This week, I’m joined by Annette Gagliardi. Annette is an educator, poet and author who lives in the Twin Cities and was my teacher for several years in Early Childhood Family Education. I figured, heck, she knows her business when it comes to kids, so who better to walk us through “The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five?” The book where we finally meet Honey. And then immediately forget about Honey.
Here on “Deep In Bear Country” we know that I do like to blather on about topics I have no training in, especially religion! But, I’m breaking with tradition this week by inviting onto the show the Reverend Lauren McLeavey!
Lauren and I talk about “The Berenstain Bears and the Big Question” and . . . what is this question. Well, it’s about God. Capital G God. Sister gets all “asky” about the guy and Mama sets her straight by dragging the family to church. Along the way we talk about church architecture, Quakers and seminary. It’s a roller coaster of a talk! Check it out!
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!