Baggy Brown by Mick Inkpen

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Baggy Brown by Mick Inkpen

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A heart-warming story about a boy's love for his bear and his quest to return the bear to its rightful owner once he realised that the bear belongs to Princess Sophie. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2007
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340932308

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Baggy Brown had the best possible start in life. He was the first bear off the production line at Better Bears Limited and was destined for The Palace. Baggy was to be the bear of Princess Sophinyiniannia - that's Sophie to you and me - but life went disastrously wrong for Baggy before he reached the end of the conveyor belt. A NOT FOR SALE notice was stuck on his nose and a NO 1 tag in his ear, but it was the NOT FOR SALE notice which proved his undoing. He didn't line himself up correctly and fell straight off the end of the conveyor belt and into the big red teddy bear machine.

He was grubbed and fluffed and plumped and scrodged and frizzled and squidged and pummelled and hooshed and hooshed and hooshed again!

As if that wasn't enough the machine spat him out onto the floor and a factory worker called Jack trod on him, but then he picked up the discarded bear and took him home for his young son, Alfie who loved him on first sight and called him Baggy Brown.

All was not well at the Palace of the King and Queen of Thingland. Princess Sophie had a mountainous pile of toys but nothing could stop her crying and this drove the King and Queen to distraction. There were other problems too. The fact that the NO 1 bear was missing had even been on the television news and Alfie realised that Baggy was not his to keep. So began his quest to return the bear to his rightful owner.

Oh, this is a lovely story that will be enjoyed by most children in the three- to five-year-old age group. There's the Dreadful Mistake that can so easily happen but Baggy is rescued and taken to a child who loves him. There's Alfie's immediate reaction of wanting to hide the bear once he realises that it isn't really his to keep and then his splendid adventure to return the bear to the Princess. I'm not going to tell you what happens, but you're very hard-hearted if you can't find at least one Aww... along the way.

The illustrations are Inkpen at his best. 'Luscious' was the word that sprung to my mind. The picture of the bear on the front cover makes me want to hug the book and some of the expressions on the characters' faces had me chuckling as I read. Like all the best children's books, there are touches in there that will delight any adult reading with a child. The television news presenter has the typical hair. The Queen's Lady-in-Waiting looks rather like a younger version of our own dear monarch - and she's called Lady Jane Farque-Hurrah.

The book is essentially a book for sharing with a child, for discussing points which arise - such as the ownership of the bear. The vocabulary is stretching but benefits from Inkpen's sense of fun and some of the passages are a delight to act out. Here at Bookbag, we think this would be a delightful book for either boy or girl.

We'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy of the book.

For another story featuring a princess you might like to try I Want My Tooth (Little Princess) by Tony Ross - we hear that Little Princess has mellowed! You might also enjoy Baggy Brown and the Royal Baby by Mick Inkpen.

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Buy Baggy Brown by Mick Inkpen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Baggy Brown by Mick Inkpen at


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