Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, ill. Jane Chapman
While we acknowledge that the year 2023 has arrived, we could resist considering one last 2002 title. As you know, we’ve a cap on considering any book younger than 20 years old, and as of 2022 this Wilson/Chapman collab fit the bill. It’s cold outside and a story of FOMO and snuggly bear caves seemed to fit the bill. We consider the book that launched a thousand other Bear books. Anyone who can rhyme “lair” with “bear” has earned our trust.
BONUS CONTENT: A spreadsheet of every single book we’ve done on the podcast to date. All 254 of them!
If you’d like to read the interview with Karma Wilson that I reference, take a trip over to Read. Learn. Repeat.
Or, if you’re the type of person who likes to pair your picture books with alcoholic beverages, a suggestion:
We give extra points to nice dedications and this one fits the bill.
And for those of you curious about the book dedication I referenced, the full dedication reads, “To my mother, Belzie. I would have made a terrible doctor, mom. People would have died.” It is from the YA book The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe.
So right from the start, Kate notes the ears of corn in the bear’s cave and wonders how and why they are there. Little did either of us suspect that the corn in this book is the picture book equivalent of Chekhov’s gun. Keep an eye on the kernels. They’ll come up again later.
Was there a “wee little Zippo lighter” as Kate suggests involved in this fire making?
Actually the mystery of the ears of corn is solved sooner rather than later. See, illustrator Jane Chapman reads this manuscript and then has to figure out how to justify popped popcorn. Hence, ears of corn.
That is the face of a rabbit with a popcorn kernal trapped between his teeth and gums.
So this is a nice expression on bear’s face that is priceless. A great way to end the book. Also, as Kate points out, this is clearly the happiest raven that has ever existed in the history of the world.
I hate to say it, but Wes Tank knocked it out of the park with this rendition of the book:
If you are interested in the spreadsheets Kate created of ALL the books we’ve rated on this podcast already, here they are!!
Betsy Recommends: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Kate Recommends: Laurence King Puzzles
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.
SLJ Blog Network