How long has it been since you have read the children’s book titled Corduroy by Don Freeman? Whenever it was…try reading it again. Maybe you could just go over to Barnes & Noble and sit in one of those comfortable chairs…with a copy of Corduroy held snugly in your hands. The meaning of the book holds entirely different content than when you heard it read aloud as a child.
The bear named Corduroy is just not with the program at all. He is a mess. If he had a house of his own, he might be one of those hoarders that we see on 20/20 or some other in-depth news show. His first problem is that he is missing a very important button on his overalls. The strap is just about to hang backwards. Besides, the overalls are green and just not trendy like the clothes that the other bears wear.
I doubt that the other stuffed bears wanted to have anything to do with Corduroy. Remember how it was on the first day of middle school when you didn’t have a special group to sit with for lunch? That is how I think of Corduroy. He just sits there by himself…waiting sadly for someone to come along to love him. He doesn’t seem to have any energy to face the world and fend for himself. I’ve felt that way before. I had no idea that Corduroy and I had so much in common. Perhaps, I got my act together quicker than the bear. He has been sitting and waiting on a store shelf for so long. It is bound to be dusty. Allergies, you know.
Despite his possible ailments, a small girl sees him and wants him for her very own. There is usually someone who easily says “NO!” and the girl’s mother is the one who says it now. Corduroy is heartbroken as he watches the little girl leave the toy area of the store. He gathers his courage together and starts on a journey to find another button for his overalls. All in the name of possible love.
The possibilities are endless as the bear searches all over the store where he lives. He is brave. He is relentless. He presses on and on. There must be a lesson here! Good things do happen to those who put out lots of effort… even to those who have lost a button or somehow lost their way in life.
The little girl comes back the next day to get the bear. She does not care if he has a button missing or not. She likes him just the way he is. The little girl’s mother must have had a second thought or two about how much the child wanted the bear. Perhaps, the mother had an epiphany. She had the realization that a totally perfect bear was not necessary at all. Just like a perfect person is not necessary at all. You might wait your whole life for perfection.
Read this book for yourself and determine what life lessons you might discern. And definitely read it to your child. They will love the book now for the very sweet simplicity of the story. They will love it tomorrow for the complexity of the story.
#3 Super Engaging Book:
By Don Freeman