It’s time to sing HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to another beautiful book! And today’s featured story is definitely going to be a favorite with every kid who loves stuffed animals…which is probably just about every kid, right? It’s written by one of my Storm Literary Agency sisters, Michelle Nott, so I’m especially excited for the launch of TEDDY, LET’S GO! It’s illustrated by Nahid Kazemi and published by Enchanted Lion! And the lovely Michelle is offering a wonderful giveaway…winner’s choice of a Picture Book Critique OR an Author Zoom Chat…when you leave your comment to be entered in the giveaway, please let us know which prize you would prefer!
Here’s a little bit about the book from the Amazon sales page:
A beloved teddy bear, stuffed with love, tells a deeply felt and tenderly observed story of growing up and the new sibling experience.
Teddy and My are made for each other—literally in the case of Teddy, a bear lovingly stitched and stuffed by Grandma for her newborn granddaughter. From eating mushy vegetables to playing with blocks, Teddy is there every step of the way as the baby grows older. Even as the little girl goes to school and makes new friends, she can always count on Teddy for playtime, comfort, and friendship.
As she leaves early childhood behind, My comes to rely on Teddy less and less. But Teddy still has an important role to play in My’s life. In an act of welcome and tremendous love, My decides to give Teddy to her newborn baby brother, who needs Teddy just as much now as she once did.
And here are a few glowing reviews from major reviewers:
“As told by Teddy, a stuffed bear tenderly made by Grandma for her new baby granddaughter, this is a tale of comfort, companionship, and unconditional love… Soft pencil and pastel illustrations gently enhance this quiet work and show the changes coming to Teddy’s world… This book is a generous addition to works relating to family, love, and new sibling arrivals. A patient and well-paced story of love, friendship, loyalty, and change. Young children with their own comfort objects will easily relate to Teddy.” —School Library Journal
“Presented in straightforward prose, Nott’s simple story about the unconditional love of a stuffed animal will provide reassurance for anyone outgrowing a comfort object. Kazemi’s illustrations are tenderly rendered in pencil and soft, smudgy pastel and rely on a mix of panels and spreads; these cozy scenes will hold the attention of even the youngest readers… Comforting as hugging a beloved stuffed animal.”—Kirkus Reviews
“In this book told from a stuffed bear’s point of view, … the illustrations have an appropriately dreamlike quality… Particularly helpful to families helping older children adapt to the arrival of a sibling.” —Booklist
★ “This lovely story with enchanting art is about a beloved stuffed animal, Teddy, and his family. The wordless first few pages show Grandma making a stuffed bear, hold[ing] him close and whisper[ing] in his ear. The bear is animated with love, and the first-person narration begins. What a sweet beginning! … The art gives the story almost a fairy tale feel, the rubbed pastel textures making the child and even Teddy look ethereal. Bright patches of color accentuate important images, showing what is beloved to Teddy. The author plays with the structure of sentences related to the art, and uses the pause between pages to build suspense or humor. The poetic language, gorgeous pencil and pastel art, and the sweet love between the child and the stuffed animal makes this a precious story. Librarians and readers should put this on the top of your ‘to read’ piles. Recommended for ages 3-7, especially those who have a special stuffie or a new sibling on the way.“ —Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library (Arlington, MA), Youth Services Book Review, STARRED REVIEW
We are so lucky because Michelle was kind enough to stop by to chat about the inspiration for the story as well as some of the challenges on the path to publication.
First, the inspiration:
MICHELLE: I can’t wait to finally hold this book in my hands. It was inspired by the teddy bear my grandmother handmade me when I was born. I miss her so much! She always encouraged me to write (we would exchange our poetry with each other.) I think she would be so thrilled with it
And now the challenges on the path to publication:
To be honest, the supply chain issues and shipping delays were a huge challenge for me because I was so excited and impatient for the book to come out and I just didn’t understand all the logistics involved in getting a book from here to there. And, the situation was completely out of anyone’s control. Teddy, Let’s Go! was ready and printed in Italy on time, but we had to wait for a container. Then, the books were in a container and finally on a ship and out to sea (I was praying it wouldn’t sink). Once it arrived in port, the container couldn’t be unloaded for weeks (and so I was still praying it wouldn’t sink!). Every time there was another delay, I kept repeating to myself, “Teddy, let’s go already!”
ME: I can’t imagine, Michelle…how frustrating…but how wonderful that you had the perfect mantra to say – and now we can all enjoy this beautiful book!
To find out more about Michelle and her books: https://linktr.ee/MichelleNott
I hope you all have a wonderful week…the clock is ticking and we are getting closer to the first day of winter and I’m so happy! Do you know why? Because the first day of winter is the shortest day of the year…and from that day on, the days start getting longer and longer! Hurray! And please make sure you leave a comment for a chance to win a Picture Book Critique OR an Author Zoom Chat with author Michelle Nott. If you share this post on your social media, you get extra tickets in the giveaway hat!