The Autobiography of a Teddy Bear
By Tomi Ungerer
Phaidon Press, Hardcover, 9780714857664, 36pp.
Publication Date: October 20, 2010
"The first broad release of a title originally published regionally and overseas in 1999, this simply told, deeply affecting tale follows a teddy?s passage from hand to hand through war and other troubles. First given to David, a German child who passes it to his close friend Oskar when he and his Jewish family are taken away, the bear is picked from a pile of bomb rubble by an African-American GI. In the States it becomes a girl?s prized companion until snatched by neighborhood ruffians and cast into the trash. Rescued, it then spends many years in the window of an antiques store until a passerby?none other than a now-elderly Oskar?recognizes a distinctive ink stain on its head and rushes in to buy it. This sparks a newspaper story, which leads to a stunning phone call and the joyful reunion of bear, Oskar and David. Subtle changes of facial expression in Ungerer?s watercolor art give the bear?stained, battered and with a clumsily repaired bullet hole?plenty of character, and there?s nary a trace of sentimentality in the matter-of-fact narrative. (Picture book. 6-8)"—Kirkus Review