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Episode 161 – Count Their Blessings!

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When is a story *not* a story? When it’s TWO stories! Elana joins me to discuss these two stories and how they don’t really add up or connect or ever speak to each other in “The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings.” Does the beginning of the book forget about itself? Does the thunderstorm make the cubs forget about toys? Are there poor people in Bear Country? Who knows?! We sure don’t!

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Episode 157 – The Green-Eyed Monster!

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This week! My dear college friend, writer, director, performer, monologist, cartoonist Brad McEntire joins me to talk about “The Berenstain Bears and the Green-Eyed Monster!” And, boy do we ever talk about it! And, a lot of other things!

Check out Brad’s many projects at his website! He always has a dozen things going on.

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Episode 156 – The Bully!

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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.

Minneapolis Public School Bully Prevention Resources: http://sss.mpls.k12.mn.us/bullying
National Bullying Prevention Center: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/classroom/elementary/
Out4Good Minneapolis Public Schools LGBT Programs: http://osfce.mpls.k12.mn.us/policy
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Episode 155 – The G-Rex Bones!

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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!

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Episode 154 – The Missing Merit Badges & The Search for Naughty Ned

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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.

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Episode 153 – The Evil Eye!

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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!

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Episode 152 – The Perfect Crime (Almost)!

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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.