Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst, ill. Erik Blegvad
It seemed only fitting to me that since last week’s podcast episode dealt so directly with the beginnings of life, why not focus on the end this time around? I’ll tell you this much, though. If you’d informed me, prior to this recording, that a 1971 picture book would be one of the best books I ever encountered on death, I would not have believed you. But I probably should have realized something was up when I saw that The Tenth Good Thing About Barney was by Judith Viorst. Today we deep dive into how good a name “Barney” is for a cat, whether the mom is trying to subtly regift her yellow scarf as a dead cat wrap, and whether this family’s sodium intake is too high.
Death books we’ve done on this podcast already include Duck, Death and the Tulip and The Dead Bird. Previous Judith Viorst books done on this podcast include I‘ll Fix Anthony, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things.
According to Print Magazine, this is Erik Blegvad circa 1953 on the Boulevard St. Michel, Paris. And a nattier image of a picture book illustrator I dare you to find.
We don’t call it out, but this is one of those picture books where the space below a child’s bed is ridiculously clean. Freakily so.
We’re a bit baffled by the sheer amount of salt hanging above the stove. Is it for grease fires? Does it contain the ashes of Aunt Salty? Who’s to say?
The dad goes through a marvelous transformation in this book. From this schlubby image…
To this ….
Kate Recommends: The September House by Carissa Orlando
Betsy Recommends: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem book and score.
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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