Each Thursday I’ll be featuring a book that my parents *could* have read to me as a toddler (spoiler alert: I’m no spring chicken), so we will go with a publication date of 1983 or earlier; all books must still be in print as of my writing.
Oh the suspense! Will the bear find his forever home? Will the security guard find the bear? Will the bear find his missing button? It’s about as much drama as a toddler’s heart can handle!
Title/Author: Corduroy by Don Freeman
Copyright Date: 1968
Plot in a Sentence (or two): Corduroy is a toy bear in a department store, waiting to be taken home by a child; one day Lisa finds him and asks to take him home, but her mom points out he is missing the button to his strap. This new information sends Corduroy on a midnight adventure through the department store to find his missing button in hopes of being taken home.
Why It’s Timeless: The storyline is just so sweet and relateable. If my son is any indication with his FOURTEEN stuffed animals in his bed, children have a special place in their heart for plush. Kids will cheer Corduroy on and enjoy seeing the department store through this naive bear’s eyes (walking on the escalator: could this be a mountain? I’ve always wanted to climb a mountain.)
While You’re Reading: The suspense of the plot lends itself nicely to making predictions. Don’t let prediction making become a chore and distract from the flow of the story; just let it unfold naturally. You can guide this and model how readers interact with text by saying things like, “I wonder if Lisa has any money saved at home?” as you turn the page after the devastating early scene when mom says “not today dear, we’ve spent enough already.”
If you can get your hands on a copy of the live action Corduroy video from Scholastic (Corduroy…and More Stories About Friendship), WATCH IT! Our local library has it in their collection. The video takes some liberties with the story, expanding upon the late night adventure through the department store to the great delight of preschool viewers. I’ve shown this to my kindergarteners every year, and without fail, they all squeal as they watch Corduroy’s near misses with the security guard.
This post contains affiliate links; Corduroy should be readily available at your local library as well!