Teddy & Co.

Teddy & Co. illus. by Paola Zakimi. 192p. ebook available. Knopf. Nov. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553511604.
Gr 1–3—Newbery Medalist Voigt's new title follows the legless stuffed toy Teddy and his friends through a series of small adventures. Teddy wants to explore more of the world in which they live, circling around what proves to be an island. Characters include an elephant who likes to bake muffins, a penguin, a pair of pigs, a snake, a grumpy bunny, and a demanding princess. Never deterred by curious or unfortunate circumstances, such as a rainstorm or the arrival of strangers, Teddy has a thirst for discovery and lives a joyous life surrounded by friends. This work has a classic sensibility, reminiscent of Winnie-the-Pooh, minus the human character Christopher Robin. This lends the toy animal characters a bit more autonomy and allows Teddy's spirit and determination to shine through. The secondary characters are amusing, such as Sid the snake, who never stops eating. Readers looking for fast-paced adventure or high drama will not find it here; this is a slow and gentle tale.
VERDICT A simple, easily digestible story in parts, this is a great option for one-on-one bedtime read-alouds.

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