Review of The Worst Teddy Ever

The Worst Teddy Ever The Worst Teddy Ever
by Marcelo Verdad; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.
10/22    9780316330459    $17.99
Spanish ed.  9780316446815    $17.99

Stuffed bear Teddy has one job to do, according to Noa. Every morning, Noa wakes up bright-eyed and ready to play. Teddy, on the other hand, can barely keep his eyes open and naps from sunrise to sunset. “Sometimes, Noa thinks that Teddy is the worst teddy EVER!” Little does Noa realize that every night ­creatures come calling, from a ghost to the tickle monster, and it is brave Teddy who keeps them at bay. Verdad’s engaging text uses only a few sentences per page. His ­illustrations—cut-paper, crayon, acrylic paint, and digital collage—have a playful feel that recalls Christian Robinson’s child-centric style. The book’s human characters are largely formed from basic shapes and scribbles, adorable in their simplicity. The nighttime intruders are similarly spare, but with small details that make them endearing rather than scary. After sending a giant purple boogeyman away with toys, Teddy chases the tooth fairy from the ­sleeping child’s bedroom—with a fly swatter. Simultaneously published in Spanish as El peor Teddy del mundo.

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Hill Saxton

Hill Saxton is a youth services librarian at the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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