THE TEDDY BEAR HABIT by James Collier
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THE TEDDY BEAR HABIT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

George Stable suffers from a common adolescent ailment, one which is made especially apparent by his attempted entree into show biz--""I'm a loser...gradually I start getting nervous, and right away I begin to goof up. At first a little goof, and then a bigger one and so forth so that by the time I get down to the end the whole thing is completely ruined."" He also has a more individual, related problem--""I have a teddy bear on my back""--he can't get over the feeling that he can maintain his confidence only when his old teddy is in sight. George lives in Greenwich Village with his father, an action painter and the artist/creator of such popular comic heroes as Amorpho Man and Garbage Man. Mr. Stable doesn't quite fit the usual standard of the perfect parent (""about half the mornings he gets up and scrambles me some eggs and tells me to clean under my fingernails and do I have my lunch money and all that jazz. The other half of the mornings he just lies in bed and shouts out that it's late and for me to fix myself a bowl of Cocoa-puffs."") or his son's image either (""...he's square, just like everybody else's old man""), but he's a likable, conscientious sort anyway. George does get accepted as an understudy for a T.V. part. And he does break the teddy bear habit--after he discovers that the recently stolen largest sapphire in the world is sewn up in teddy, and is chased all across New York by the jewel thief. The adventure is as preposterous as any of Amorpho Man's or Garbage Man's, but George's observations are more articulate than anything you can find in a balloon, and his story offers more relaxed entertainment and incredible excitement than the usual funny page fare.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1966
Publisher: Norton