An enjoyable picture book with adorable illustrations, Self-Care with Ted and Friends demonstrates how to care for yourself and others through examples of fun activities.
Reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh, Ted is a tawny-furred bear with a host of animal friends. Ted narrates a selection of activities he and his friends enjoy and how their approach to those activities leads to self-care. While there isn’t a strong plot—no mystery to solve or journey to complete—the book has a natural rhythm that comes from more sedentary activities that follow rambunctious ones. Ted and his friends model healthy behaviors like gratitude and active listening.
For example, one page shows Ted and his friends working on a project. “We are taking our time…building a tree house,” reports Ted. On the next page, Ted adds that “Being patient is a cure for so many things. It helps us feel better, too.” Similarly, on another page that shows Ted and company taking a nap, Ted tells readers that “Getting good rest, especially at night, is good for the mind. We feel better with rest, too.”
The boldly colored illustrations depict anthropomorphic animals drawn with pleasing rounded faces and soft smiles, a style that suits the book’s wholesome tone.
The book also has a few flaws. Ted introduces himself as the narrator on the first page, and the narrative predominantly uses “we,” but Ted is referred to in the third person on several pages. This inconsistency is a bit jarring. Also, the author’s take on self-care tends strongly toward group events. It would have benefitted from depicting a few solo activities, reaffirming the idea that giving others space (and asking for it when needed) is also a form of self-care.
These issues are easy to overlook, however, given that this is a lovingly illustrated book with a message that leaves a warm glow. Self-Care with Ted and Friends would be at home in any well-stocked library.
Also available as an ebook.