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Corduroy's Birthday Hardcover – March 1, 1997
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From Kirkus Reviews
It's Corduroy's big day, and although he is pushing 30, he doesn't look a day over 5; in the years since his first appearance he has learned how to keep both straps of his overalls buttoned. He's invited over to Checkboard Bunny's home (for what will be a surprise party) but finds time before the party to ``recycle his newspapers and donate clothes that no longer fit him to the children's shelter.'' He also ``chooses some cans of food for the food bank.'' These are worthy activities, but entirely out of step with lighthearted action in the rest of the book, as Corduroy goes off to the party for a good time. The book brims with lift-up flaps, allowing children to get right in on the action: locating the hiding places of the guests, opening gifts, watching the birthday candles go from fire to smoke when the bear blows them out. Corduroy remains a winsome fellow, but those familiar with the older books (and who have not been eased into this series of knock-offs illustrated by McCue) will find no hint of the bear's urban roots (he lives in suburbia now), nor of the little girl who brought him home from the department store. Call it a lift- the-flap, call it a birthday book, but don't call it Don Freeman's Corduroy (1968). (Picture book. 2-6) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Gradually, he eased into making a living sketching impressions of Broadway shows for The New York Times and The Herald Tribune. This shift was helped along, in no small part, by a rather heartbreaking incident: he lost his trumpet. One evening, he was so engrossed in sketching people on the subway, he simply forgot it was sitting on the seat beside him. This new career turned out to be a near-perfect fit for Don, though, as he had always loved the theater.
He was introduced to the world of children’s literature when William Saroyan asked him to illustrate several books. Soon after, he began to write and illustrate his own books, a career he settled into comfortably and happily. Through his writing, he was able to create his own theater: "I love the flow of turning the pages, the suspense of what's next. Ideas just come at me and after me. It's all so natural. I work all the time, long into the night, and it's such a pleasure. I don't know when the time ends. I've never been happier in my life!"
Don died in 1978, after a long and successful career. He created many beloved characters in his lifetime, perhaps the most beloved among them a stuffed, overall-wearing bear named Corduroy.
Don Freeman was the author and illustrator of many popular books for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and the Caldecott Honor Book Fly High, Fly Low.