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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

BlueberriesSalFiiiiiiiiiish . . .

An aquatic creature that has absolutely NOTHING to do with this week’s book!

So first and foremost, I am happy to announce that we now have our very own Twitter and Instagram accounts for this podcast. Woot! So tune in on Twitter @fuse_kate or on Instagram at fuse8kate. As for the podcast itself, Kate was semi-familiar with this book already. But did she remember anything about it at all? No, sir!  As it turns out, we were able to really dive into some of the details. Will we determine it’s a classic? Time will tell!

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection.


Source Notes:

– Well, I’m still not certain what this stove actually says, but oddly, there is a company out there today that produces woodburning stoves. Only the name isn’t Garmen or Carmen. It’s Harman. How’s that for coincidental?


– How much sugar does it take to can blueberries? The internet has many opinions on the subject but generally speaking it appears that you want to add 1/2 Cup of sugar for each quart of berries. That’s not a ton of sugar. I guess Mom really worked double time while Sal was AWOL.

– If anyone is looking to update this book for the 21st Century, Kate’s suggestion of the title “Single Sassy Mom and Her Androgynous Child” has my vote. No ring here.


– Really, Kate? Sal’s a little Mackelmore? Let’s compare.



Not seeing it.

– How fast can a little bear run? Hard to say. A grown bear can get up to 40 miles an hour. We have to assume that a baby bear just wouldn’t have that kind of speed. So even if it began to get ideas about the deliciousness of mom, it’s not happening.

– For those unfamiliar with it, I present One Morning in Maine:


– I always feel like somebody’s watching meeeee.


– What kind of car is this, people? Send us an answer for all the points! You won’t find a better offer than that today.


-It showed up at #31 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll.

– Here’s something I didn’t mention during the podcast, but there is a Blueberries for Sal statue out there. It was listed in The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States. Located in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the statue is by Nancy Schön, the same woman who did the Make Way for Duckling Statues in Boston. In 2008 she was commissioned by the Board of Directors of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to make a sculpture of Little Bear from the book Blueberries for Sal by the author Robert McCloskey.  The result is this cute little feller who is surrounded by actual honest-to-goodness blueberry bushes.  You can read more about it and see Ms. Schön’s process here.


– These are the two Josh Funk picture books I mention in the podcast:



– We had to check out what the heck “King of Tokyo” really is. So, you know Wil Wheaton (from Star Trek)? He started this YouTube series where he walks through how to play board games with celebrity friends of his and he did one for “King of Tokyo” – if you want to know what it’s about, check it out here:


-Here’s our number one fan’s latest deal announcement:


– And her previous book for adults: Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater’s Quest to Why We Hate the Foods We Hate.


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth 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.


  1. I recently heard a video/audio where Grace Lin says the endpapers of A Big Mooncake for Little Star are an homage to the endpapers of Blueberries for Sal. You can listen here:

  2. I know very little about cars, but in perusing pictures of 1940’s cars, I think it might be a Pontiac Streamliner. Anyone who actually knows cars is welcome to dispute this, and I will forfeit “all the points!”

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Going once . . . going twice . . . sold to the lady with the Pontiac Streamliner! All the points are officially yours.

  3. King of Tokyo is wonderful–especially for 8-12yo boys who usually eschew board games. There’s plenty of monster fun. I can’t remember if Kate mentioned Code Names when she was last discussing games. We just learned it from a cousin and love it! Seven Dragons is a great card game for kids who can’t read yet or have difficulty reading. But it seems to be out of print. [sad face]