Book review for A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
Kara Santopietro

Bibliographical Data
Original Publication date: 1978
Publisher: Viking Penguin Inc., New York
Hardcover: $13.70 (Barnes and Noble)
Paperback: $6.99 (Barnes and Noble)
ISBN: 0-670-56172-x
Pages: 30

A Pocket For Corduroy is a children’s story about a fun, loving, and curious stuffed bear who wants a pocket. One afternoon, Lisa and her mom head to the Laundromat and Lisa brings her bear Corduroy. Corduroy is put in a chair and overhears Lisa’s mother tell her to make sure all her precious belongings are not in her pockets. Corduroy thinks and noticed that he does not have a pocket and goes in search of a pocket. While he is off, Lisa and her mother have finished their laundry and it is closing time. Corduroy is left in the Laundromat by himself while he continues to look for a pocket getting into a little trouble. The next morning, Lisa returns to the Laundromat as the manager was opening the doors and explained that her bear was left the previous day. As they went inside, Lisa was looking all over and the manager found him in an empty laundry basket with a bunch of soap flakes on the floor. On the way home, Lisa asked Corduroy what he was doing and he replied that he was looking for a pocket. So that very day, Lisa sewed a purple pocket for Corduroy with a very special surprise inside.

I remember reading this book as a kid and fell in love with it. This book was a pleasure to read. It really warms my heart when I read a book that is filled with love and caring. The illustrations correspond to the words very well and help drive the story. It talks a lot about friendship and all the challenges that Corduroy had to overcome. While reading, you can imagine how Lisa and Corduroy must have felt when they were separated but they both overcame that challenge and managed to find each other again. This book can be used for many ages and will be loved by all. One of the things I found interesting was that this story has also been translated into Spanish. That was a good thing to do because now children whose native language is not English but Spanish can read and get the same message from the book.

Analysis of Literary Element
Besides the theme of this book being friendship, there is also theme of overcoming challenges. Both Corduroy and Lisa must overcome challenges. Lisa must leave without her beloved bear because it is closing time and her mother tells her she can come back tomorrow. She goes home and returns before the Laundromat opens in search of Corduroy. Corduroy must also overcome multiple challenges throughout the story. The first overall challenge is to find a pocket. As he searches in the Laundromat, he is separated from his friend Lisa. He ends up in a big sack of wet clothes and then in an empty laundry basket that looks like a cage. He overcomes that the next morning when Lisa comes to get him. This is an important theme to teach to children because they come across challenges everyday whether it is at school, on the bus, or at home. They need to be able to overcome those challenges. An example is when a child comes across the challenge of losing his lunch box on the school bus on the way home. He would need to overcome that by asking his bus driver if she has seen his lunch box and by telling his parents.

Author Biography
Don Freeman was born August 11, 1908 in San Diego California. When he graduated from high school, he decided to move to New York City where he went to the Art Students’ League and worked under Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey. He started sketching people who played on Broadway and really enjoyed drawing. He eventually started illustrating for William Saroyan and then writing and illustrating his own children’s literature. Some of the other books he wrote and illustrated include the famous Corduroy series, Fly High, Fly Low, A rainbow of My Own, and Flash the Dash. He died on January 1, 1978 but his legacy and sketches have been treasured by many.

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