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The Teddy Bear Hardcover – May 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 420L (What's this?)
  • Series: Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805064141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805064148
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

reSchool-Grade 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, Inc.

More About the Author

DAVID McPHAIL is the creator of dozens of wonderful books, including Big Brown Bear's Up and Down Day; Sisters; Mole Music, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year; and several recent Green Light Readers for Harcourt. He lives in New Hampshire.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I was nearly in tears by the time the story ended.
Catherine Emerson
The boy's unselfish act at the end of the story is heartwarming and tender.
Laura Dibacco
I truly love this book and recommend it to all parents of young children.
Z Hayes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderful. The boy loses his teddy bear and a homeless man finds it. I have used this book to try to explain to my son that there are alot of people who have nothing. He is starting to understand that the boy gave up the bear to the homeless man at the end because the boy realized he had so much more than the man. Now my son wants to give his bear to someone who has less.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Louis Pierotti on January 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Once upon a time," I had no use for children's literature. Then I had children. Now I am fascinated by the genre and the humanizing influence it can have on children and "grown-ups" alike. There are few writers in the business who can match McPhail's artistry. There are many silly, fun and entertaining children's books on the market-my favorites include "Don't Let the Pidgeon Drive the Bus," and "Click,Clack,Moo Cows that Type"- however,very few children's books can rival McPhail's enlightened and didactic treasures. "The Teddy Bear" contains some invaluable lessons for any person who aspires to become more fully human.

On a family trip a little boy accidently leaves his beloved teddy bear behind in a diner. By the time the parents take him back to retrive his best friend the bear has been thrown away. Anthropomorphizing the bear, the author poignantly describes the toy's despair. The bear is found by a "bearded man" (a homeless bum) who quickly befriends the toy. Out on the streets the two become inspeparable companions and as much as the bear missed his little boy he "...still felt loved."

Meanwhile, back in the warmth and security of his home, the boy learns to live without his most precious possession because, "He had new toys to occupy him and new friends to keep him busy."

The lessons learned in overcoming grief, loss, and the true meaning of love (i.e. sacrifice) are brought home at the end of this moving tale when the boy is finally reunited with his teddy bear. I won't give away the ending of this masterfully illustrated and poignant tale except to say that I sent a copy to school with my four-year-old and his teacher confided in me afterwards that she had to fight back her tears when she read the ending to the class.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After reading THE TEDDY BEAR aloud to groups of second graders, I felt compelled to share this wonderful book with others. It's a heartwarming tale of friendship and compassion that children can easily relate to. It brought tears to many eyes. Children and adults will both benefit from reading this book. David McPhail's illustrations are brilliant.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Emerson on January 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most incredibly sweet and moving stories I have had the pleasure of listening to. Our school librarian read it to my class this week. The storyline of a young boy losing his teddy bear is compelling and engaging for young children. My class watched spellbound as they listened to what happened to both the boy and the bear after being separated. And rejoiced at the bear and the boy being reunited (though many had questions about the "old man" as the boy picked up the bear). The boy's unselfishness at allowing the "old man" to keep the bear rather than taking it back gave way to an intersting discussion after the story was over. For me, as an adult, it was very moving. I was nearly in tears by the time the story ended. The idea that an old man finds his only friend in a small stuffed bear is both endearing and sad at the same time. This is an incredible book that should be in anyone's library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diane B. Halloran on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book! David McPhail has done it again - written a book that will live in the hearts of all children who are privileged to be able to read it or have it read to them. I am a school counselor and purchased the book to begin a unit on teaching empathy to 2nd graders. The children were moved and the book encouraged deep thinking. The author does such a fabulous job of presenting the differences in the boy's world and the hobo's world and then unites them in a beautiful moment awash the recognition that they aren't so different after all. It brings tears to your eyes and warmth to your heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By seedsofkindness on August 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I love this book and think it's a great lesson in compassion that not just kids need to hear. All kids need to be encouraged to be kind and compassionate to everyone they meet much more than they need to be taught to fear strangers as so many books encourage. Be careful,be smart but also be kind, understanding and compassionate. If these are values that you hope for your child to have I would recommend reading them this book and reading it often. The story is great, not to long or to short the pictures are nice the size of the book is easy to handle and you feel all warm and fuzzy when your done reading it. What more can you ask for in a good kids book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura Dibacco on December 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David McPhail's "The Teddy Bear" is a story of a little boy's favorite teddy bear becoming lost and found by a homeless man. The boy's unselfish act at the end of the story is heartwarming and tender. I read this book often when I was a
library aide, the kids were spellbound by the pictures and the story itself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had heard this book was good for encouraging discussion and thinking of other people's needs before one's own. Reading it with a child does exactly that. I found it insightful listening to the child's defense of what he/she would do in the child's circumstances. I loved the rich text leading up to the choice the little boy had to make. The illustrations are not great, but the storyline made up for it.
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