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THE BOY WHO THOUGHT HE WAS A TEDDY BEAR by Jeanne Willis

THE BOY WHO THOUGHT HE WAS A TEDDY BEAR

By Jeanne Willis (Author) , Susan Varley (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-56145-270-X
Publisher: Peachtree

The fairies are responsible, so this story of a boy who thought he was a teddy bear qualifies as a fairy tale—and a very charming one indeed. A baby boy is resting in his carriage in the woods—his mother is a short ways off picking flowers—when the fairies find him. They deliver him to their friends the teddy bears, who take him under their wings and raise him as a teddy. They name him Pinky Blinky Dinky because he was and did those things. He learned to walk and growl like a teddy, sit on shelves and sleep in cupboards, attend picnics in the wildwood, and became a first-class cuddler. Just when the bears are feeling that it’s appropriate to tell Pinky Blinky Dinky the truth about his identity, the fairies usher the boy’s mother to the teddy bears’ house. Pinky Blinky Dinky’s not sure he wants to be a little boy—“I want to hide in cupboards and go on picnics and play in the woods with my friends”—until his mother reassures him that little boys get to do just those things. Cuddle, too. In time to celebrate the 100-year birthday of the teddy bear, Willis’s (The Truth or Something, p. 669, etc.) tale is an artful, deep reminder of how pleasurable it is for kids to have teddy in attendance, trucked around by the arm or leg, a steady, sturdy companion. Varley’s pen-and-wash art has teddy’s essential qualities: homey, disheveled, and warm. (Picture book. 3-6)