Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Read, Read, Read said the Baby: A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman

A Pocket for Corduroy is one of my favorite childhood books and I was interested to see how it looked as a board book.

It was...kind of disappointing to be honest. If you haven't read it before, it's the second book in the Corduroy series. Having finally found a home with Lisa, Corduroy accompanies Lisa and her mom to the laundromat. There he gets the idea to go hunting for a pocket - and ends up going through the washing machine! After being left behind and having some adventures at the laundromat, he's greatly relieved when Lisa comes back to get him. Happily, he also gets his pocket and his name in it, so he won't get lost again!

Freeman's classic illustrations are instantly recognizable, with glowing colors, lots of sketchy lines, and interesting characters and settings. This was probably one of the first books I read as a child that featured African-American characters in a normal, every day setting.

So, this is a classic and one that definitely stands the test of time. What's not to like?'s just really not a good book for a board book edition. Freeman's illustrations lose much of their charm and detail when they're squashed into a 4x7 inch book and the text is far too dense for a board book audience. That's not to say that parents won't enjoy introducing this classic to their little ones, who may also enjoy picking out the colors, the bear, and hearing part of the story, but this is one that would be better off kept as a picture book.

Verdict: This might make a nice gift to a Corduroy or Freeman fan, but if your library needs more Freeman, update the picture book collection, not the board books.

ISBN: 9780451471130; Board book edition published 2015 by Viking/Penguin; Review copy provided by publisher

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