Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Tony DiTerlizzi
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2001   ISBN: 978-0689832352

One Saturday morning a little boy is sitting alone, eating cereal, when an enormous pink creature with a large button attached to his middle comes into the house. The creature is called Ted, and in no time the little boy and Ted are playing Monopoly-Twister and eating raspberry-cereal. When the little boy tells his father about Ted, his father does not seem to mind that his son has an "imaginary friend," so long as they don't get into trouble. Little does the father know what lies ahead.

Just a few days later Ted and the boy decide that the little boy needs a "shave and haircut." Needless to say the little boy's father thinks that the results of Ted's labors as a barber are rather lacking, and the little boy is marched off to a real barber shop to get another haircut.

This unfortunate event is followed by another even more unfortunate one. The little boy and Ted decide to paint a life-size picture of Ted for the little boy's father so that he can see what Ted looks like. They choose a handy wall as their canvas. When he sees the "masterpiece" the little boy's father sends his son to bed early. He is not in a good mood.

The antics of the little boy and his imaginary friend get so out of hand that the little boy's father ends up banning Ted for ever. In desperation, the little boy runs away to be with his friend. After all, Ted is much more fun that his dad, and he doesn't get angry the way his father does either.

In this delightful picture book children get to meet the quintessentially perfect imaginary friend. Large, pink, droopy-eared, and with a funny little curly tail, rambunctious and funny Ted is the kind of friend any child would want to have. He is also a great stand-in for a dad who is too busy to spend any time with his son. Luckily, Ted has one precious trick up his non-existent sleeve.

Children and their parents will love this picture book, which gently reminds parents that time with their children is precious, and that sometimes it is fun to behave like a kid again. Children will discover, to their amazement, that their parents once were real children who had lonely days and imaginary friends – just like they do.