Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Mushroom Man by Ethel Pochocki, ill. Barry Moser
Do you know the mushroom man, the mushroom man, the mushroom man? Well you’re about to! Here’s a question for you: Is a piece of cultural entertainment a “Christmas” title if the holiday only makes a brief cameo appearance? Is the film Meet Me In St. Louis a Christmas film just because it includes the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”? Likewise, is The Mushroom Man, now being re-released by Tilbury House on this, its thirtieth anniversary, a Christmas book? Maybe yes. Maybe no. What is important is that we all discover it together. This is our very first Barry Moser book, and what a title! If you are looking for a completely charming book about two lonely souls finding one another and forming a lasting friendship, this is the book for you!!
If you’ve $5K burning a hole in your pocket, why not buy this painting from the original book here? A bit strapped for cash? For $2.5K you can have this one instead. And now you know what you can get me for Christmas.
Interestingly, Kate’s thought upon seeing this first two-page spread in the book was to associate it with Blueberries for Sal. Something about the simplicity and the color scheme.
Meet the meanest children of all time. Where’s a Willy Wonka to straighten these little monsters out?
I knew Moser’s realism would be a real draw for Kate. She’s does love a realistic picture book illustration, and can you do any better in that department than this slightly cross-eyed cat and this mole?
Something that Kate noticed was the product placement in this book. Not that we truly believe that Friskies, Crisco, or Dole paid to be included in this book. But it’s so rare to see real products in a picture book.
And here, lo and behold, is our justification for including this as our Christmas book. It’s brief but by gum it’s there! Kate thinks he looks like an Elton John lookalike with those red sunglasses.
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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