My sister and I received identical teddy bears when we were young. I figure it was my Mom’s way of preventing sibling rivalry – no bear was bigger, better or stronger than the other. My bear was named after a boy I had a crush on, Christopher – sigh. My sister named hers after RuPaul. RuPaul wore a blue flower dress and had nostrils, so he could breath (she got creative with white-out). Keep reading…
Corduroy, written and illustrated by Don Freeman, is a story about a teddy bear in green overalls. Corduroy lives in a toy department store where, day after day, he waits along with all the other toys for some little girl or boy to take him home. But no one ever seems to want a bear, particularly one missing a button on his overalls straps. Late one night, when all the shoppers are gone, Corduroy goes in search of his button. He believes that if he finds his button, he will find a home. But, little does he know that there is a little girl named Lisa that likes him just the way he is.
It would be wonderful for any grandparent or parent to introduce this classic book to a new generation. It’s a charming and enduring story.
Corduroy, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author and Illustrator Don Freeman
(1908 to 1978)
Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California, in 1908. He had a great passion for both music and art, and he was also a talented trumpet player. In fact, to support himself while studying at New York’s Art Students’ League, he played his trumpet at nightclubs and weddings. While at school, he studied under Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey, both of whom were master printers – their mediums included etching and drypoint. Their influence later contributed to Don’s use of scratch board, pen and ink in his illustrations. Illustrations that have the same natural effect as a woodblock print but the technique is less labor-intensive; which is ideal when you are on a deadline to create a picture book.
Don started his career in theater, sketching Broadway shows for The New York Times and The Herald Tribune. His interest in picture books came with the birth of his son, Roy. After illustrating a couple of books, Don began writing and illustrating his own books. He also co-wrote with other authors, as well as with his wife, Lydia Cooley Freeman.
Don died in 1978, as a successful author and illustrator of many books for children.
Don Freeman was once quoted saying, “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 think this perfectly sums up the drive behind my goal to become a children’s book illustrator.
Publisher Viking Juvenile (March 11, 1968)