Thursday, April 2, 2009


On our latest trip to the bookstore, Emmy found a large board book version of Corduroy on the shelf. I was instantly taken back to my childhood! I LOVE it when I get to share a classic book with Emmy. I believe this book appealed to her because she loves wearing overalls and was curious about a bear wearing a pair. This reminded me of how important a child's interest is when selecting a new book.

Emmy is so proud
of her overalls.

With Corduroy and a few other books in hand, Emmy and I found a comfortable spot on the floor and started reading. I am continually amazed at the concentration Emmy will give to a book and Corduroy certainly held her attention. Have you ever dreamed of being locked in a department store at night? Corduroy paints a picture of the adventures that might unfold (for a teddy bear at least) in such a situation. Emmy's favorite page is when Corduroy accidently steps onto the escalator. "Could this be a mountain?" he wondered. "I think I've always wanted to climb a mountain." Since Emmy likes riding the escalator at the mall, we have another connection from real life to storybook.

Emmy is almost always
surrounded by a stack of books!

The author of Corduroy, Don Freeman, is an icon in the world of children's literature. Thankfully, his son, Roy, created a website that honors the full body of Don's work. This site is truly a testament to this man's character and influence on others. I am always intrigued to find out where authors get their ideas for books and will often share these insights with Emmy. She giggles when I tell her that the name “Corduroy” was a pet name that the author had for his son because when the boy was very young he used to wear corduroy overalls all the time. Sharing this sort of information with children allows them to see the person behind the book.

Corduroy is perhaps the best-loved bear in children's books and for good reason. With his simplicity and childlike emotion, this loveable bear is a friend for all ages. Corduroy is a great example of a book that can be passed down from generation to generation and never grow old.

Don Freeman

Don Freeman once told an audience interested in writing, illustrating and publishing children's books, “Simplicity is the essence of children’s book stories, not simple mindedness.” What an important message in this day and age of books penned after television shows and celebrity authors creating less space on the bookshelves.

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