Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

by Judy Blume

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Who is Mr. Denberg in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume?

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In Chapter 8 of Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Mr. Denberg is identified as the director of the Toddle-Bike commercial that Mr. Hatcher is currently working on for the Toddle-Bike company.

When Mr. Hatcher believes it is not a good idea to cast Fudge in the commercial, Mr. Denberg leaves the decision up to Mr. Hachter, who finally agrees to let Fudge be in the commercial. However, when Mr. Denberg gives Fudge the command to ride the Toddle-Bike on the set of the fake street for the commercial, saying, "Okay, Fudge ... we're ready to begin now. You ride the Toddle-Bike where I tell you to and I'll take a picture of you doing it ... all right?," despite how much Fudge generally likes riding his bike, Fudge refuses, saying, "No" (p. 57). Mr. Denberg tries multiple times to encourage Fudge to ride the bike. Mr. Denberb even orders Janet, Mr. Hatcher's secretary, to give Fudge a cookie as a bribe, but Fudge still refuses to ride the bike. Throughout it all, Mr. Denberg remains relatively calm. Only Mr. Vincent, president of the company and the one who chose Fudge for the role in the first place, gets furious, threatening to take his account elsewhere.
Soon, Mr. Hatcher gets the idea that Fudge usually willingly does as Peter does and asks Peter to show Fudge how to ride the bike. Naturally, as soon as Fudge sees Peter ride the bike, he wants to start riding it too. Mr. Denberg continues to take advantage of the situation by using reverse psychology to try and trick Fudge into wanting to ride the bike, telling Fudge he couldn't ride it as well as Peter and doesn't have permission to ride it. Soon enough, Fudge is begging to ride the bike and finally does as the director tells him to do, allowing the director to successfully film the commercial.

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