The Secret To Teddy's Happiness by David Conway and Dubravka Kolanovic
|The Secret To Teddy's Happiness by David Conway and Dubravka Kolanovic|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A sweet tale of toys trying to find a way to mend Teddy's broken heart. It covers well-trodden ground, but isn't without its charm. Worth a look.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2009|
|Publisher: Gullane Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
When the toys discover an old, bedraggled teddy bear, they rack their brains to find a way to mend his broken heart, to make him smile again. The velvet rabbit who knows everything offers to tell them the secret of Teddy's happiness, but he wants them to do him a favour first.
The Secret To Teddy's Happiness mixes two staples of picture books: love cures everything, and A wants something from B who wants something from C. It's all very predictable, but it's not without its charm. It veers towards the schmaltzy, but if you're in the right mood for it, it'll put a smile on your face. From the very first page, it's awash with sweetness and loveliness. It'd be particularly good as a bedtime book, with its soothing vocabulary, gentle plot, and relaxed pace.
Dubravka Kolanovic's illustrations match the mood of the book perfectly, with such a softness that you'll almost be blinking to check you're seeing it in focus. The gang of toys all have a style of their own, but are joined by the common factor that every child would want to cuddle them. The playroom looks peaceful, pleasant, and a lovely place to be, but the pictures never veer towards the twee.
Whilst The Secret To Teddy's Happiness won't necessarily be the first book young book fans grab from the shelves, it's a nice one to have in the mix. It ticks all the right boxes and feels comfortably familiar. It's perhaps lacking a little garnish to stick its head out from the crowd, but it's still well worth a look.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
David Conway's earlier book Shine Moon Shine will leave you with an even warmer glow than Teddy's Happiness. For more teddy-based sweetness, you'll love Red Ted and the Lost Things by Michael Rosen and Joel Stewart and One True Bear by Ted Dewan.
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