Freddy is not a usual teddy. In fact, it is really hard to pin down what he actually is. Whatever animal he is supposed to be doesn’t matter to Jonah, he just loves Freddy for who he is.
Kristen Schroeder is from the US and based the story around her own boy’s favourite teddy who, like Freddy in the story, has a fairly challenging time deciding what animal he is meant to be. The narrative follows Jonah as he navigates taking Freddie to a teddy-bear picnic and worries about how Freddy will be accepted by the friends. After all, Freddy is not a teddy bear.
While there are some initial questions about what exactly Freddy is, there is such a great level of creativity from Jonah and his school buddies as they begin to imagine what he might be…. A platypus? A penguin? A ‘something’ completely new?
The message of the story is powerful throughout and reminds children of the importance to be kind and to respond to others as they would want to be treated.
Freddy the Not-Teddy is beautifully illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper using a watercolour look that gives it quite a unique feel to the heart-warming story.
Reviewer: Chris Reed