Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Bea & Mr. Jones by Amy Schwartz
“It’s like Freaky Friday but they’re both perfectly aware of what’s going on.”
If you were hoping that this episode of the podcast would begin with me doing a variation on the Counting Crows song “Mr. Jones” then BOY do you know me well! In honor of its brand new republication (all thanks to its 40th anniversary) we’re tackling this Amy Schwartz classic about finding happiness in a bureaucratic society. How does this book stand up after all this time? Is it still memorable? Does it still have something to say to kids today? We take a deep dive into 1980s Wall Street and all that that entails. Mad Men meets Big! Who could object?
Here’s the Reading Rainbow episode of this book, as alluded to in the episode. Very fun, as long as you don’t mind the constant whir of what sounds like a standing fan the whole time:
This is the Stranger Things/Christmas lights wallpaper to which Kate alludes.
My own personal objection to the fact that this is in black and white is that we don’t get to see colors on things like Harvey’s tie or Miss Seymour’s amazing dress.
1982 Wall Street has NEVER looked better than this. It’s the dollar sign paperweight that did it for me.
Who wants to bet that Mr. Jones put Jimmy in that magnolia tree in the first place, just so he could impress Miss Seymour?
The degree to which this guy at the end of the board room table has just checked out is impressive.
Can I tell you how much I respect the fact that there’s a whole cabinet behind Bea here full of booze? Could this get any more 80s Wall Street here?
I can’t believe I missed this visual gag the last time I read this book.
We were a little surprised that Bambi could be name checked liked this, but maybe because the book itself was in the public domain?
Betsy Recommends: Nope
Kate Recommends: Watch Out for Big Grrrls
I also highly recommend that you checkout the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast tribute to this title as well, as it mentions some facts about the newest reissue worth noting.
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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