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A teddy bear with a rather inflated opinion of himself has a series of not-always-pleasant adventures before finding a real home.
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Made on an assembly line, the bear fails inspection and lands in the reject bin--a calamity that, ironically, is more difficult for him to endure since it's a result of his supercilious expression: a mouth stitch gone awry and a misplaced eye affect his character as much as they do his visage. As a catalogue of the mistreatment of his species, what follows rivals Oliver Twist or Black Beauty. Liberated by a cleaning woman who takes him to her rambunctious children, the bear is snubbed by the other toys and alternately neglected and abused (in pungently realistic detail, but at least being a toy spares him physical pain); hauled by a rag-and-bone man to a paper factory, which he escapes when an executive uses him as a shoe buffer; mauled by a dog; treated with consideration, for the first time, at a toy hospital where his new eye gives him a kindlier mien; given to a mechanical-minded tot who first ignores him and then leaves him behind when evacuated during WW II; bombed; and, at last, rescued by a nice boy who mends him again and gives him to his loving little sister. Ahlberg confides all this in the informal manner of a parent who happens to be a gifted storyteller, leavening whimsy with sturdy doses of common sense and the sometimes grim reality with delightful humor. Meanwhile, the bear has become wiser as well as humbler, and fully deserves his long-awaited happiness. Janet Ahlberg's delicately precise drawings, tucked here and there in the text, add a fine sense of place and an amusing visual slant. Perfect for sharing aloud. (Fiction. 7-12) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
This fanciful work traces the life and times of a teddy bear, from the factory assembly line through a succession of largely indifferent owners to, finally, a four-year-old who gives him the love (and a name) he has come to crave. The book regrettably falls shy of its mark, despite the plot's many ingenious twists and its relevance to human nature--in the course of the bear's odyssey both his off-putting, superior expression and his corresponding superciliousness are modified considerably, resulting in a more appealing bear all around. Readers in the suggested age range are apt to find the subject babyish, while the teddy-bear set themselves will quickly bog down in the long, difficult text and sophisticated humor and references--from which the whimsical but small and sparse black-and-white illustrations are insufficient relief. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Puffin, 1995. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0140348093
Book Description Puffin, 1995. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0140348093
Book Description Puffin, 1995. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0140348093n