Subscribe to The Horn Book

Hbook Podcast 1.22 – “Stupid”

Podcast the 22nd in which Siân and Roger talk about Jason Bourne, Bruce Willis, and “stupid.”

Stupid: lacking intelligence or common sense

Books we talk about
Harry G. Allard and James Marshall, Stupids series
Dorothy Kunhardt, Pat the Bunny
Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
Audrey Wood and Don Wood, The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear
Julianne Moore and LeUyen Pham, Freckleface Strawberry series (the musical)
Sergio Ruzzier, This Is Not a Picture Book
Lane Smith, It’s a Book
Margaret Peterson Haddix, Running Out of Time

I Like ‘Em Big and Stupid
Goodreads discussion (“Misleading title“)
The Jason Bourne movies
The Die Hard movies
The Village by M. Night Shyamalan

The Fool


Kazia Berkley-Cramer mentioned on the twitters that she was sad to see we didn’t talk about how “stupid” is an “oppressive, ableist slur.” Here is a place to learn more about that topic if you’re interested. Thanks for getting in touch, Kazia!

Siân Gaetano About Siân Gaetano

Siân Gaetano is assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc. Follow her on Twitter @KidLitChick.



  1. Sian, was the book The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang?

  2. Siân Gaetano Siân Gaetano says:

    No, it was The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear. And I LOVED it. The only thing I remember now is that the mouse disguised the strawberry with Groucho Marx Glasses and it was THE FUNNIEST THING IN THE WORLD.

  3. Tibby Wroten says:

    We read It’s A Book! last year, a number of times. I read it to my third grade class knowing that they had an excellent sense of humor (not necessarily sophisticated). They were rolling on the floor laughing (quite literally) they loved it so much. They were also slightly scandalized. After reading it the first time I had to have a conversation that calling a friend a jackass was not okay, but within the context of the book it was both funny and appropriate. I also was not able to keep the book on the shelf for the next 6 months. When it was in the library they would beg to read it again and found it as funny the third and fourth time through.

  4. Siân Gaetano Siân Gaetano says:

    Oh, that sounds like so much fun, Tibby! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Why couldn’t you use the book This Is Not a Picture Book as a teaching lesson for when and why we don’t say stupid? When my nephews were little, I was forbidden to say stupid around them and was always screwing that up. I still struggle with that.

  6. Siân Gaetano Siân Gaetano says:

    It does seem like a kind of perfect lesson, no? The bird gets angry at the book, calls it stupid, and then immediately cuddles it, feeling bad about being mean.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind