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Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship
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Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  823 ratings  ·  188 reviews
One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas the Teddy is sad, and Errol can't figure out why. Then Thomas the Teddy finally tells Errol what Teddy has been afraid to say: 'In my heart, I've always known that I'm a girl Teddy, not a boy Teddy. I wish my name was Tilly.' And Errol says, 'I don't care if you're a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.' ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  823 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Kris - My Novelesque Life
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5 STARS

Introducing Teddy is a perfect book, in my opinion, to read to a young child. It explains just enough for a child to grasp the understanding of transgender, without getting into huge concepts. It is also just a lovely story with amazing illustrations.
Krista Regester
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The “too good to be true” easy vibe of this story is a sweet surprise for me. I think it’s important to show challenges and compromises in children’s literature – but sometimes it’s ok to just show complete acceptance too. We need both, and we also need more.
4.5/5. Super sweet and touching, and I'm so glad my library got this in on my request so that it's now available for the kids (and adults) that need it. ...more
Sara Grochowski
I'm a fan of this quiet story about a teddy named Thomas who nervously tells his best friend Errol that, in his heart, he is Tilly the Teddy. Hurrah for Tilly and her loving friends - both new and old! ...more
Joey Hines
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teddy, lgbtqia, e, bears, 2016
Awesome picture book about a trans teddy bear. Really liking all the LGBT and particularly T visibility in kids' lit lately. My only qualm: since part of the idea here is that we should call people by the names they prefer, wouldn't Introducing Tilly make a better title? Similarly, I thought the excellent book George would've been better titled Melissa. ...more
I know that gender transitioning is tough, but sometimes young children need to know a simple explanation for someone close who has those feelings inside, just as Teddy the bear does. And just as Teddy the bear finally shares how he feels, he asks for change, to be called Tilly. A couple of small switches, like putting the bowtie in her hair makes a simple point too, about expectations of others, or the outer needs of someone who wants what hasn't been allowed before. It's a lovely book, writte ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
At first, I didn't like this book because it seemed to oversimplify things. But then I remembered this was meant for kids- and really for the adults who need to explain a complicated matter to kids. I'm glad a conversation can be had if the situation arises. ...more
Nicole Field
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I get a lot of people asking me for recommendations for trans literature for all ages and I think this is the youngest one I've found: A picture book about a boy and his teddy.

Oh wow, am I glad that I picked this up. It's a short read of course, but it's hugely profound.

Told in the standard, simplified narrative of a picture book for children, this story follows the tale of a teddy who is miserable until his companion, the boy in the story, asks him what's wrong.

It explores the fear of the te
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A copy of this novel was provided by Bloomsbury Australia & Allen and Unwin for review.

Introducing Teddy was, in one word: gorgeous. I also think that everyone should read it, so here I have a nifty list just for you, detailing all the reasons why Introducing Teddy should be on your TBR.

1) It’s LGBTQIA+ kid lit.

I am an advocate for LGBTQIA+ lit in YA (as most of you probably know), but I also know that there is a need for LGBTQIA+ middle grade lit, and also kid lit. So to see Introducing Teddy b
Virginie (chouettblog)
No book as ever given me so much trouble as a reviewer before this one.

Not because of the subject matter, but because it is less than 30 pages with just a few sentences and beautiful drawings:).

I just did not know if I would have enough to say about it! That was until I realised that it was not about the plot but about the message.

I realised I needed to review it, because it was, and is a very important book.
It is an important book whether or not you identify with your assigned gender and whethe
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
sometimes we adults make this verrrrry complicated. jessica walton made a possibly complicated issue very simple. love it!!
Nadine Jones
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
There was a lot less substance to this than I was expecting. It was okay. The teddy bear was Thomas and then announced that people should use the name Tilly. And then moved the bow from neck to head. I can't imagine this explaining anything to kids, but it's probably a good conversation starter for family who want to talk with very young children about being transgender. ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A sweet and beautiful picture book that introduces young children to the concept of gender identity in a gentle and age-appropriate way.
Melissa Chung
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
As you all may know, I don't usually write reviews for picture books. The last one I reviewed was about a boy who wanted to wear a dress. His boy classmates teased him but realized at the end that anyone can wear a dress.

Introducing Teddy is about a teddy bear named Thomas who is very sad. His owner Errol asks him what is wrong and Thomas says "I don't feel like a boy teddy I feel like a girl teddy and I want to be called Tilly."

Just wanted people to be aware of this transgender picture book th
Jennifer B.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, LOVED this!! A sweet little teddy is worried about something. His name is Teddy, but inside, HE feels like a SHE. A simple, yet sweet and effective way of talking about transgender issues with children. Many adults would benefit, as well.
Jan 28, 2021 rated it liked it
As the subtitle states, this is a gentle introduction to gender identity for children using a talking teddy bear. The book might work well to assist introductory conversations with Preschoolers and Kindergartners about non-binary individuals, transgender individuals, and the spectrum of gender identities.

I am not completely sold that a teddy bear is the best subject however. Why not use a human child who is naturally exploring and expressing gender identity? There are strong picture books that d
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not entirely sure how to rate a children's book, seeing as I am not a kid and don't have any kids. I thought the story was sweet, if simple. The art was very charming. It seems like like a good way to start a conversation about gender identity with a small child. ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
When the book says its a 'gentle story' they really mean it! ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction for young kids on what it means to be transgender, and most importantly, how to be a good friend to someone who is.
Patricia Reyes
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
I really enjoyed this book, Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship, by Jessica Walton and illustrated Dougal MacPherson, to the point that I was dying to find out what's coming next. For such short book it had a lot to say. At first I thought the human character was the subject of the coming out book but it was the Teddy Bear and I begin to think that it was a strategic move to used a toy bear as the one who wanted to live as its authentic self. A child could really relate ...more
Such a gentle way to introduce being transgender to children.
Emily Alford
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So wholesome I almost cried.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely way to introduce a potentially touchy subject! Definitely putting this one in the library collection.
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
My 9yo describes this as, "a very sweet story." Can't give it a better review. She's spot on. 😊 ...more
Kelly Lin
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is a good because in this book it talk about the way to be ourselves. It also fun to have a good friend to play with.
Cassandra Gelvin
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Good message, lackluster execution.

It's cute, but there's not a lot to it. I guess the subtitle, "A gentle story about gender and friendship," is a good description. Gentle, slow-paced, and brief.

A little boy named Errol has a teddy bear named Thomas. They play every day. One day, Thomas isn't feeling good. They go to the park, but it doesn't cheer him up. Errol asks Thomas what's wrong. Thomas says, "If I tell you, you might not be my friend anymore." Errol says, "I will always be your friend,
Erik  Olson
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgtbq
A wonderful story of accepting friends for who they are. Unfortunatley the concept of what makes someone "feel like a girl" are typically rooted in sexist ideology that says you can't be male and interested in x, y, or z. Or you can't be female and think x, y, or z. I would like a message more that males and females exist on a spectrum of personality and interest rather than you personality and interest define what sex you "should" be. Good message about friendship and acceptance of others for w ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the book, a boy and his teddy, named Thomas, play together all the time. They ride bikes together, eat sandwiches together, and plant in the garden together. They are best friends. One day, the teddy is feeling sad and doesn't want to play with any of the things they usually play with. The boy asks the teddy why and the teddy tells the boy that he wishes he is a girl and is named Tilly instead of Thomas. The boy accepts Tilly the teddy as a girl and introduces her as Tilly when they're outsid ...more
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This book is so gorgeous. I got so caught up in the words, I had to stop and remind myself to admire to the lovely illustrations, which are really sweet and have lots of character. I read this as an ebook and though I'm not normally a fan of the format, I was completely enamoured and absorbed by the story. I read it in minutes, and not only was it completely worth the $8 I paid, but I can't wait to own a physical copy one day. It makes me really happy that this book exists: it's as important as ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simple and sweet picture book that could be used to explain gender identity to children. I'm so glad this exists, and in a book that is so well done. Teddy is afraid to tell his friend that he really feels like a girl teddy and not a boy teddy b/c it may ruin their friendship. This makes him said and his friend notices and asks what is wrong, and then reassures him that he will still be his friend whether he is a boy teddy or a girl teddy. Matter of factly the boy explains to their friend Ava th ...more
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