Corduroy by Don Freeman


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Summary of the Story

Corduroy is a bear who lives in the toy department of a big store. A little girl wants to buy him, but her mother refuses: she has spent too much money already, and the bear is missing a button on his overalls. That night, Corduroy goes on a search through the store for a button. He becomes lost in the furniture department and is taken back to the toy department. The next day the little girl comes back with money she has saved and buys Corduroy. She takes him home and sews a button onto his overalls.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book on the cover, pointing to the word Corduroy as you say it. Repeat the title with the child. Tell the child that the bear in the picture is called Corduroy.
  • Point to the bear's overalls on the cover. Have the child say the word overalls. Point to the strap that is missing a button. Ask: What is missing?

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the story, moving your finger under the words as you read. Give the child plenty of time to look at the pictures.
  • After reading, ask: Do you have special toys that are your friends? How do you play with them?

Reading the Book Again and Again

  • Each time you read Corduroy, leave more of the "reading" or retelling to the child. Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What is happening in this picture? Where is Corduroy going?
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. For example, ask: What are these toys? (The other toys are a clown, a rabbit, a doll, and a giraffe.) Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the child's response. Expand it by giving more information. Ask the child to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help in answering a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book. Be sure to talk about objects and actions the child brings up, too.

Building Literacy

  • Talk with your child when you go to a store together. Use words like shop, pay, wrap, bag, box, cart, and so on. Relate your shopping trip to the one the little girl and her mother take in Corduroy.


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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!


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