Don Freeman’s beloved Corduroy experiences an unforgettable night at the theater in this debut picture book from Tony- and Academy Award–winning actress Davis with co-author Hennessy and illustrator Wheeler.
When Corduroy accompanies Lisa and her mother to the theater to see a dramatization of nursery rhymes, mischief and fun inevitably follow. After he’s accidentally dropped before the curtain goes up, the ever curious bear ambles through the theater, eager to find the perfect vantage point from which to view the production. Corduroy’s adventures take him from the orchestra pit to the costume room and finally onto the stage itself! The author’s simple text conveys both her love of theater and the magical experience of a child who’s brought to see a show for the first time. Lisa may be sitting in the plush red seats enjoying the show, but the real production is backstage, which readers experience through Corduroy’s eyes. One of Wheeler’s talents as an illustrator is facial expressions, and she captures Corduroy’s elation, trepidation, and fearlessness as he freewheels from adventure to adventure even as she successfully mimics Freeman’s style. Perhaps the book’s most valuable visual aspect is featuring people of color in all elements of the theater, from Lisa and her mother, of course, to the orchestra pit, stage manager, and actors. Even Lisa’s doll, shown at the end, is of color, providing much-needed representation.
A sweet story that will have children clamoring to see a show, perhaps with their own bears. (Picture book 3-5)