Our blueberry-picking excursion of the weekend has me thinking about berries. Mmmmmm, berries.
I love berries. And so do lots of other people. Berries show up in muffins, pies and other baked goods. Also in lots of books and folktales, and few songs. Plus a few other places you wouldn’t expect to find berries. Which is how berries ended up in my list of themed things.
Jamberry, by Bruce Degen
A book of a bear, a boy, and many, many berries. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. And silly rhymes.
Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
Pick me a blackberrry
A picturebook of berry-picking and bears, and mistaken identity.
Blueberry. The name of my stuffed bear I got from my mother for my fourth birthday. I still have him.
Violet, the gum-chewer of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the book by Roald Dahl, and the movies based on it) turns into a giant blueberry.
Firefly & Buffy. Maybe Joss Whedon has a thing for strawberries. In Firefly, strawberries are a luxury item and valued commodity. A box of strawberries is what Book uses to convince Kaylee to take him on as a passenger in the pilot episode. In the Buffy Season 6 episode “Wrecked,” the creepy Rack tells Willow “you taste like strawberries.” (I also feel like there was a scene in the bronze at some point where some random dancing person gets briefly turned into a giant strawberry. Am I imagining this?)
Strawberry Shortcake. The doll. The cartoons. The empire. I still remember the commercials for the doll from when I was little. I can still hear the song, with it’s mockable swellness:
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear, by Don Wood Another picture book. About a mouse. And a strawberry. Also some mention of a bear.
The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher, by Molly Bang. I don’t actually know this berry-oriented book, though it won a Caldecott Honor medal. I liked the author’s story of struggling to get it published.
The Strawberry Legend. A Cherokee Legend where a woman forgets her anger and remembers her love as she eats some berries. (There’s at least one book version, too.)
The Blackberry Bush, a folktale in the book Stories to Tell to Children by Sara Cone Bryant.
Blackberry . One of the rabbits from Watership Down, by Douglas Adams.
BlackBerry. An electronic device. John had one for a couple of years. He would sometimes throw it when he got email because it would irritate him so much with its onslaught of interruptions.
Blowing a raspberry. Okay, it has nothing to do with berries. It’s when you make a sort of continous spitting noise by sticking your tongue between your lips and blowing, or by blowing through loosely closed lips. I have no idea why it’s called a raspberry.
Knott’s Berry Farm. Not actually a farm, and not so much berry-ish. It’s a large amusement park. But the founder did sell berries.
Frankenberry. A cereal. Berry-flavored. Also a cartoon character from the cereal box and commercials. Has a bit of a cult following. (There also seem to be some other meanings to Frankenberry, as seen on Urban Dictionary, but they seem pretty lame to me.)
Finally, here are a few berry songs that I picked for you:
My she’s looking swell!
Cute little doll
With a strawberry smell.