Psst! Hey everyone! You, uh . . . you wanna learn about vermiculite? Shh! Don’t let everyone hear, or they’ll all want in on this. Well, I got a book for you that not only mentions vermiculite about a dozen times, but doesn’t really explain what it is! Sound good? Hello? Oh, you left.
THIS WEEK, I have on my show two very good friends, Aaron and Melanie, who know a LOT about vermiculite as well as farming and growing plants and being generally incredible friends. They’re here to fill me in on the fine art of GROWING FOOD and PLANTS and OTHER THINGS related to the book “The Berenstain Bears GROW-IT! Mother Nature Has Such A Green Thumb!”
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!
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!
This week, I am joined by Justin Harrison of Birth. Movies. Death. to talk about the incredibly long and detailed “The Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Sinister Smoke Ring!” This is a huge one, folks, and we talk about the influences of the story, how it came to be written, the interwoven plot threads, the mean attitudes of the denizens of Bear Country and many many other things in between. It’s DENSE and LONG and amazing.
This week, we get mired in ATOMIC MAGIC. Seriously. There is ACTUAL MAGIC in this episode. Or, is it science? Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I have Megan Sunday from In The Attic here to help me through it. And, man, once Grizzly Gramps starts yelling, things get a bit unhinged.
Elana and Mitzi are back! Or, are here because they’ve never been on together!And we’re talking “Giant Bat Cave!” It’s a Berenstain Bear Scouts book and may, in fact be the *first Berenstain Bear Scouts book but, then again, maybe it’s not? Also, Elana gets really excited to talk about local politics and then has to settle for talking about bats.