Way back in February (which feels like a lifetime ago), we were lucky to get to a Teddy Bears Picnic at Foyles in Shepherds Bush, where H’s favourite bear Fudgy would be making an appearance.
Fudgy Bear was created by Sarah Marley, a mother of one, back in April 2011. There’s five different Fudgy Bear books available direct from Fudgy’s website, as well as a toy which – importantly – is suitable from birth.
What we love about Fudgy is that H picked up on him immediately – we bought the Counting With Fudgy book last year at The Baby Show which has helped H a lot with her overall counting skills. The pictures are all photographs taken and put together by Sarah – we love that Fudgy as a character meets real things and animals – it all helps with learning.
So, off we went to Foyles – where there was a table set out with crayons and a Fudgy picture to colour in – H made herself at home and started scribbling – the opportunity came up for a photo with a big Fudgy, which made her incredibly excited by it all – and she ran over and threw herself at the poor bear. Little did I know this was a sign of things to come.
Very soon we were sitting in a circle and being read two of Fudgy’s books by Sarah, the kids were all loving it, the older ones calling out when Sarah asked them questions – the books work really well across all ages (and are targeted towards pre-school children).
THEN the big surprise – the huge great big Fudgy made an appearance. Cue several toddlers faces lighting up with pure delight – as Sarah read from the books again. Now, H is quite shy and reserved, and surprised us at Christmas when she went up to Santa like he was an old friend – and yet again she caught me out, the opportunity arose to have a photo with Fudgy, and off she went – never to let go. She really truly would not have let go, I think.
We love that there’s a test in the back of the books to make sure you’ve understood what you’ve read – and writing with my old 1970’s head on, it reminds me of the end of Topsy & Tim books, where you’ll have similar, which is a great way to keep your child interested and keep them coming back to the books.
Read an interview with Sarah from last year – she’s a full-time lawyer and does Fudgy in her spare time!
Child psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer is a big fan of Fudgy. She explains: “Reading the books with the bear helps children to engage with the character in the stories, fostering empathy and adding a sensory dimension to the visual and auditory activity of reading a book. Learning is more effective when a child feels calm and secure. If parents spend time reading, whilst the child cuddles the toy, the child will associate Fudgy with positive feelings of security, calmness, love and happiness. Cuddling Fudgy can recreate those feelings and help a child cope with challenges they face.”
You can buy Fudgy Bear and his books direct from the Fudgy site, or indeed from Waterstones or Foyles (plus some stores have the bears in stock too).
In addition to this, the Fudgy Bear Nursery Partnership launches on April 1st 2012, getting Fudgy books into your local nursery! (I’ve already let H’s nursery know, and hopefully things will progress)
Oh, and last but not least, over to the right are some comments from Fudgy’s new celebrity fans… you might recognise a short person who I can officially confirm is currently asleep and did eventually let Fudgy go….
Thank you to Liz and Katie at Weston Communications for this opportunity, H is STILL talking about it!