Where’s My Teddy?
By Jez Alborough
Eddie has lost his teddy and goes off into the woods to find it. He notices a giant teddy who is too big to cuddle with. He then realizes the giant teddy belongs to a giant bear who has found Eddie's teddy. The giant bear and Eddie grab their teddies and rush home to cuddle with them in their beds.
Guidelines for Philosophical Discussion
Where’s My Teddy? suggests philosophical topics surrounding being afraid, personal “security blankets”, feeling safe, possession and strangers.
In the beginning of the book, Eddie is afraid because he has lost his teddy. His teddy is what makes him feel safe and protected. The first set of questions is about the idea of feeling safe and having something that makes you feel safe. This can generate a discussion about "security blankets."
The second set of questions can be built off of the discussions held in the first question set. The opposite of feeling safe is then discussed. Children can explain how it feels to be afraid. In the story, when Eddie and the giant bear first see each other, they are absolutely terrified! This story proves that no matter how big or how small someone is, everyone is capable of being afraid and having fears. You can discuss personal fears, and children will realize that not everyone is afraid of the same things. It can be questioned whether or not adults have fears, and if it is possible to be fearless.
The third set of questions discusses the topic of possession. In the story, both Eddie and the giant bear find teddies that are not their own. This event brings up the issue of what can be rightfully yours, and if something lost can be claimed by anyone. Children should be asked what they would do if they found something that didn’t belong to them, as this becomes an ethically based discussion. They should think about whether it would make a difference in what they would do, if they wanted the item they found or not.
The fourth question set focuses on strangers. Who is considered a stranger, if and when you should talk to a stranger and if it’s always dangerous to talk to a stranger, are a few of the ideas that should be discussed. The majority of children will have been told at some point in their lives to never talk to strangers, and although this is true in most situations, some situations require you to talk to a stranger. An example of meeting and talking to strangers who are not threatening, is a student’s first day of school- meeting their teacher and new classmates for the first time.
The final question set revolves around the idea of what students believe a “safe place” is. Not everyone is going to feel safe in the same environment based on their experiences. For example, someone may feel safe walking through a shopping mall, but another person who had a previous experience of being lost in a mall may not. In the story, Eddie was afraid of being in the forest alone, yet the bear was not because the forest is his home. This proves that what may feel safe for one person, may not feel safe for another. Children can then reflect on their own experiences of what they view as a safe place or what they once viewed as a safe place but no longer do.
Questions for Philosophical Discussion
In the book, Eddie and the bear both have teddies that they like to huddle and cuddle with.
When Eddie and the bear see each other, they are terrified!
In the book, Eddie and the bear both find teddies that do not belong to them and they keep searching for their own teddy.
When Eddie and the bear see each other for the first time, they run away.
Eddie was afraid of the “scary” forest and it was not necessarily safe for him to be there all alone. The bear lives in the forest, and for the bear- it is a safe place.