When I pick up a book and there is a Michael Morpurgo quote on the front that says, ‘A book to treasure…’, (as a reader who loves Morpurgo), I was bound to take notice. I have to say, I’m glad I did because Loved to Bits is read-aloud and read alone gold.
When it arrived, I read it and then handed it to the person I share my office with. A moment later, I saw red eyes and tears. There was a visceral response from her and it made me love the book even more.
Teresa Heapy has written a stunning story that is an emotional rollercoaster of love and true friendship. Stripy the Bear is selfless! A titan of a friend, who literally gives everything for his owner.
The anthropomorphical nature of Stripy, allows Heapy to create a bond between the characters that is human and vivid. The boy takes Stripy on some dangerous adventures and places him in some scary situations, but his loyalty to the boy is poignant and touching. They are there for each other and it is beautiful to read.
Katie Cleminson’s illustrations complement the words completely. These, alongside the layout of the text, add to the dramatics of the pages.
Having read the book aloud to both adults and children, it certainly evokes strong memories. They talk about their first teddies and reminisce about how much their bears mean/meant to them. Loved to Bits really is a, ‘celebration of childhood’ and it holds an appeal for everyone. I for one, am always happy to read a story that transports me back so well and I am convinced the reader will too!
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