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.
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.
It’s ME! I’m all alone for this episode, so you know what that means: CONSPIRACY THEORIES! OLD RELIGION! FRACTURED REALITIES! ALTERNATE TIMELINES! OLD GODS! ANCIENT FAITHS! DOOMSDAY! THE END OF THE WORLD! RANTING! RAVING!
This week, Meghan Griffin is BACK and this time we’re not talking dress codes or drama, we’re talking . . . classic cars. I mean, I guess Bear Country has cars. And, some of them are really old. So . . . classic cars.
Let’s close out this chunk of Bear Scouts books with “The Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Terrible Talking Termite.” This one was based on an episode of the cartoon and it shows and shows and shows. It makes little sense and to help me figure it out, I have Christy Admiraal, from Nerdist and VICE and the California Diarists podcast here to pick over this . . . plot? Ralph is in it, so that’s cool. Also, the termite? Not so terrible. Plus, do the authors understand what “insurance fraud” really is?