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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Kidlit Stuffed Animals You’d Most Like to See

StuffedLucyThe subgenre. A marvelous method of uncovering the obsessions of your fellow human beings. I’ll give you an example. I like children’s literature, a subgenre of literature as a whole, but a broad one. There are a lot of different directions you can go with it. Subgenres within this subgenre, so to speak. I might be into collecting old children’s books. I might be into cosplaying Ms. Frizzle at comic conventions. I might wallpaper my home in f&gs. Or I might be into literary stuffed animals. That one, surprisingly, is not much of a stretch.

In 2011 I wrote a post for this blog called Children’s Literary Toys: Yottoy and Beyond (you can tell it’s old because the link no longer has any images attached). In it I marveled at the wide and wonderful world of children’s book characters brought to life as stuffed animals. A couple years later the ALSC journal Children & Libraries had an article about a woman who collected literary stuffies.

By and large, if a character becomes popular enough to warrant a stuffed animal, it’s sort of made it. Its future is secure. But what about those characters that don’t get enough love? Where are their cuddly dopplegangers? To this end, I would like to nominate the following characters for stuffed status. They are:

George

BarkGeorge1

It would be great. You’d have this little puppy toy with a compartment in its belly. Then you could pull out animal after animal. Think of the storytime possibilities!

That kid from Fortunately

Fortunately

Why stuff him? Again, you can take the librarian out of the children’s room but you’ll never take the children’s room out of the librarian. I’m just thinking of all the fun possibilities a stuffed animal would offer you.  Though, to be fair, you could get the same thrill out of telling the story with felt. By the way, I just Googled “Fortunately Charlip felt board” and found nothing. For shame! I would play good money to watch someone throwing themselves headfirst into a rollicking retelling of this book with felt.

The Giving Tree

GivingTree

You’re asking me how that would work. “So . . . you just want a stuffed tree? Is that it?” Yes. Do not ask me any more questions. I could make good use of that tree.

*drums fingertips together evilly*

The Lion and Pierre

Pierre1

Now, naturally, Pierre has to fit inside the lion. I imagine his doll would look incredibly bored, every last step of the way.

The girl dog from Go, Dog, Go in her final crazy hat

GoDogGo1

GoDogGo3

Mind you, unless that mop and spider are included, the deal’s off.

Anyone else come to mind that you would care to see? A word of warning: Be sure to check your search engine before you claim something’s never been done. You’re bound to be surprised more than once.

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. I want a doll based on Dandelion (the lion) by Don Freeman. You could take his dress clothes off, and he would be the “before” Dandelion. And you could brush his mane. And best of all, you could hug him when his friends don’t know him and he feels bad.

  2. Our library actually has a George puppet that you can pull other animals out of! The kids always love it when we pull it out at storytime.

  3. A Clifford–in proper scale–would take up a lot of the library, but who wouldn’t want to climb a big, soft red dog, even if it required ladders and the removal of the entire non-fiction collection?

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      We had one at NYPL! Not life sized but certainly gigantic. Scholastic had an extra and gave him to us for free. The perks of location location location.

  4. You need to keep up with “Kohl’s Care” plush characters. They get licenses yearly to do 4 or 5 kidlit characters and sell them for $5, and the book too, and the profits go to their charity. I have many, but one person on Pinterest has collected 107 of them…

    https://www.pinterest.com/lizkemp27/kohls-cares-plushbooks/?lp=true

    They are also resold on ebay–some, like the Mo Willems stuff, CLick, Clack, Moo, Leo Lioni, Eric Carle, Give a Mouse a Cookie, items and more–are selling for more than the original $5 for sure.

  5. What about the Cow, Chicken, Pig, Mouse, Duck and Dog characters from the Jan Thomas books? You could sell all sorts of toys to go with them–a sofa for the cows to jump on or a doghouse where the characters go in—but they don’t come out!

  6. I don’t know about the dog from “Go, dog, go”, but I want to be able to wear that hat!

  7. Bethany v Thompson says:

    The final little cat from Millions of Cats–that’s the stuffed animal I would most like to see. I have a signed and numbered copy of Gag’s story and a stuffed kitty would be perfect to go with it.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      I agree. Of course, it would be particularly delicious if you opened the cat’s mouth and saw the eyes of all the other cats staring back at you ad infinitum.

  8. Our library actually has a Bark George, with all the characters! The cow, pig, duck, cat, all fit inside a large stuffed Bark George, even comes with George’s mom and a looooong doctor glove. The kids LOVE it, and it is one of the most requested “do it again!” stories. :)

  9. Have you done a post on T Shirts we need? I desperately want Harriet the Hamster from Vernon’s Hamster Princess saying “_I_ am something that happens to other people!” Also, this post brought back a wonderful memory of my first grade teacher making a paper Katie No-Pockets with a burlap apron. We all brought in our stuffed animals one day to put in the pockets!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      T-shirts in a post is a grand notion. I was given a bag with a Charlotte’s Web quote I’d never seen before and realized I desperately wanted it on a t-shirt. It says, “Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly.”

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