berry me deep

jamberry.jpgOur 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.

    Quickberry, quackberry
    Pick me a blackberrry

  • Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
    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.
  • blueberry_crop.jpg

  • 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?)
  • strawberrywatercolor.jpg

  • 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:

    Strawberry Shortcake
    My she’s looking swell!
    Cute little doll
    With a strawberry smell.

  • 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:
    • Raspberry Beret, Prince (Okay, not really about raspberries)
    • Blueberry Hill, Louis Armstrong (Not really about blueberries)
    • Strawberry Fields Forever, the Beatles (…nothing is real…)
    • blueberries_2.pngraspberry_sm.pngblackberries_orig.pngstrawberries.png

  • 7 thoughts on “berry me deep

    1. i think “blueberry hill” was a hit for fats domino…

      how about warrant’s “cherry pie”? (i know, i know, bad 80s song…)

    2. jenny-
      “i think “blueberry hill” was a hit for fats domino…”
      Could be. We have the version by Louis Armstrong, so that’s the one I know. Though to be honest, the version I know best is Ron Howard singing on Happy Days. And I’m afraid (or should I be glad?) I don’t know the “cherry pie” song. (I wasn’t sure whether to include cherries. Since some folks don’t classify them as berries.)

    3. Blowing a Raspberry: from Cockney Rhyming Slang.

      Raspberry tart=fart

      I believe.

      Now I’m wondering if I’m furthering an urban legend and now must go look for a trustworthy link.

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