Can You Do This, Old Badger?

Episode #01

Can You Do This, Old Badger?

Written By Eve Bunting

Illustrated By LeUyen Pham

Read with Permission By

Harcourt Children’s Books


Grandparents, Old Age, Mammals, Badgers, Family Life.


3 – 7 years


“Although Old Badger cannot do some things as easily as he used to, he can still teach Little Badger the many things he knows about finding good things to eat and staying safe and happy.”

Teaching Tips

Great for bedtime or as an after lunch/pre-nap story. To me, this is a special book that helps build a serene atmosphere. So, if your little ones seem amped and ready to play, but it’s still not quite time yet to go out, I’ve found Michelle Knudsen’s Big Mean Mike to be a fail-safe masterpiece. It’s versatile in all read aloud settings, regardless of how old or young your audience is. Save the Badgers for when you can cherish every moment.

Show Notes

Diane D’Andrade was a children’s book editor at Harcourt Books in San Diego, CA. I had two formal writing class semesters with her, but before and after Diane acted as my patient editor. She introduced me to the Badger books on one of the first times we met. In her bedroom, on the top shelf of a waist-high bookshelf, lived the many children’s books Diane worked on. I wanted to be a picture book author more than anything, and here this woman let me badger her (pun intended) for her secrets.

“To write good children’s books, you must read good children’s books,” Diane noted firmly. “And a lot of them!”

She shared what it was like working with Mary Norton (the author of the Borrowers and Bedknob and Broomstick—that’s right, the one the Disney movie’s based on—I know, right?!! I nerded out). She worked on Janell Cannon’s Stellaluna, Laura Numeroff’s, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, along with many Eve Bunting books.

For those who remember Diane, I’m sure they’d agree that she was as whimsical and lighthearted as she was a no-nonsense character, who did not suffer fools gladly. Despite my best efforts, Diane was immune to my charms—and lord knows, I tried. Eve Bunting, however, seemed to enchant Diane. I recall her eyes lighting up as she relayed how a simple luncheon between the two allowed Diane to experience the inner workings of Bunting’s mind in real-time.

According to Diane, Bunting was not only capable of listening to her, but that her ability to absorb her surroundings, including the conversations of others around her, likely fed a natural curiosity that helped her to be a prolific writer.

Upon meeting the Badgers for the first time, I felt it was too beautiful not to share, but exactly where and how I planned to do that remained to be seen. Advance several years later, when the time came to decide on the first book I wanted to share on Michael’s Storytime, I knew immediately which one I wanted it to be.

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