Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Home for Christmas: A Christmas Wish for Corduroy by B. G. Hennessey

One December afternoon, a toy bear in a big store was just waking up.

The little brown bear opens his eyes to see a mother and little boy standing in front of the toy shelf. with the mother asking an important question:

"Have you decided what you want for Christmas yet?"

After some thought, the boy says he's going to ask Santa Claus for fire engine, and the lonely little brown bear watches sadly as the boy goes away to see Santa.

"Maybe I should visit Santa," the bear thought. "I could ask if he knows a boy or girl who wants a bear."

The bear overhears a mother telling her daughter that they must shop for a special dress for her to wear on her visit to Santa, and he realizes that he must have something special to wear, too. When the store closes, he begins to look for an outfit, trying on a ladies' hat and some boots, both too big for a small bear. The only children's clothes that fit him are silly baby dresses. Then the little bear spots a sign saying "SANTA'S WORKSHOP" and inside he sees something that will fit him perfectly--green elf overalls! It's quite a struggle, but the little bear finally tugs on the green outfit, pulling one button loose. Now he's ready to see Santa.

He spies a very big chair and guessing that must be for Santa, he climbs up to wait, but soon grows drowsy. He is wakened by a deep, jolly voice.

"Good morning, Little Fellow," said Santa. "A good-looking bear like you should be with the toys."

Santa tells Mrs. Claus that the bear's name must Corduroy, like his overalls, and dispatches her to deliver him back to the toy section, where a girl and her mother are looking at the dolls.

"Look!" the girl said. "There's the bear I always wanted!"

And a bear named Corduroy goes home for Christmas, in B. G. Hennessy's A Christmas Wish for Corduroy (Viking, 2014), a holiday prequel for Don Freeman's classic story, Corduroy, which explains how a pair of elfin green corduroy overalls helps a very plain little bear find someone to take him home for Christmas. Artist Jody Wheeler's skillful scratchboard illustrations are picture perfect interpretations of Freeman's originals, right down to that trademark loose button, giving modern kids a chance to take Corduroy home for Christmas, too.

"A story that can stand next to the original two Corduroy tales without apology. A pleasurable and satisfying back story for the beloved bear named Corduroy," says Kirkus Reviews.

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