editor of the fabulous new short story anthology called FUNNY GIRL! We chat about the book, what makes her laugh, our least favorite picture books, and, and……I challenge her to a fart noise contest!

Take a listen….


For those listening who may or may not be familiar with you, can you give us a little introduction of who you are and what you do in the world of children’s literature?

Where does the name Fuse 8 come from?

funny girl

You’ve mentioned that Funny Girl was the result of noticing that kids wanted funny books and there weren’t too many options written by women. So you proposed the idea to your editor…

Once this project was a go, how did you go about finding authors to contribute and what was your criteria when you pitched the idea to them?

Have you read any of the stories with your own kids ?

So, you’ve mentioned that girls are often discouraged from using humor as a coping mechanism. In your own life – either now or as a kid – what were some times when using humor has helped you?

Aside from stories like those in Funny Girl, what are some things that make you laugh? What’s your sense of humor like?

Fuse 8 n’ Kate Podcast

So you have a new podcast! What made you decide to jump back into podcasting?

What is a popular picture book that you don’t like?

Your Reading Life

What were some of your favorite books as a child?

As a parent, how do you make time for reading with your family? And what does that that look like?

What have you been reading lately that you’ve liked?

Where do you see a gap in the world of children’s books?

Episode Links

Betsy Bird ’s Fuse 8 Production Blog on School Library Journal

Listen to Fuse 8 n’ Kate Podcast here on iTunes or Soundcloud

Betsy’s Books:
Giant Dance Party
Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature
Funny Girl

Books and Other Things We Discussed:

Sipping Spiders Through a Straw: Campfire Songs for Monsters by Kelly DiPucchio & Gris Grimly

Akilah Hughes’ YouTube Channel – Akilah, Obviously!

Accident by Andrea Tsurumi

If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Paeony Lewis’ blog post comparing Picture Books in bookshop chains in the US and UK

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

Bumble-Ardy by Maurice Sendak

Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Curious George

Furious George Goes Bananas: A Primate Parody by Michael Rex

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdich

A Time to Keep by Tasha Tudor

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

Ghost Cat by Mark Abley

The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts

Cam Jansen

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Patina by Jason Reynolds

Betsy’s blog post about Patina

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

Betsy’s blog post about Orphan Island
Betsy’s Blog Post “Where Are All the Black Boys?”

Thank You

Alright – that wraps up our show this week. We have some great topics and interviews and book talks coming up including some thoughts on building a community of readers, conversations with Celia Perez about The First Rule of Punk, and Alan Gratz about Refugee AND Ban This Book.  So be on the lookout for those.

And if you have a question or an idea about a topic we should cover, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at or connect on Twitter/Instagram at the handle @Books_Between.

Thank you so much for joining me this week. You can find an outline of interviews and a full transcript of all the other parts of our show along with all of our previous episodes at

And, if you are liking the show, please help others find us too by telling a friend, sharing on social media, or leaving a rating on iTunes or Stitcher.

Thanks again and see you soon!  Bye!

About the Author

Corrina Allen

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Corrina Allen is a 5th grade teacher in Central New York. She hosts Books Between, a bi-weekly podcast to help teachers, librarians, and parents connect children between 8 and 12 to books they’ll love. You can connect with Corrina on Twitter at @corrinaaallen or Instagram at @Corrina_Allen.


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