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Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s Paperback – June 7, 2011
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"A great nostalgia-inducing gift for fellow members of Generation X."
—Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch
"With entries like 'John Hughes Movies,' 'Judy Blume Books,' 'Love’s Baby Soft' and 'Pen Pals,' it’s hard not to go into a state of nostalgic euphoria while reading Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?"
—The Weekender, Wilkes-Barre, PA
"Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont are two people who obviously lived through and loved the '70s and '80s. They're funny and sharp, and their passion for pop jumps off the page."
—Whitney Matheson, USA Today Pop Candy
"A pop culture flashback"
—Jen Chaney, The Washington Post
"I was reading this book the other night and just howling at some of these entries."
—Rachel Martin, "All Things Considered," National Public Radio
"For those of us who think we're beyond the reach of pop culture, think again. It's hilarious to be reminded of how we were defined as a generation. I couldn't put Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? down and I couldn't stop laughing. As we used to say, 'Wow, what a trip.'"
— Pamela Sue Martin, author and actress, "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries"
"This book is one that I never knew I needed, but I soon realized that it's the book I've always wanted...if you're a pop-culture junkie, want to take a time machine back to your past, or just like reading humorous books, pick this one up for sure."
—Monique Jones, MoniqueBlog
“Some pages had me nodding my head in agreement while some pages were like one big blast of memories since forgotten. It's a total blast to read!"
"This thing is a box full of squeals of delight alternating with wistful oooohs of nostalgia."
—Lisa Parsons, The Hippo
"..anyone whose childhood included hours leafing through the Sears Christmas Wish Book and playing lawn darts should enjoy the book."
—Damian Penny, BlogCritics.com
"Every single page will remind you of something from your childhood. Sea Monkeys! That’s Incredible! Lik-M-Aid! What a fun way to revisit all of that stuff."
About the Author
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is a journalist and author of the nationally recognized pop culture blog Pop Culture Junk Mail. Her published works include Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? and The Totally Sweet ‘90s. A native of the Twin Cities region, Fashingbauer Cooper now resides in Seattle with her family.
Previously a television reporter and producer, Brian Bellmont now runs a public relations agency. His published works include Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? and The Totally Sweet ‘90s. He has interviewed various pop culture icons including Adam West, Davy Jones, and Loni Anderson. Bellmont resides in the Twin Cities region with his family.
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I was a little disappointed the cereal chapters didn't mention one of my favorite all time favorite prizes- the Wacky Wallwalker.
However, the mention of the Rain Scent (my personal favorite) version of Love's Baby Soft definitely makes up for that.
I also loved the mention of Choco-Bliss. (Come on, Hostess, it's a just a Suzy Q with chocolate cream filling, chocolate sprinkles, and chocolate icing! If you can make a lime flavored Sno Ball, you can bring back the Choco Bliss!)
Another favorite chapter was the one on Free to Be You and Me, which was my elementary school music teacher's main source material.
I heartily recommend this book to anyone who was a child or teen from the seventies into the mid-1990's. You will have a FANTASTIC time reading this.
Do yourself a favor, though, and read this when you have a couple hours to spare. The author covers a LOT of ground here and one chapter easily turned into the next and then the next until I realized I had finished the entire book!
Still, there were two hundred and thirty pages of things I remembered and some things I had forgotten about.
The opening paragraphs of the entry on candy cigarettes immediately transported me back to my own chidhood; crazy eights, necco wafers, Laverne & Shirley, and all. It's not just a touching collection of memories, though, it's also a wonderfully written book full of hilarious commentary. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that you're still mad at your brother for marking up the cards on your Mystery Date game. It's a great book!
It's a great gift--ridiculously cheap--but you'll find yourself picking it up again and again. Even my kids have been holed up on the couch this afternoon reading passages out loud.
Thanks for the memories, Gael and Brian!