Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Ted, an enormous creature with basset-hound ears, twinkly little eyes and a big sewn-in belly-button, shows up at the door of a suburban home and offers to amuse the boy who lives there, the two of them get into all kinds of exuberant trouble. The boy's father, a harried businessman with no time for fun, decides that his son's spluttering attempts to introduce Ted are merely clever alibis and bans imaginary friends from the house. Ted eventually reveals that he knew the boy's father when he was a youngster; once reminded, the father finds his old Atomic Blaster and joins the pair for a rousing game of "space pirates-Monopoly-Twister." DiTerlizzi (Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure) conjures up the boy's 1950s-style bungalow faithfully, right down to the cloth-covered TV cabinet speaker and the clunky old plugs in their brown outlets. He has particular fun with a scene in which Ted, armed with a lot of lather and a folding ruler, gives the little boy his first shave ("Ted tied a towel around me and snippy-snap! I looked like a million bucks!"). The nostalgia in the book plays to adult readers, but the text has plenty of zip, and there is something gratifying about a story that ends with a parent growing down instead of a child growing up. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children enjoy having imaginary friends, so on the morning that large, lovable, raspberry-colored Ted appears in the living room, the young boy accepts Ted just as naturally as if the child next door has come to play. Ted and the boy become fast friends—they do all the mischievous things that young children typically do. They cut the boy's hair, they paint pictures on the walls and they make an indoor swimming pool in Dad's study. Dad is not happy and banishes Ted, so the young boy runs away. He meets Ted under the playground slide where Ted explains how he had been Ned, the secret friend to the boy's father, but had been banished then, too. When the father finds his son, the boy tells him about Ted/Ned and where he can find the Atomic Blaster he hid as a child. The father realizes that he and his son have much in common and need more time with each other. DiTerlizzi's drawings of Ted are humorous, never scary and express the feelings of joy, sadness and hope found in the text. Although the ending is predictable, the story will have broad appeal to young children. 2001, Simon & Schuster Books for Children, $16.00. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Jenny B. (J. B.) Petty
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A little boy who craves his father's attention is visited by an imaginary playmate. Ted, a rather large, raspberry-colored blob of a friend with a fun-loving heart, has one problem-an inability to think about the possible consequences of his actions. An indoor swimming pool sure sounds like fun, but flooding dad's study with the garden hose? Not such a good idea, after all. The child tries to convince his father that his friend is real, but his attempts to do so backfire. His father finally banishes the creature from the house, forcing the boy to join Ted at the old playground. When the boy explains his feelings to his friend, Ted replies: "Sometimes, when people grow up, they forget how to have fun. Your father told me that when he was your age." It turns out that Ted used to be known as "Ned" when the little boy's father was a lonely lad. Ultimately, the father comes to the playground in search of his son, and is reunited with both his child and, in a moment of remembering things past, Ted/Ned. DiTerlizzi has created a warm and loving character in Ted, and his gouache, watercolor, and colored-pencil artwork brings the creature to life. Double-page illustrated spreads alternate with others that have the text displayed on one page and full-page paintings on the next. A sure winner for storytime sharing.-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
A more-or-less imaginary friend brings a lonely boy and his distracted father together in this heavy-handed but slapstick romp from the author/illustrator of Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-This-World Moon Pie Adventure (2000). Looking like a cross between a flop-eared John Goodman and Jabba the Hut, Ted saunters into the unnamed young narrator's life, and proceeds to instigate more chaos than the Cat in the Hat ever dreamed of. After helping to spatter the bathroom with shaving cream, "illustrate" the living-room walls, and create an indoor swimming pool in the study, Ted retreats from Dad's wrath to a nearby playground. The boy soon follows, to wonder why grownups have forgotten to have fun, and to learn that Ted was his father's playmate too, years ago. In due time, Dad shows up, and with the help of an old toy dredges up half-forgotten memories-after which all go back home for "one mean game of space-pirates-Monopoly-Twister!" Owing equal debts to Norman Rockwell and Mad Magazine, DiTerlizzi's polished, carefully detailed illustrations feature nerdy-looking humans and wild swirls of domestic disaster, with Ted, invisible to Dad but looking just as solid and real, mugging hugely and providing a mottled, pink focal point. It's not exactly subtle, but children may find its exaggerations appealing. (Picture book. 7-9)
From the Publisher
Time Out New York Like Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat, Ted knows a good time.
School Library Journal A sure winner for storytime sharing.
Publishers Weekly Plenty of zip.