Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales
Happy Halloween! It’s a day of celebration in more than one way. After all, starting today we FINALLY are able to start doing some Yuyi Morales books on our podcast! It’s been 20 years since this little number came out and we figured what could be a better title to cap off our 2023 Halloween season than with Ms. Morales’s first title? It’s still in print but how does it stand up after all these years? Tricking death/the devil is a Halloween classic in folktales, so we found it particularly apropos for the day in question. We debate whether or not Señor Calavera is supposed to be death himself or not and talk about how different this book might be if it were published for the first time today. Maybe not our spookiest picture book of the season, but certainly one of the sweetest.
In 2013, Juana Martinez-Neal interviewed Yuyi Morales (ten years after the publication of this book) and in the piece Yuyi talked about this book’s origins. Please be so good to read the interview here.
I just gave myself permission to include a Bonaparte segment from OwlTV, so enjoy. This clearly hasn’t aged a day:
Kate’s theory here is that Grandma Beetle gave Señor Calavera the drink so that her cleaning would take longer. As for the photos on the wall, I personally believe these are pictures of Grandma’s children when they were young.
How do you make a skeleton less scary? Flower petal eyeballs are a real help.
Now THAT is some big time fruit here! Any idea what some of these are?
I love the logistics of how a skeleton can possibly wear an apron on his hips. It’s just hanging on there for dear life.
We wondered if some of the pinata shapes here denoted any special significance for Yuyi. Not sure.
Now that is a bone-a-fied (hee hee) skeleton hissy fit. The cat, for its part, not a fan.
Kate literally counted the candles on this cake. It’s cut off a little, so she can say for the record that Grandma is over 72.
This was interesting! We noted that two of the kids, and also Señor Calavera , are wearing parts of the pinatas on their heads.
Note that the expressions on the kids on the wall have changed.
Final Question: What’s with the oddly haired angel cherub at the end? Any ideas?
Kate Recommends: Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
Betsy Recommends: Beelzebunz in Springfield, Illinois
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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