The Teddy Robinson stories are childhood favourites of mine and I still have my old, battered copy of More About Teddy Robinson with its curled up, brown pages and the illustrations that I coloured as a child. I was delighted to discover that the stories have been reprinted in a new collection and we gave our daughter her own copy on International Book Giving Day.
The stories are based on the adventures of Joan G. Robinson’s daughter’s bear. In this new edition Deborah Sheppard, Joan’s daughter, explains how she received Teddy Robinson when she was six, how Mummy made him a pair of trousers and how he accompanied her everywhere.
Teddy Robinson belongs to Deborah and although Mummy and Daddy appear in the story they are very much in the background. In several stories Deborah and Teddy Robinson are joined by cousin Philip and Deborah’s friends Andrew and Mary-Anne who bring their own friends with them. Andrew’s toy dog Spotty makes us laugh when he makes rude remarks throughout Teddy Robinson’s concert while Mary Anne’s doll, Jacqueline, plays Sleeping Beauty to ‘prince’ Teddy Robinson and is also a guest at his birthday party.
Teddy Robinson has a big personality and throughout the stories he displays a wide range of emotions and character traits including jealousy when Deborah buys a new dog shaped hot water bottle cover, pride when he is left alone to keep house, excitement and general silliness at his birthday party (which is my daughter’s favourite story) and bravery when he thinks he is going to be eaten by a cow.
There is a lot of humour in the stories. Teddy Robinson’s ex-and-shoff (excited and showing off) behaviour at his birthday party has my daughter laughing uncontrollably especially when he stands on his head in the middle of the table. I find the story about him trying to ‘keep up’ with Teddy Jones across the road funny. The bears are so tired after showing off what they have in their wardrobes and watching what each other is eating / drinking / playing that they forget to make friends with each other! We also love the funny little songs that Teddy Robinson makes up and the beautiful black and white illustrations which are interspersed throughout the story and accompanied by a line from the text.
The stories were written in the 1950’s but many of the situations, e.g. going on holiday, going into hospital, birthday parties, going shopping and dancing classes are still familiar today. The relationship between Deborah and her bear is beautifully portrayed and Joan G. Robinson has created stories that can stimulate a child’s imaginary play. Our own ‘Teddy Robinson’ has had birthday parties and, like Mummy and Deborah, we built him his own house with a chimney, just like in the story!
The stories haven’t lost their magic for me as an adult and I’m delighted with the constant requests from my daughter to ‘read me a Teddy Robinson story’! Did you read Teddy Robinson as a child? Do you have a favourite Teddy Robinson story?
Age Range: 4 +
Author: Joan G. Robinson
The Teddy Robinson Storybook is the third book that we have read for the 2015 Classics Challenge.