This week, I am very excited to welcome Jason Bucklin onto the show. Jason is the LGBTQ Programming Director for Minneapolis Public Schools and he’s here to talk about “The Berenstain Bears and the Bully” a book I’ve been excited yet nervous about for three years. Jason walks us through what bullying is, how parents can constructively address bullying with their children and the longterm effects of unaddressed bullying.
This week, I’m joined by Erin Ayers – one half of the Over the Table Top podcast – to discuss a tale of fraud and dinosaurs. It’s “The Berenstain Bears and the G-Rex Bones!” How far will Ralph go to secure a million dollars? Pretty far! Will he sell out his own personal values and ruin the reputation of a fine upstanding bear like Actual Factual? Sure! Will any of this plot make a lick of sense? Nope!
Ollie is back, my partner in crime from It’s Del Toro Time! and we’re talking about . . . something. What even are these? It’s the first two Merit Badge Mysteries “The Missing Merit Badges” and “The Search for Naughty Ned” and, well, animals talk? Dr. Mr. Wide Old Owl? Naughty Ned? It’s clear we’re in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONTINUITY AGAIN. Oh well.
When is a book NOT a book? When it’s a sequel to a book YOU’VE NEVER READ! Yes, this week I discover the peril of not knowing which book comes after which as I delve into the second part of an apparent two-parter that isn’t actually that difficult to understand; it’s a book for children. It’s “The Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Evil Eye!”
Joining me to talk about this confounding book is the completely confounded founder of the celebrated Twitter account Best of NextDoor, Jenn Takahashi! Jenn is confused by everything going on, but that’s fine because she has been mentioned in an article in The Atlantic and have the Berenstains? Well, yes actually. They have on a number of occasions. Still, Jenn has been mentioned MOST RECENTLY!
This week, Jamie Tyler, author of the “Cowabloga” Ninja Turtles blog, is BACK to talk about the most convoluted, frustrating, fascinating and satisfyingly unsatisfying Big Chapter Book I’ve read in a while: “The Berenstain Bears and the Perfect Crime (Almost)!” Yes, get that parenthetical in there; it’s important. Jamie and I work ourselves up to a fever pitch as nothing makes sense, adds up or resolves in any way resembling logical or even dramatically resonant. It’s amazing. And I love it.
Boy oh boy! Milton Chubb! Who is Milton Chubb, you ask? Only the strangest cub introduced in these here books. He’s introduced TWICE actually, in “Too Much Teasing” and in “The Love Match.” Two different formats that tell essentially the same story but in wildly different ways and for wildly different reasons.
To commemorate this event, I’ve brought John McCoy – host of the Sophomore Lit podcast and my co-host on Klickitcast: A Beverly Cleary Podcast – onto the show to try and suss out the point of these two books. Does the first one teach us anything about teasing? Why are Too-Tall and his gang so bad at it? Does Milton have parents, really? Do pigs have armpits? Who knows?! Not us!