Being raised by teddy bears proves a cozy proposition in Willis and Varley's (previously teamed for The Monster Bed) endearing tale of a foundling child. At first, Big, Middle and Little Teddy are clueless "He's hungry. Let's give him some sawdust," Big Teddy suggests. But a trio of forest fairies (visible in almost every picture) keeps watchful eye, and the bears' expertise in cuddling more than compensates for their gaps in knowledge. With a distinctly British briskness that tempers the story's sentimentality, Willis chronicles the boy's mastery of teddy bear skills (walking with swiveling legs, sleeping in cupboards, sporting a red bow tie). Varley's idyllic watercolors, tender without being cloying, depict his life as one big teddy bears' picnic. There's tension when the boy's mother finally finds him "I don't want to be a boy!" he cries but it's quickly quelled when Mom gives him "the biggest bear hug he'd ever had" and invites the whole gang to come home with her. The genuine sweetness of this story is hard to resist. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This delightful fractured fairy tale has fairies finding a baby in the woods and delivering him to the Three Bears at a picnic. Following their best instincts, the bears take care of the infant, feeding him, diapering him, and reading him books before bed. Not knowing any human names, they call their little charge "Pinky, because he's pink," "Blinky, because he blinks," and "Dinky- because he's so little." They raise him and teach him how to growl and enjoy a picnic in the woods. As expected, his desperate mother turns up one day and wants to take him home. However, he doesn't want to be a boy; he wants to be a Teddy Bear, hiding in cupboards and playing in the woods. While the ending is a touch weak-the mother gives him "the biggest bear hug he'd ever had"-youngsters will instinctively know that the child will live happily ever after. The text is lively, and the softly colored, clear illustrations give the characters wonderful personalities that will tickle readers' funny bones.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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)