Posted in:

Introducing Teddy A gentle story about gender and friendship

In this charming story about discovering who you are the topic of transgender is dealt with a lovely, gentle manner, which would be very helpful to anyone who is facing these issues and needs to offer an explanation to small a child that is pitched at their level, using words they can and will be able to understand.

Thomas the Teddy is not feeling too good; he is so unhappy and feels that if his friends, particularly Errol, who he plays with every day, may not like him anymore and may not want to play with him, if he is different, if he is not Thomas. Errol and Thomas have such fun together climbing trees, riding their bikes and having tea parties inside when it is raining.

When the swings at the park do not cheer Teddy up, Errol is sad because he cannot understand why Thomas is so unhappy. When Thomas finally tells his secret saying, ‘I really feel like I am a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I really need to be myself,’ that the true meaning of friendship and being a friend is understood.

Errol says that it really does not matter, he is still the same person as before and he will always be his friends regardless of whether he is a boy or a girl, whether his name is Thomas or Tilly. Ava, their other friend, who likes building robots in her spare time, loves the name change from Thomas to Tilly. When Tilly moves her bow to the top of her head, all Ava has to say is, ‘Good for you. Whatever makes you happy’.

The storyline throws an interesting light on a subject that can be terribly distressing to families, but when seen through the eyes of children, who do not judge, it often is all about ‘whatever makes you happy’.

Nicely depicted and very topical for today’s world, Introducing Teddy is a heart-warming tale about friendship, love, bravery and acceptance.


Author Jessica Walton. Ill: Dougal MacPherson
Publisher Bloomsbury USA Children
ISBN 9781681192116
Distributor Bloomsbury
Released May 2016