The Teddy Bear

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Overview

A compassionate tale of friends lost and found.

"The Teddy Bear had a good home . . . a warm, cozy place to sleep . . . many friends . . . and someone who loved him."

The little boy and his teddy bear were always together. Every night, when the little boy went to sleep, his teddy bear was right there next to him. When the little boy went on a trip, his teddy bear went too-until one terrible day when the teddy ...

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Overview

A compassionate tale of friends lost and found.

"The Teddy Bear had a good home . . . a warm, cozy place to sleep . . . many friends . . . and someone who loved him."

The little boy and his teddy bear were always together. Every night, when the little boy went to sleep, his teddy bear was right there next to him. When the little boy went on a trip, his teddy bear went too-until one terrible day when the teddy bear was left behind . . .

This is the wonderful story of a friend who is lost and found and lost and found again, and of a little boy who begins to understand the meaning of compassion.

A teddy bear, lost by the little boy who loves him, still feels loved after being rescued by a homeless man.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This sweet if romanticized tale of a homeless man who adopts a lost teddy bear, and the generous young owner who lets him keep it, is graced with some of McPhail's (Mole Music) tenderest art to date. Left behind at a diner, a small boy's beloved bear is accidentally thrown out: "He lay squashed in a dark, smelly place, and even though he had a fine fur coat he was beginning to get a chill." Rescued from the trash by a homeless man, the bear, like the boy, is lonely at first, but eventually both adjust ("The bear still felt loved"). At the park one day the bear is left briefly on a bench, where he is spotted by none other than his original owner. Delighted to be reunited with his old friend, the boy nevertheless notices the homeless man's despair and willingly gives him the bear. While the thought of any child happily relinquishing a favorite toy is a bit of a stretch, as a parable of compassion the story makes its point gently, and McPhail's glowing illustrations persuade the audience of its emotional truth. A master of wordless subtext (the man is shown sleeping under a narrow patch of sky in an open dumpster; on the facing page, the boy, surrounded by other toys, stares at the same sky from his bedroom), he invests his pen-and-watercolor illustrations with affection and warmth, and his expert use of soft shading and cross-hatching creates a welcoming world readers will want to inhabit. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
So often stories about the homeless, whether written for children or adults, tend to be overly sentimental, preachy or simplistic, but this is a warm and wonderful story with heart and tenderness. Kids will benefit from reading about this teddy bear who is loved by two very different people who nonetheless share all the human emotions such as love and loss, as well as the very human need for the steady comfort of someone, or something, to care for. A little boy loses his precious teddy, but a bearded man in raggedy clothes picks up the bear. As the story progresses, the man and bear form a bond and the little boy demonstrates a wonderful generosity. This story is based upon a scene the author-illustrator happened upon one cold winter evening when he saw a man with a teddy bear under his arm settle down into a Dumpster. The watercolor and ink illustrations capture the emotions and give the reader a strong sense of the atmosphere and background in which the story takes place. 2002, Henry Holt and Company,
— Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A young boy leaves his beloved teddy bear in a diner. A homeless man finds it in the trash can and takes care of it by tucking it in his coat pocket and sleeping with it in the dumpster. One day, he leaves the teddy bear on a park bench just when the child and his parents happen to be passing by. The youngster is pleased to find his old friend and rescues him, but when the man cries out, "Where is my bear?" the child returns the stuffed animal to him. This act of sharing and compassion will be treasured by young and old. The basic lost-and-found teddy bear story is reminiscent of Don Freeman's Corduroy (Viking, 1968). This book, however, adds another dimension to the theme, and discussion is sure to follow as the artist gives a face and emotion to the homeless population. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations are distinctively McPhail. A sweet and gentle blend of favorite and important topics will make this a treasure of a book to be read, reread, and shared.-Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lost and found and lost and returned-this teddy brings a lot of happiness and leaves sadness in its wake, but McPhail's (Mud Is Cake, p. 425, etc.) tale turns on the perceptiveness and sensitivity of a young boy. That young lad had a teddy bear, his favorite toy of all, and he and the teddy lived in a warm and protective home (gorgeously drawn in hearty and touching watercolor and ink). The teddy is lost in a moment of forgetfulness and is found by a homeless man who tucks the bear away in his pocket. Gradually, the boy adjusts to not having his bear and gradually, the bear adjusts to his new circumstances. The man takes the bear everywhere, just like the boy once did. On a spring day, the man put the bear on a park bench while he did some scavenging nearby, and the boy and his parents happen past. The boy is exultant (his parents are nonplused), and he sweeps the bear up and walks away with him. Then he hears a mournful howl. It is the homeless man, a man who has lost his best friend. The boy returns to the man, aware of what has happened: " ‘Is this your bear?' the little boy asked. . . . ‘Thank you,' he said to the little boy. ‘I don't know what I'd do without him.' ‘I know what you mean,' said the little boy.' " Although this is a story about kindness, love, and compassion, it is also a worthy reminder that the down-and-out have feelings and needs just as keen as the reader's. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606345910
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.44 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

David McPhail is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the popular Pig Pig stories. He lives with his family in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2013

    This is a story that most children will be able to identify with

    This is a story that most children will be able to identify with if they have a most favourite toy or blankie that they love ... literally... to pieces.  The little boy in the story has his most cherished teddy beside him at all times.  They are inseparable, and even if the family goes away on a trip, teddy goes along too.  On one such trip the family stops in a diner to refuel and sadly the little boy's teddy is accidentally left behind and then tossed out in the dumpster.  "He lay squashed in a dark, smelly place, even though he had a fine fur coat he was beginning to get a chill.




    A forsaken, homeless man, searching for his next meal, rescues the abandoned teddy and claims him as his own.  Then strangely enough, one day in the park the little boy spots his beloved teddy on a bench and is delights to have him back once again in his life.




    The little boy notices the despair and anguish on the poor homeless man's face when the man suddenly realizes what is happening with his teddy.  The little boy happily hands over his most valued treasure as a gift to the heavyhearted, dispossessed man knowing how much the old man cares for the teddy bear and how much it means to him.




    The pen-and-watercolour illustrations add so much sub-text to the story.  They are filled with soft shading and cross-hatching making them look vintage and inviting the reader to be present in the story.   This wonderful tale of compassion will bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face as you realize what a sacrifice this little boy is making to bring a poor, rejected outcast some happiness and joy by relinquishing his teddy bear over to him. Teddy is the winner in this tale because he never loses that feeling of being special and loved by both the little boy and the homeless man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2010

    teacher recommended

    As an elementary school teacher who has taught every grade, I do not hesitate to read this tremendous book to my classes. This is by far one of my top five all time favorite picture books. It has timeless themes of loss, selflessness, and thankfulness. I am always surprised that this book has not received the acclaim I believe it truly deserves. It should be a staple of ever teacher's classroom library. I wish there were more picture books of this caliber out there because I definitely would purchase them. If you buy this book you will not be disappointed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2003

    Great heart warming book

    My daughter and I first got this at the library. We loved it so much that we bought our own copy. It has great lessons concerning sharing and caring for others. I love this book!

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    Posted August 30, 2009

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    Posted November 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

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