Category: Race and Ethnicity
Author: Dan Freeman
Illustrator: Dan Freeman
Publisher: Viking Press
ISBN Number: 0-590-30907-2
Number of Pages: 32
Reading Level: K-2
Genre: Children’s literature, picture book/fantasy
This is the story of a little bear for sale on a shelf. He is missing a button on his overalls. He is not picked because of this fact He then tries to go steal a button for himself but a guard finds him and returns him to his shelf. A girl sees him and falls in love but her mom says no. She then comes back and buys him and mends his button.
There are a few different themes one can take from this story. One being to not judge others by their appearance- to not judge the bear because of the button he is missing. Another theme is friendship. Corduroy is so happy to have the girl as a good friend and she is happy to have him. He also has always fantasized of living in a castle, but is happy to be living in a small home with this girl. This shows to be happy with what you have and make the most of everything.
Strengths: The girl that adopts Corduroy at the end of a novel is a black girl. This is not mentioned in the text but it is a novel which shows diversity. The girl is portrayed as very polite- obedient to her mother when she says no and thankful when she says yes. The story also shows social class. The girls saves up money in her piggy bank to be able to take Corduroy home. The home she takes her to is small yet homey and filled with love. The author of the book. Dan Freeman, was really interested in sketches when he began his career. He started out just sketching for a different author but eventually began writing his own stories and illustrating them as well. This shows a strong correlation between what the author pictures and illustrates because it is done by the same person!
One could see a weakness in portraying a black child as poor and her home as small. This could be stereotyping by making the family that is poor also be a black family. The story also tends to stereotype genders. Every girl in the story is wearing pink or purple and every boy in the story is wearing green or blue.
http://www.corduroybook.com/author.html : This is a link to the official website of the Corduroy book. This website has information about the author and ideas for parents and educators.
https://donfreeman.info/ : This website is all about the author and illustrator of the book, Don Freeman.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=963f90hittY : Read aloud video of the story.