Sometimes the classic picture books do not hold up in a storytime setting. For every successful telling of The Snowy Day there are as many failed attempts at Make Way for Ducklings. Every crowd has their own particular demands when it comes to the kinds of stories they want to hear, and although parents might sigh with nostalgic happiness at the thought of their kids getting to experience one of their old favorites, their kids might feel very differently about the book, at least when it comes to listening to it being read amongst a group of children.
A lot of classic children’s picture books work better in one-on-one settings, parent to child, which is why I tend to stick to more contemporary works for storytime. But some (like The Snowy Day) are too good to resist, and this week’s tale was no different:
by Don Freeman
Corduroy is a teddy bear living with the other stuffed animals and dolls in a large department store. When a little girl named Lisa is not allowed to take him home, Corduroy sets out on an in-store adventure to find his missing button. First published in 1968, Corduroy has become even more popular that it was more than forty years ago, with sequel novels (including the Freeman penned and illustrated A Pocket for Corduroy) and a television series.
Why isCorduroy so endearing… and enduring? It could be the illustrations, colorful and vibrant sketches with plenty of white space around the edges (which is very attractive to young eyes). And Corduroy has never looked quite as cute when it’s not Freeman drawing him.
It could also be the story at the center of the book, of finding a home and a friend when you desperately want one. Children can feel incredibly lonely at times, even with siblings, which is why so many of them have distinct bonds with their stuffed animals or dolls. A child can relate to Corduroy’s situation, but also to Lisa’s – finding the perfect teddy bear, not being allowed to buy him, and then finally coming back to give him the perfect home. In a simple and effective manner, Freeman illustrates the bonds between children and their imaginative playthings.
Need additions to your teddy bear storytime? Check out these titles:
Storytime is every Monday at 10 am and is intended for all ages.