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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Special Guest Christian McKay Heidicker and The Spooky Old Tree by the Berenstains

Not long ago I ran across an article in the Deseret News that was called How a breakup led to winning a Newbery Honor for this Utah author. It’s all about Newbery Honor winning writer Christian McKay Heidicker (who created Scary Stories for Young Foxes and this year’s Thieves of Weirdwood by “William Shivering”). In the course of the article it mentions that Mr. Heidicker has been and continues to be a huge fan of The Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain. And, naturally, since I always try to find spooky classics for Kate during the month of October, this sounded like a perfect opportunity to invite Christian to the podcast. If you’d like to hear the true origin story of Scary Stories for Young Foxes, this podcast is a must-listen. As for Kate, she has her own take on things. “She’s letting her kids go out in the middle of the night . . . to die?!?”

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

Show Notes:

Here are Kate’s freaky deaky ghosts, visible on my Instagram page. They are quite . . . the thing.

The Berenstain Bears parallel universe theory. Would I make this stuff up?

Herein lies the twig/stick conspiracy. Is it inconsistent in its size? As I say, it’s an extendo-stick.

Kate’s tattoo? This dazed mouse. Quoth Mr. Heidicker about her purely hypothetical tattoos: “Don’t be weirded out when I actually get that.”

So many theories about this guy. Christian says that the clothed bear/naked bear idea slots into the Goofy/Pluto paradigm. Kate’s convinced that this is the bear’s home. I’m not so sure.

Is this the shield’s design or are there holes in it, allowing creatures to peek through?

My 6-year-old really appreciated the video game aspects of this two-page spread. And as Christian said, ” ‘Up a ladder… Through the floor. Down a slide… And out a door!’ might be the only deus ex machina that I’ve ever not hated.”

Even Kate had to admit that this was better than The Berenstain Bears and the Bully. Listen to our episode on that book here.

You absolutely must check out the cassette recording for this book, available to hear here. The theremin alone is worth the price of admission.

You can find the Berenstain Bears podcast Deep In Bear Country. Still going strong! Check out their episode The Spooky Old Tree Game as well as early Episode 17.

Kate’s suggestion was VERY funny. I enjoyed it heartily. I agree with her that I wouldn’t necessarily show it to younger kids but the older ones would find it a stitch. This is Gavin discovering that Star Wars takes places long long ago in a galaxy far far away.

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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.