Losing a favorite stuffed animal is every child’s nightmare. It’s also the very appropriate subject of J.L. Vibral’s picture book Teddy is Missing!
Four-year-old Rory forgets to bring his teddy bear inside one day and soon realizes that Teddy is lost. Rory’s brother and parents help him search, even creating a “Lost Teddy” sign to show around town. Rory spends a night without Teddy, but eventually, a sighting of Teddy at the local golf course is reported, and Teddy is recovered.
Vibral writes with a simplified vocabulary and syntax, in keeping with her four-year-old narrator’s voice. The choice helps the story’s immediacy, and carries the reader along in the search for Teddy.
The writing is engaging (though the author makes a glaring error by repeatedly using the word “waiving” instead of “waving”). The illustrations are solid, if rather generic, and they serve the story nicely.
The back cover describes the book as “the story of Teddy’s misadventure and his best friend Rory’s search for him.” But we don’t really see how Teddy got lost (and any resulting misadventures). Instead, some golfers give Rory a brief, second-hand description of Teddy being picked up by a great wind, and later falling out of the sky onto the golf course. Readers never witness the actual flying, and watching golfers won’t seem much of an adventure to most kids. The story might have been better served to show what Teddy was going through parallel to Rory’s search.
Still, children under five, especially those with a favorite teddy bear, might enjoy Teddy is Missing! and take solace in Teddy’s rescue.
Also available as an ebook.