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Corduroy, a Classic Book for Children

Grandchildren Can Enjoy a Book Their Parents Read

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Corduroy Classic Book for Children

It's hard not to love the character of Corduroy.

Photo © Penguin

The Bottom Line

2008 was the fortieth anniversary of this teddy bear tale, one of the classic books for children. Most grandparents and parents will enjoy introducing the younger generation to Corduroy, especially if they read the book themselves as children. Most children will warm up to Corduroy, but a few may find it less than exciting. The writing is serviceable but prosy, especially to those used to the pyrotechnics of Dr. Seuss and his ilk.

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  • Touching story with a good message
  • Simple but effective illustrations
  • Enjoyed by several generations


  • Won't interest all children


  • Suitable for ages 2 and up
  • 40 pages

Guide Review - Review of Corduroy, One of the Classic Books for Children


Corduroy is the story of a teddy bear who lives in a department store but is never bought. One day a little girl wants to buy him, but her mother points out that he is missing one of the buttons on his overalls. That night he decides to explore the department store in search of a button. He doesn't find a button, but the next day he does find love and a home.

This simple story has several admirable qualities, the most important being the theme that even the flawed are worthy of love. The little girl in the story is African-American, and that was unusual in mainstream literature forty years ago. The story also taps into the almost universal fantasy about being in a department store after it closes.

2008 was also the centennial of Don Freeman's birth. Freeman came to New York to study art, but supported himself by playing his trumpet. After losing his instrument on the subway, he was forced to get serious about his art. His drawings were mainly of the theater and New York street scenes until he was solicited to illustrate a children's book. Authoring his own books followed. The route that Freeman took before giving us Corduroy was almost as meandering as the route that Corduroy takes through the department store!

Why Especially Suited for Reading With Grandchildren

Many grandparents will have memories of reading Corduroy to their own children. Sharing that memory with your grandchildren can make reading this story special for everyone. The book is best suited for preschoolers and school-age grandchildren from 5 to 9. Currently the book is being offered with a small cuddly version of Corduroy, but the book is worth buying even if it is bear-less.

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