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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Teddy Talks is a work of fiction for children created by Vanessa Messenger. You don’t need special training and certification to be a loving, caring individual. Ask Teddy. This little puppy knows what it means to be a friend, to be there when Emily, his girl, needs him. Emily has Type 1 Diabetes, and Teddy knows all about the things Emily has to do and monitor to stay healthy and active. He wants her to be able to do all the things they love doing together. Teddy’s role? To be there – to be understanding, supportive, and loving at all times and to know when his girl just needs a snuggle.
Vanessa Messenger’s picture book story, Teddy Talks: A Paws-itive Story About Type 1 Diabetes, is a simple but informative approach to teaching young readers about this condition. Told in the first-person from Teddy’s point of view, this story maintains an optimistic, positive (or paw-sitive) approach to understanding and dealing with T1D. Each part of the treatment, monitoring, and care that Emily must pursue constantly is shared by this charming puppy with a touch of humor and, at the same time, an educational approach. The key to any human condition is good, healthy eating habits and lifestyle, and Teddy enjoys helping Emily in every way he can, even running with her outside and eating (sharing) any healthy foods she drops from the table. The book begins with a short glossary of terms to help the reader understand, and it is beautifully illustrated. I love the way the author has integrated a paw-sitive puppy perspective into the storytelling.