Teddy's Favorite Toy

by Christian Trimmer and Madeline Valentine

Brown-skinned Teddy has many cool toys, but his favorite is “Bren-Da, Warrior... read more

Brown-skinned Teddy has many cool toys, but his favorite is “Bren-Da, Warrior Queen of Pacifica,” who looks like an off-brand Barbie. With her impeccable manners, “sickest fighting skills,” and ability to rock a vast range of outfits (including a sandwich bag still containing pretzels), Bren-Da stars as the lead in Teddy’s imaginative play, until the day her leg snaps off. Teddy tries to fix her— unsuccessfully—before he heads off to school, leaving Bren-Da bundled in a wad of tape on his bed. His well-intentioned mother chooses that day to tidy Teddy’s room, and tosses the maimed doll out with the trash. When a panicked Teddy reports that his prize toy is missing, his mom springs into an impressive action mode that mirrors how Teddy plays with Brend-Da, saving both the doll and the day. This celebration of unstructured play affirms Teddy’s cherished toy choice while never directly commenting on its break with traditional gender alignment. (Ages 3–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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