Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
Happy October! We open this month of hauntings and spirits with a book about a terribly frightening monster! And by “terribly frightening” I mean “terribly frightened“. Inspired by our discussion of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus I decided to go to the source. Which is to say, the 4th wall breaking title that started the whole American genre in the first place. Is it crazy that I never considered before the fact that this is a Sesame Street book and Mo Willems, who would later write that pigeon book, used to work for Sesame Street? By the way, let me just say this before you listen: If you are unfamiliar with Sesame Street in any way, this may not be the episode for you. In the course of things we get into a very heated discussion about whether or not grouches are monsters, typography, my hidden frustrations with Little Golden Books, and whether or not this book reveals “Grover’s truth” (how self-reflective is Grover, really?).
Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection.
– As I mention right off the bat, Grover had several sequels to this book come out over the years. These included: Hide and Seek with Lovable Furry Old Grover . . .
– . . . Please Do Not Open This Book . . .
– . . . and the highly disturbing (to me) title, Lovable Furry Old Grover’s Resting Places. I don’t think it’s entirely crazy to say that there’s a lot of weird stuff going on with this book, starting with the title.
– As I mention on the show, while I could have given Kate the original Golden Book sized edition of this title, I gave her the much newer Big Little Golden Book. Compare and contrast these different editions:
– Ladies and gentlemen . . . the best selling picture book of all time!
– Actually, in spite of the fact that I come up with an excuse for its presence, why is Grover using a rake to build a brick wall?
– This history piece by Leonard Marcus should be sought out. If you have a good library you’ll find it there.
– So Kate in the course of our talk ignited a memory center that I had not idea was there. The existence of the talking Big Bird ala Teddy Ruxpin had been blocked out of my mind for years. Now I remember and here you can find the most recently eBay sale of the bird. Not too shabby.
– I confess to a very strange affection for the scratch and smell picture book See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil. Only partly based on the name. And you can read my post on the scratch and sniff picture book genre here, if you like.
– This is one of my favorite books: Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis.
– I stand by my statement that this book is a crime against humanity.
– This is very much turning into an app recommendation podcast. Nevertheless, I really do have a deep and abiding affection for the one that goes with this book. It can be very difficult to resist the urge to have Grover speak directly to your child. Very difficult indeed.
– I love this position of Grover’s hand.
– The Pigeon bumper sticker I alluded to:
– Finally, here is the book I gave Kate. I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by Davide Cali, illustrated by Anna Pirolli is the Must Give holiday gift for all your cat-loving friends and relatives.
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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