Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, ill. Crockett Johnson
I’ve been avoiding today’s book, not because it isn’t famous enough, but because it’s on the simple side. 101 words simple, in fact. At the start I tell Kate that this is by the same woman who wrote A Hole Is to Dig and then think to myself, “This woman and holes, man. I dunno what was up with her.” We get a little silly in the course of things, but boy do I learn all kinds of things in this episode. Lawnmower parenting! How have I not known about it all these years? Kate decides that the boy is secretly working for Monsanto. I defend the parents, which Kate didn’t see coming. Kate learns all about the germination cycle of carrots. And I compare the boy to Buster Keaton.
Which is right.
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If the thing on the boy’s head isn’t a yarmulke, what the heck is it? Maybe a beanie?
Maybe the boy’s first problem is that the picture of the carrot he’s put in his garden is black. That’s a low bar right there.
“Kid, that ain’t no carrot.”
I don’t mention it on the podcast but this book came in at #100 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll.
In his essay ‘Ruth Krauss and Me,’ Maurice Sendak praises ‘that perfect picture book, The Carrot Seed (Harper), the granddaddy of all picture books in America, a small revolution of a book that permanently transformed the face of children’s book publishing. The Carrot Seed, with not a word or a picture out of place, is dramatic, vivid, precise, concise in every detail. It springs fresh from the real world of children’.”
And finally, here’s the Carrot Seed song, so popular with many a storytime around this great nation.
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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