New Fuse 8 n’ Kate Episode: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Though I acknowledge the danger of running through the most popular picture books too early in my little podcast’s lifespan, for whatever reason I couldn’t resist going for the gold (so to speak). This one’s quite a bit of fun. Kate manages to drive me crazy within the first 30 seconds by calling Harry Potter YA . . . AND WE’RE OFF! Then she has an interpretation about some of the more horrific aspects of the book that I honestly didn’t see coming.
You can download the entire episode on Soundcloud here and, of course, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
- Proof of the existence of a pinhole camera saltine cracker.
- The two podcasts that gave us shout outs? First up is The Secrets of Story podcast, created by my very own Matt Bird and his partner-in-crime, YA author and 90-Second Newbery’s papa, James Kennedy.
- The other is the Books Between podcast. Hat tip to Corrina Allen for interviewing me recently. There is a really nice fart noise contest at the end of my episode that I highly recommend.
- The link to Goodnight Moon on my Top 100 Picture Book Poll.
- Answer to The Little House : What book did Virginia Lee Burton create that was ahead of its time? Just prior to writing The Little House, Burton actually attempted to write a book that can only be described as far and away ahead of her time. In the late 30s, early 40s she noticed that her nine-year-old son loved his comic books. The answer? Calico the Wonder Horse; or, The Saga of Stewy Slinker was an honest-to-goodness picture book in a comic-book format. As Minders of Make-Believe puts it, the book was a “gallant though futile gesture.” The Little House was made soon thereafter and got itself a Caldecott Medal in 1943, so there you go.
- Runaway Bunny art:
- Inexplicable tiger skin rug:
- Could she be a g-g-g-g-ghost?!
- Suicidal mice. Or, more likely, one more victim of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite.
- Here’s a link to the Children’s Books Made Horrific take on Goodnight Moon (you’ll see why we didn’t read it aloud).
- A less than wholly anatomically correct cow:
- By the way, want to hear some proof that children’s books have a weird relationship to cow udders? Check out this story that got cut out of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.
- Freaked out or stoned bears? You be the judge:
- Controversy #1: I’d consider the pedigree of this story sketchy, were it not so bloody well written. Apparently the article Runaway Money: A Children’s Classic, A 9-Year-Old-Boy And a Fateful Bequest appeared in The Wall Street Journal, though the sole copy I can find online appears on the reporter’s website. The long and the short of it is that Margaret Wise Brown willed a neighbor’s child as the benefactor of some of her books. Amongst them, Goodnight Moon. And for this particular kid, there couldn’t possibly have been a worse gift to give. It’s fascinating. Particularly when you get to his dubious claims regarding his relationship to Ms. Brown.
- Controversy #2: Clement Hurd and his penchant for the smokes. Cast your minds back to 2005. An innocent time. A time when Harper Collins decided that maybe it would be a good idea to remove the cigarette from illustrator Clement Hurd’s photograph. CNET News said of the image, “Now, it looks like Hurd is trying to get someone to repay him 20 bucks.” Even Clement Hurd, Thatcher’s son who gave permission for the removal, said of the picture that it, “looks slightly absurd to me.” The New York Times did a piece on the change and capped it off well. “And the publisher may have inadvertently created a collector’s item: The next editions of ‘Goodnight Moon’ will likely feature a different photograph of Mr. Hurd, without a cigarette in hand.”
Karen Karbo wrote an amusing riff on the other dangerous elements in this book as well (ex: “Balloons cause more choking deaths among 3- to 6-year-olds than any other toy. Suggested change: Digitally remove.”)
- If you would like to read the Ugly Volvo piece of reader’s theater just go to All My Issues with the Goodnight Moon Bedroom. Raquel D’Apice’s latest book is Welcome to the Club: 100 Parenting Milestones You Never Saw Coming.
- Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd
- Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex
- Grown-Up Things We Like: Kate’s volunteer event was The Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange. Feel free to volunteer yourself.
- And I watched The Crown. Not really as impressive.
- Finally, here are some examples of bedrooms modeled on the one in this book:
You can see more about our composer Haddon Givens Kime on his website. You can reach us at FuseKate8@gmail.com.
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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