A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Czech / Czech Republic

Nesmrtelný méďa
(The everlasting teddy bear)

Täubelová, Kristýna (text/illus.)
Praha: Meander, 2014. – [68] p.
ISBN 978-80-87596-42-5

Toy – Transience – Picture book

The relationship to one’s favourite stuffed animal is intense, intimate, but then over one day. Set designer, graphic artist and theatrical artist Kristýna Täubelová (b. 1977) explores this relationship from the perspective of a plush teddybear. The bear recalls his first meeting with his new owner through the shop window of the toy store and the ensuing happy times at the little girl’s home. The reminiscing reaches into the present time of the book when the bear has been cast out and relegated to basement storage, where he leads a sad life. But there is a happy ending: the son of the now grown-up girl finds the bear and adopts it as his own. A laconic narrative style and muted coloured pencil drawings paired with retro-style photographs create a sense of melancholic memory and transience. Together with the airily formatted text – a sentence runs across several pages, and it leaves out certain semantic elements that the illustrations fill in – the book obtains a pleasant slowness and lightness. (Age: 4+)