Ever wondered what teddies do when you’re not home? This charming and highly amusing title answers that question. The titular Teddy has caused a bit of a situation. According to the police woman narrating the story, who involves the reader directly by breaking the fourth wall for much of it, a great deal of damage has been done to the house. Teddy called his friends around as soon as he knew he was home alone, and they proceed to cause carnage – from damaging the bed by using it as a trampoline to pouring bubble bath across the floor to having a sliding contest, it culminates in a dance party that has the neighbours complaining. As she describes the various shenanigans, the police woman’s hard shell seems to soften, and by the time she takes Teddy down to the station for questioning she is fondly remembering the one she loved as a child. She is moved to let Teddy and his friends off with a warning.
The story is the debut effort for Jancee Dunn, originally from New Jersey but now based in Brooklyn, New York. Dunn describes herself as having a wild imagination as a child and always dreaming up stories. She got the idea for this one when her daughter pointed out her well-loved stuffed bear lying next to Dunn’s mobile phone, and observed how funny it would be if he were to call his friends to come over. This set Dunn’s imagination off and Teddy is in Trouble was the result.
This hilarious and heartfelt little fable is vividly illustrated by Scott Nash. Nash is from Maine, and his best known works are Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp with Carol Diggory Shields and Oh, Tucker! with Stephen Kroll, as well as his own works, Tuff Fluff and The Sky High Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate. His artwork for Teddy really brings it to life, most notably the drawings on the walls the toys leave behind in their wake, and the amusing image of the toy elephant wearing a pair of knickers on its head while trying on the mother’s clothes.
I’m Afraid Your Teddy is in Trouble Today is riotously funny and sure to be a bedtime favourite.
Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published I’m Afraid Your Teddy is in Trouble Today by Jancee Dunn and Scott Nash.
I’m Afraid Your Teddy is in Trouble Today is out now on Walker Books.