A pleasurable and satisfying back story for the beloved bear named Corduroy. Not too long, not too hard—just right

A prequel to the beloved classics Corduroy (1968) and A Pocket for Corduroy (1978), this story tells how Corduroy found his green overalls (and his name).

When the story opens, Corduroy is just a brown teddy bear on a department-store shelf, sitting next to a stuffed rabbit and a doll. He’s waiting to be chosen as a child’s desired Christmas gift. The bear hears customers talking about visiting Santa and wearing special outfits, and he notices the other toys are requested by name. The bear searches for clothing in the store, finally finding a small pair of green corduroy overalls in the Santa display section. He falls asleep on Santa’s chair, and it’s Santa himself who gives him the name of Corduroy, suggested by his overalls. The story ends with Lisa’s familiar dialogue: “Look! There’s the very bear I’ve always wanted!” The story’s language and pacing match the tone of the original story, and the illustrations are a close match to Freeman’s original work. Purists may object to extending the franchise, but this is a story that can stand next to the original two Corduroy tales without apology.

A pleasurable and satisfying back story for the beloved bear named Corduroy. Not too long, not too hard—just right . (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-670-78550-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014


A story with a youngster getting ready for Christmas with just his dad should be a welcome choice for single fathers to...

A little bear named Teddy gets ready for Christmas with his father, Big Bear, in this decidedly cheerful British import.

Teddy is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Christmas, asking his father endless questions in the manner of little ones everywhere. Father and son work together to wrap presents, bake a cake and search for a Christmas tree. The tree that Teddy chooses is too large to fit through the doors of their house, and when they bring it through the window, the top of the tree snaps off. Teddy dissolves into tears at the accident, but father and son work together to repair the damage and decorate the tree for Christmas Eve. A joyful concluding spread shows the bear pair on Christmas morning, sprawled under their tree, eating cake and candy and enjoying their unwrapped gifts. The text is aggressively jolly, with sound effects and key words and phrases set in display type and lots of exclamation marks. But Chapman’s large-format illustrations are appealing, with plenty of humor and motion, and her bears are amusing—especially Teddy, who really does look like a teddy bear come to life.

A story with a youngster getting ready for Christmas with just his dad should be a welcome choice for single fathers to share with their children. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-149-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013


Destined to be a favorite bedtime read-aloud.

A disparate group of animals constructs a large sleigh so they can travel together to watch the northern lights.

“There’s magic in the winter air, / as all the creatures are aware. / A sway and creak as pines bow low, / and then begins the song of snow.” On this initial double-page spread and throughout, simple but eloquent rhymes are complemented by stylized, appealing animal characters that move within a soothing world of pinks, purples, and blues, dotted with flecks of snow and points of light. As the creatures gather, they sense they need to do something. The text describes the animals’ actions; readers will slowly be able to figure out what the creatures are making. Beginning with a falcon and ending with a mouse, a total of eight kinds of animals are introduced, each with their own contribution; the drollest one comes from Bear, whose body provides cushioning for other riders. Wolves pull the sleigh, and the text emphasizes that none of the animals are in danger (“no one hunter, no one prey”) during this expedition. Before the animals arrive to view the northern lights, there is a gently humorous mishap as the sleigh capsizes, and Stag and Beaver valiantly get it back on track. Text and art gracefully advance two themes—cooperation toward a goal and appreciation of nature’s magic—while also lulling restless readers toward naptime or bedtime. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Destined to be a favorite bedtime read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2224-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022