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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 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 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.

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Episode 151 – “Too Much Teasing” and “The Love Match!”

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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!

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Episode 148 – The Trouble with Grownups!

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This week I am joined by not one, not two, not three, but FOUR GUESTS! It’s a veritable ROUND TABLE as I welcome back Elana, Corinna, Andrew and Scott – from Episode 55(!!!) “The Berenstain Bears Get Stage Fright” – to talk about “The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble With Grownups!” And, seeing as how we all have kids and we all do theater, I think we’re more than qualified to discuss a thing or two!

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Episode 147 – Go Platinum!

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This week, I’m joined by the delightful Drew Stewart to rock out to “The Berenstain Bears Go Platinum!” It’s the gripping tale of Stan and Jan Berenstain really wanting to stick it to the music of today!

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Episode 146 – The Big Date

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This week, I’m joined by Emily Bennett of Best Acquaintances to talk about the insidious nature of young jealousy! Like, seriously, it’s a pretty solid book that deals with a pretty serious topic for adolescent kids. I know!