Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown! by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton (illustrator)

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Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown! by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton (illustrator)

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Marvellous illustrations and an interesting story about sadness.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2012
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408308493

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Emily Brown and her rabbit, Stanley, are having fun indoors on a very grey and rainy day. They meet a small, very wet little teddy bear who is singing sad, self-commiserating songs to herself about how sad and lonely she is. Of course, Emily and Stanley feel compelled to help, so they take the teddy with them to the Outback of Australia, but will they manage to cheer the little teddy up?

I do enjoy stories that show the joys of children using their imaginations. Emily certainly uses hers with her toy rabbit Stanley and it's fun to see her imagining camping in Australia, walking in Yellowstone Park, and painting sunflowers in the South of France! On their travels, however, they have another little friend accompanying them - the small, sad teddy. This poor, sad, wet little teddy trudges around with them and although Emily and Stanley hope to cheer her up she just won't be cheered and everywhere she goes she sings herself a sad little song about how sad she is that repeats through the story and gets longer and longer!

Eventually the little black rain cloud that follows the teddy around grows bigger and bigger and Emily and Stanley begin to feel very sad too. It begins to rain on them, washing away their beautiful sunflower pictures. At this, Emily gets very cross. She pulls out her umbrella and as she does so lots of other little bears pop up out of the sunflowers to come and shelter underneath the big red umbrella! The sad teddy sees that she is not the only lonely teddy bear, and with a bit of a talking to from Emily she rediscovers her smile and, fortunately, everyone is happy again!

This was quite an unusual story, with the poor teddy being sad for almost all of the book and Emily and Stanley being dragged down into her sadness too. I wasn't entirely sure about the story the first time I read it, but it has grown on me. The repetition of the sad teddy's song works well within the text, and makes it funnier for children listening as they hear it grow each time it's sung. I also like that at the end of the story, when the sad teddy is finally happy again, having a picnic in the sunshine with the other teddies, that Emily and Stanley go outside to play in the rain and get very wet, because rain doesn't always need to mean feeling sad and blue.

The illustrations work perfectly with the story and they're my favourite thing about this book. Stanley is wonderful, all floppy rabbit and a wonderfully expressive little face. He's definitely the one I'm looking for on each page! The poor sad teddy still manages to look very cute, and I love all the bright colourful pages contrasting with the big black rain clouds throughout the book.

This isn't a speed-read picture book as the text is quite detailed, and so the story would work well for nursery-aged children as well as those who have just started at big school too and like something a little bit longer than some of the usual picture-book offerings. A fun story to share, and have fun inventing the tune for the poor, wet teddy's sad little song - mine changes every time!

You can read more about Emily Brown in Emily Brown and the Thing.

Buy Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown! by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton (illustrator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown! by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton (illustrator) at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown! by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton (illustrator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown! by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton (illustrator) at Amazon.com.


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