Books by Matt Dray

Released: Sept. 1, 2005

In this quirky tale about a tattered teddy's second chance, readers follow the travails of Dougal, rescued at the dump by a truck operator. Soon, a stuffed bee named Bumble joins the forlorn bear. Silly, tongue-in-cheek outings for the pair are documented in a photojournalistic style. When the rescued toys reach 45 in number, the "big boss" puts an end to their idyllic days spent pond side. The toys ultimately find a new home by the sea—with their rescuer. Dray's remarkably expressive photographs are arranged collage style on the pages. His sense of the absurd is underscored by the deadpan delivery of the commentary, which has a certain Australian panache; references to vegemite sandwiches, as well as exclamations of "blimey" and "bloomin" abound throughout the text. The juxtaposition of Dray's wry narrative with his quixotic and uniquely compelling snapshots proves engaging across the generations. A heartfelt message at tale's end regarding triumphing over adversity proves that this odd duckling of a story is truly a swan. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >