The Boy Who Thought He Was a Teddy Bear by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Susan Varley (Review & Giveaway)
About the book: With a little help from three meddling fairies, a young human baby falls under the care of three roly-poly teddy bears, Big Teddy, Middle Teddy, and Little Teddy. The teddy bears are eager to care for their new charge, but what do they really know of little boys? With only the best intentions and a lot of love, the bears set out to raise him, instructing him in the ways of teddy bears.
Soon, the transition from boy to teddy is nearly complete. He dresses like a teddy. He sits on shelves and sleeps in cupboards. He walks like a teddy. He is cuddly like a teddy Then one day, a knock on the door turns his teddy bear world upside down. Now he must accept that he belongs to the human world. But will he still be able to hide in cupboards, play in the woods and go on picnics? Will he still be cuddly? The answer may lie in the big bear hug he gets from his loving mother.
My thoughts: The author and publisher have introduced this delightful story as a "fairy tale." I guess that is because the little boy is spirited away by three fairies into the woods and into the care of three teddy bears.
This is a "boys" take on the beloved Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It is sweet, cute, and the illustrations are lovely. The story is told in simple narrative with repetitive types of phrases. The British seem to have a real knack for telling a story and for illustration.
This little book is illustrated with pen and ink artistry that is awash in soft colors. The book begins a bit scary in that the boy is taken right out from under the nose of his mommy. But it soon resolves that he is being well taken care of by the three bears. His mommy soon finds him - you know mommies never give up on lost little boys - and he learns to readjust to living without the teddy bears and life with mommy.
This is a good book for school and public libraries and will charm many a child.
GIVEAWAY: The good folks are Peachtree Publishing are providing one copy for one of Chat With Vera's readers to to win. Begins July 27 & ENDS August 18 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
Author Jeanne Willis was born in St. Albans, England, and has published many outstanding children's books.
Illustrator Susan Varley is one of Britain's foremost picture book artists. She was born in Blackpool, England, and has enjoyed drawing and sketching for as long as she can remember. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Peachtree Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I received no compensation for this review.