cover image First Teddy Bear

First Teddy Bear

Helen Kay, Author, Susan Detwiler, Illustrator Stemmer House Publishers $14.95 (38p) ISBN 978-0-88045-042-3

When President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub in 1902, his hunting trip made news. The baby bruin was featured by the Washington Post's distinguished cartoonist Clifford Berryman and it inspired Morris Michtom, owner of a Brooklyn candy store. With his wife Rose, Michtom enjoyed making stuffed toys in the evenings and he became famous, ""Father of the Teddy Bear,'' when he created the first of what was to become the best-loved cuddler, still manufactured in the millions in a wide range of sizes. (Why Rose isn't remembered as Teddy's mother is not explained, but she did as much of the work on the baby bruin as Morris.) Kay's history is addressed to all ages but simplified, probably to attract beginners. Like the text, Detwiler's color illustrations are authentic but stilted, without the animation they should project. (All ages)