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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

MonsterEndBookHappy October! We open this month of hauntings and spirits with a book about a terribly frightening monster! And by “terribly frightening” I mean “terribly frightened“. Inspired by our discussion of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus I decided to go to the source. Which is to say, the 4th wall breaking title that started the whole American genre in the first place. Is it crazy that I never considered before the fact that this is a Sesame Street book and Mo Willems, who would later write that pigeon book, used to work for Sesame Street? By the way, let me just say this before you listen: If you are unfamiliar with Sesame Street in any way, this may not be the episode for you. In the course of things we get into a very heated discussion about whether or not grouches are monsters, typography, my hidden frustrations with Little Golden Books, and whether or not this book reveals “Grover’s truth” (how self-reflective is Grover, really?).

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

Show Notes:

– As I mention right off the bat, Grover had several sequels to this book come out over the years. These included: Hide and Seek with Lovable Furry Old Grover . . .

HideSeekGrover

–  . . . Please Do Not Open This Book . . .

PleaseDoNotOpen

– . . . and the highly disturbing (to me) title, Lovable Furry Old Grover’s Resting Places. I don’t think it’s entirely crazy to say that there’s a lot of weird stuff going on with this book, starting with the title.

LovableFurry

– As I mention on the show, while I could have given Kate the original Golden Book sized edition of this title, I gave her the much newer Big Little Golden Book. Compare and contrast these different editions:

MonsterEndBook1

MonsterEndBook

– Ladies and gentlemen . . . the best selling picture book of all time!

PokyLittlePuppy

– Actually, in spite of the fact that I come up with an excuse for its presence, why is Grover using a rake to build a brick wall?

MonsterEndBook4

– This history piece by Leonard Marcus should be sought out. If you have a good library you’ll find it there.

GoldenLegacy

– So Kate in the course of our talk ignited a memory center that I had not idea was there. The existence of the talking Big Bird ala Teddy Ruxpin had been blocked out of my mind for years. Now I remember and here you can find the most recently eBay sale of the bird. Not too shabby.

BigBirdDoll

BigBirdDoll1

– I confess to a very strange affection for the scratch and smell picture book See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil. Only partly based on the name. And you can read my post on the scratch and sniff picture book genre here, if you like.

SeeNoEvil

– This is one of my favorite books: Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis.

StreetGang

– I stand by my statement that this book is a crime against humanity.

MonsterEndBook6

– This is very much turning into an app recommendation podcast. Nevertheless, I really do have a deep and abiding affection for the one that goes with this book. It can be very difficult to resist the urge to have Grover speak directly to your child. Very difficult indeed.

MonsterApp copy

– I love this position of Grover’s hand.

MonsterEndBook2

 

– The Pigeon bumper sticker I alluded to:

PigeonBumperSticker

– Finally, here is the book I gave Kate. I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by Davide Cali, illustrated by Anna Pirolli is the Must Give holiday gift for all your cat-loving friends and relatives.

IHateMyCats

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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.

Comments

  1. I totally have that bumper sticker too!!

  2. First, I have to agree with Betsy that Oscar is not a monster; he’s a grouch. Different thing. Second, I loved, loved, LOVED The is a Monster at the End of this Book when I was a kid. I have a copy for my kids; they also love it even though I’ve never been able to do Grover’s voice. I’ve recommended this book to other parents because it definitely transcends it’s Golden Book/Sesame Street origins. I do have to admit to having nostalgic fondness for several other Sesame Street books, including I Can Do It Myself, If I Lived Alone, The Sesame Street Pet Show, Twiddlebugs At Work, and Grover’s Own Alphabet Book, all of which are kind of bad (except maybe If I Lived Alone), so I’m probably biased. And I just realized, as I sit here typing this, that I’m wearing a Sesame Street shirt. So, yeah, definitely biased. But this is a great book!

  3. I also had– and loved!– that Sesame Street scratch and sniff book. There are still scents that I automatically associate with it! I did find it at my parents’ house decades later and was impressed by how well the scents still worked.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      I’m baffled why scratch-and-sniff books have fallen by the wayside since that time. There is no scent in the world to compare to scratch-and-sniff chocolate. It bears no similarity to actual chocolate smells, and yet I craved smelling it anyway.

  4. I agree with Kate: Oscar the Grouch is a monster. Grouches are a subset of monsters.

    But I agree with Betsy on the rating! Love this book. I have Fond Childhood Memories.

  5. Lauren Martino says:

    I’ll second Betsy’s statement- Another Monster at the End of this Book is a crime against humanity.

    Has anyone seen Adam Rex’s new book Are You Scared, Darth Vader? It’s pretty much the same concept as TMatEotB, but delightful in its own way. I also find Darth Vader’s voice a lot easier to imitate than Grover’s…

    BTW, here’s a great video to watch if you want to see Grover playing Yoda:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-LfQCPJJkY

  6. Lauren Martino says:

    Also, I think this is the Pigeon Kate wanted to see:

    http://www.omnivoracious.com/2009/10/end.html