Written and Illustrated by: Mick Inkpen
Published by: Hodder Children’s Books, Australia 2007
Ages: 2 – 6 years
Theme: Love lost and found, friendship
Opening Lines: Princess Sophinyiniannia, (Sophie for short), also started out well, as you can imagine. To give you some idea, this is just the top of the pile of cuddly toys that arrived for her the very day she was born.
Synopsis: No.1 bear is priceless, the first of a thousand special bears made to celebrate the first birthday of the daughter of the King and Queen of Thingland, and the only bear to be presented to the Princess. But when the big red teddy bear machine at Better Bears Ltd chews him up and spits him out he takes a very different route to the Palace, and along the way finds his real name. A beautifully told story from the award-winning creator of Kipper and Wibbly Pig.
Why I like this: This is such a huggable story with a whimsical feel. A simple heart-warming story with warm colourful illustrations. A story that reminds children that the best loved toys are the oldest and shabbiest. Like well-worn pages of a book sometimes the scruffiest is a sign of being loved. When Alfie realises the bear is not his, he returns it to the princess and in doing so makes a life-long friendship and eventual love of heart.
Resources/Findings: At this Christmas time of year and indeed any time of year there are many children in needy families who go without any toys. Infact many do not think of presents or a Christmas turkey. This is a great time for children to offer toys they have grown out of for charities who arrange collections. Look for one in your area.
Here are a couple of charities … http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx
Here are some more charities listed in many other countries… http://www.allthingschristmas.com/christmas-charity.html
This is also a great time for kids to use their creative talents to make toys, cards and decorations which could be given to charities, old folk homes and needy families. Why not put on a Christmas show complete with carols. Put together little Christmas food parcels or gifts to take to a local old folks home or children’s hospital. There are endless things kids and adults could do to make Christmas a special time of year for someone less fortunate.
I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view. So pop over and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.
I had forgotten how much I love Mick Inkpen’s work. Thanks for this delightful reminder.
Your very welcome Joanna. Here’s hoping you have a great Christmas and New year.
I love that cover! This is a heartwarming story. The most used toys are also the best. Great activities for children to touch the lives of others through giving.
Indeed, Patricia. There is nothing like a most used or worn toy. It tells it’s own story. Hoping you have a great Christmas and New Year.
Cute cover. I’m an Inkpen fan too!
Glad you like it too, Julie. Always lovely to see you here. Hoping you have a great Christmas with family and all the best for the New Year.
Thanks, Diane. You two too!
Awe, this one tugs at my heart. I still have my original teddy bear after all these years and he is well worn. ❤
It sure does tug at the heart, Darlene. Thank you so much for popping by. Hoping your Christmas and New Year is a great one.