Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess and Russell Ayto

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Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess and Russell Ayto

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Chloe Spooner
Reviewed by Chloe Spooner
Summary: A delightful Christmas tale of a little wolf's adventure through the forest to find out where Teddy Bears come from. A must for all teddy lovers!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 978-0141500461

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My two year old son is just beginning to understand about Christmas, and he's recognising certain Christmas things all around such as Christmas trees and Father Christmas. So when I saw this book, I knew he'd love it and it would be one for us to enjoy a lot over the coming Christmas period, but it is a book you can enjoy all year through too as a lovely book about teddy bears, something that all young children should be very familiar with!

Little Wolf is tucked up in bed but he just can't sleep. Mummy Wolf has tried everything, from cuddles to stories, but Little Wolf is feeling lonely. When the morning sun comes, Little Wolf claps eyes on a teddy bear in a story book and realises that's what he needs to go to sleep with. He asks Mummy Wolf where to get one, but she doesn't know, so he sets off on an adventure through the woods to ask everyone, including the Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood where Teddy Bears come from, eventually meeting a very special person who might make his teddy wish come true.

One thing I noticed about this book is that for a children's book which I would say is primarily aimed at two years plus, there is rather a lot of text in the book, especially compared to other favourite stories of my son's, and I wasn't sure whether his attention span would last the entire book. But because of the lovely words and absorbing story, my boy was hooked and didn't just sit there for the first reading, he asked for it again. The author Mark Burgess has created a wonderful world for children here in this book, and the extra dash of Christmas magic just makes an already lovely story all the more charming.

Our favourite part of the book had to be the inclusion of other fairy tales that your children have probably come across already including Three Little Pigs, and my sons personal all-time favourite story Little Red Riding Hood. This cross-over of characters into the book triggers off memories for both me and my son, and he was happily pointing out Little Red Riding Hood as she appeared in the book. Also, because of this, it felt a bit like the story was already a bit familiar, and helps children warm to it very quickly because of characters.

The illustrations used in the book were drawn by Russell Ayto, and are really beautiful and totally bring the story book to life. Each of the thirty two pages is completely filled with cartoon drawings of the part of the story told on the page, and bright, vivid colours have been used to really capture the interest and imagination of the children reading it/having it read to them. The fairy tale characters aren't sugary sweet drawings but instead a bit different, but it suits the other somewhat kooky and interesting drawings in the book. Father Christmas himself is also rather different to other portrayals your children may be more familiar with such as the famous Raymond Briggs version, but he does sit well in the theme of the book.

Hidden alongside the main story of discovering where Teddy Bears come from lies a bit of an important message about not judging people on first impressions and what you think you already know of them. The Three Little Pigs think Little Wolf has come to blow their house down, as the wolf does in the original story, but of course this isn't the case in this book, and I was able to explain to Harry that he wasn't the bad wolf they thought, and about giving people second chances. It's a nice moral woven into the story and just adds a little well hidden lesson into a fun story.

We have really enjoyed reading this book together, and now when my son goes to get this book for reading from his bedroom, he brings his teddy bears along with him, and we all sit together for the story. The wintery scenes can be used to discuss the cold weather of Christmas, and introduces your child to Christmas, wishes and of course Father Christmas in a charming and unusual way. Beautiful illustrations perfectly bring the story to life, and familiar fairy tale characters allow for familiarisation with toddlers and a little lesson woven in along the way. A really charming book, and a nice addition to any child's Christmas book collection.

Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For another tale about Christmas presents, you might like Little Rabbit's Christmas by Harry Horse.

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Buy Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess and Russell Ayto at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess and Russell Ayto at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess and Russell Ayto at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess and Russell Ayto at Amazon.com.


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