The Remarkable Tale of a President, a Cartoonist, a Toymaker and a Bear
by James Sage
Pub Date 07 May 2019
The story goes that on a hunting trip in 1902, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear. “Me? Shoot that little fella?” he said. “Why, if I so much as ruffled his fur, I'd never be able to look my children in the eyes again!” When a political cartoonist shared the story in the newspaper, New York shopkeepers Rosie and Morris Michtom were impressed by the president's big, warm heart. So they decided to create a “Teddy” bear in his honor to sell in their store. The bear was so popular, they made another one. And another. Before they knew it, they had to build a factory to accommodate the demand: it seemed every child wanted a teddy bear of their own! James Sage uses a playful blend of fact and fiction to tell this entertaining tale. The back matter includes a historical note, photos and a list of sources. The lively, fun narrative and vivid illustrations by Lisk Feng make for a wonderful read-aloud with universal appeal: adults will find it as charming as children do. The book has many applications in the social studies curriculum for the early grades, as the period and the president are brought vividly to life. And, of course, it's a perfect pick for Presidents' Day. The story also presents an inspiring small-business entrepreneurial success story.