The Kidlit Stuffed Animals You’d Most Like to See
The subgenre. A marvelous method of uncovering the obsessions of your fellow human beings. I’ll give you an example. I like children’s literature, a subgenre of literature as a whole, but a broad one. There are a lot of different directions you can go with it. Subgenres within this subgenre, so to speak. I might be into collecting old children’s books. I might be into cosplaying Ms. Frizzle at comic conventions. I might wallpaper my home in f&gs. Or I might be into literary stuffed animals. That one, surprisingly, is not much of a stretch.
In 2011 I wrote a post for this blog called Children’s Literary Toys: Yottoy and Beyond (you can tell it’s old because the link no longer has any images attached). In it I marveled at the wide and wonderful world of children’s book characters brought to life as stuffed animals. A couple years later the ALSC journal Children & Libraries had an article about a woman who collected literary stuffies.
By and large, if a character becomes popular enough to warrant a stuffed animal, it’s sort of made it. Its future is secure. But what about those characters that don’t get enough love? Where are their cuddly dopplegangers? To this end, I would like to nominate the following characters for stuffed status. They are:
It would be great. You’d have this little puppy toy with a compartment in its belly. Then you could pull out animal after animal. Think of the storytime possibilities!
That kid from Fortunately
Why stuff him? Again, you can take the librarian out of the children’s room but you’ll never take the children’s room out of the librarian. I’m just thinking of all the fun possibilities a stuffed animal would offer you. Though, to be fair, you could get the same thrill out of telling the story with felt. By the way, I just Googled “Fortunately Charlip felt board” and found nothing. For shame! I would play good money to watch someone throwing themselves headfirst into a rollicking retelling of this book with felt.
The Giving Tree
You’re asking me how that would work. “So . . . you just want a stuffed tree? Is that it?” Yes. Do not ask me any more questions. I could make good use of that tree.
*drums fingertips together evilly*
The Lion and Pierre
Now, naturally, Pierre has to fit inside the lion. I imagine his doll would look incredibly bored, every last step of the way.
The girl dog from Go, Dog, Go in her final crazy hat
Mind you, unless that mop and spider are included, the deal’s off.
Anyone else come to mind that you would care to see? A word of warning: Be sure to check your search engine before you claim something’s never been done. You’re bound to be surprised more than once.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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