Virginia Kroll has written a cute story with a twist on the importance of owning a special stuffed animal. Most children have a teddy bear of some kind, but in this story, one child (no name is given, although the other children in the book are named) doesn't have one. Everybody else has a teddy: Torie, Ned, Zachary, Hunter, and other classmates have a special bear. Some of the bears are long and skinny, like Lizabeth's, or big and expensive, like Joshy's. Noah's teddy has two buttons for eyes, one is yellow and the other is brown. There are floppy bears, blue and white ones, and a bear dressed in a clown suit. When the children rest on their mats, they all cling to their one-of-a-kind teddy bears, but not our young protagonist. Instead, she has "Muh," her very own monkey friend and that is just fine with her. The message here is that it's okay to be different, and children should be able to make their own choices even though it is not a conventional or traditional choice. The illustrations are large and colorful and add nicely to the text. This is a good bedtime or nursery school book.
PreS - K - A boy describes all of his classmates' teddy bears. In gentle rhyming verse, he notes that "Poppy has a floppy bear/her grammy made from socks./Livi's has paint splattered on it-/looks like chicken pox!" There is a bear that can dance, a giant grizzly that "cost lots and lots of money," and a well-loved teddy with "three little holes/where stuffing's poking out." Allsopp's winsome illustrations show preschoolers listening to storybooks, playing with blocks, and having a pretend tea party, all accompanied by their stuffed companions. At naptime, everyone except the narrator settles down with a pillow and a teddy. He doesn't have a bear, but "that's just fine" with him-he has "Muh," his monkey friend, to hug. This lovely book celebrates differences, and the sentiments expressed will resonate with young children.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, CanadaCopyright 2007 Reed Business Information