The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy

Children - Picture Book
24 Pages
Reviewed on 10/12/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Craig Sidell grew up in Beantown, attended college in the City of Brotherly Love, and currently resides in the Big Apple with his amazing wife and children. Craig and his family enjoy the energy and awesome vegan food in the City that Never Sleeps. Inspired by the imagination of his children and the steadfast support of his family and friends, Craig loves inventing stories and characters the whole world can enjoy.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is a children’s animal picture book written by Craig Sidell and illustrated by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova. Sidell takes the Rudyard Kipling poem and expounds upon it until the reader no longer notices the lack of hair on this bear, but rather learns to appreciate the amazing and loving creature that Fuzzy Wuzzy actually is. While he had no hair or fuzz to speak of, he still looked for fruit and other goodies and was known for sharing his finds with other animals in the woods. He was a loving husband and a proud dad who filled his cub’s life with merriment and affection. And everyone in the forest knew that at a moment of peril, Fuzzy Wuzzy would be there to protect them. So, while not at all fuzzy, he was quite a bear.

Craig Sidell’s The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy teaches kids to look beyond the externals into the hearts and souls of those they meet in their everyday lives. I loved seeing how he fleshes out the story and draws us into Fuzzy Wuzzy’s world. The hairless bear is swiftly transformed into something magical and marvelous. Artist Evgeniya Kozhevnikova’s watercolor paintings are breathtaking. Each panel depicts a different aspect of Fuzzy Wuzzy’s world, peopled with animals, butterflies, and glorious landscapes. I was entranced by the images and found her instinctive approach to the author’s story was eloquent and powerful. Caregivers might want to consider matting and framing favorite panels, though I’d be hard-pressed to pick one over the others. Sidell’s story is geared toward the new reader as well as being a perfect selection for storytime, and is definitely made to be read aloud. The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is most highly recommended.

Foluso Falaye

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is a fun and endearing story of a hairless father bear and his daily interactions with his family and the natural environment around him. It is a book that encourages children to care about the other beings we share our planet with and to discover their similarities with us. Each page is brilliantly illustrated by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova, an art graduate who "loves to combine her skills of watercolor and cg in order to achieve a picturesque quality in each of her drawings." Craig Sidell, the author, is inspired by the imagination of his children and the steadfast support of his family and friends. The result is a book that spreads positive messages to children: showing love and care to others and giving to those in need.

I love books that advance empathy for others and challenge me to be a better person. As these things are not usually taught in schools, I am always excited to see books like The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy which attempt to impact children positively from an early age. Craig Sidell creates a friendly atmosphere and offers a story with liveliness and vivacity. The sentences are simple and easy to remember, and the rhymes add to the fun experience of the book. Additionally, Evgeniya's illustrations are simply beautiful and pleasing to the eye. Looking at the pictures alone would create a calming and immersing experience for children. The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is a great recommendation to parents who want their children to embrace and fall in love with books early in life.

Marta Tandori

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is a delightful children’s picture book written by Craig Sidell and illustrated by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova. Fuzzy Wuzzy is a furless bear whose lack of fur hasn’t stopped him from living an idyllic life. He has a fuzzy wife and a fuzzy boy and spends his days looking for the best apples and pears. He also loves dancing, singing, and gazing at the stars at night. However, Fuzzy Wuzzy isn’t all about personal pursuits. He’s also a wonderful father and a great friend who always shares what he has with others.

The Life of Fuzzy Wuzzy is the newest offering in a long line of children’s books throughout the years, based on a children’s poem whose roots can probably be traced back to a poem written by British author and poet, Rudyard Kipling, published in 1892. Told in age-appropriate rhyme, Sidell has created a sweet story about the idyllic pursuits of a furless bear who hasn’t let the fact that he’s different from other bears, including the members of his own family, stop him from enjoying life to the fullest. To top things off, he’s generous and values his friendships with others. These aspects of Fuzzy Wuzzy create a strong character foundation for young children and teach them valuable life lessons through an enchanting story.

What really elevates the story, though, are the marvelous illustrations by Kozhevnikova. She combines the magic of computer graphics with watercolors to create illustrations that are both iridescent and somewhat mystical. The muted watercolors give each illustration both life and dimension, creating a special world for Fuzzy Wuzzy and his friends and family to inhabit. The illustrations not only complement Sidell’s story perfectly but they are also inviting, sure to entice little fingers to explore the objects in each illustration. The Life of Fuzzy Wuzzy is a wonderful new take on a classic nursery rhyme that will be sure to please children and parents alike.

Joshua Soule

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is a beautifully written children’s book about a kind-hearted bear. ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear’ was a poem or rhyme that most adults sang and chanted in their childhood. Now, author Craig Sidell has captured that nostalgic rhyme in a way that all children can fall in love with. The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy follows Fuzzy as a husband, father, and a caring, sharing member of society. The poetically written rhyme scheme is something that children will enjoy reading over and over again. The kind-hearted bear enjoys looking for the best fruit, looking at the stars, and of course, sharing with other animals. This is a great book for kids, and grown-ups will enjoy it too!

As a parent and an educator, I love finding a children’s book that I know kids will enjoy. The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is one of those books! The story is fun and heartwarming. Fuzzy Wuzzy is a lovable character that is admirable and enjoyable. The illustrations, done by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova, were beautifully crafted colorful and appealing, but not so vibrant as to take away from the text. I found Craig Sidell’s book overall to be very appealing, enjoyable, and I’m excited to watch it grow. I highly recommend The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy for your home, classroom, preschool, daycare, or anywhere else children can be found.

Asher Syed

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy by Craig Sidell, with illustrations by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova, is a fictional children's book that follows the subject of one of the most repeated children's rhymes dating back to the nineteenth century. Sidell picks up the tongue twister and turns it into a story chronicling the day to day life of the famous bear. Fuzzy is now a husband and father with many friends. He has a caring nature and is willing to help those in need in any way he can, including the distribution of food to other animals with less. He is a talented singer and enjoys dancing, and he is grateful for a warm cozy cave, a particularly important habitat for a hairless bear, in which he is able to hibernate. This and the environment around him contribute to a deeply fulfilling life, teaching readers that the foundation of kindness and happiness has nothing to do with what one looks like.

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy is a cute depiction of all the qualities adults look for in books written for younger readers, and Craig Sidell provides a fun narrative to a classic. The origin of the rhyme is from a poem by the same name written by Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling and as my own little six-year-old bibliophile asked to know more about Fuzzy Wuzzy I was able to glide into an organic history lesson on tribal warriors and respect for the bravery of those someone might be fighting with—an unexpected and satisfying side effect rarely found in literature for kids. The real shining star of this book is the absolutely breath-taking illustrations by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova, an artist with an extraordinary talent that raises the book above the bar. Truly, this is one of the most gorgeously illustrated books I've ever had the privilege to read as she brings to life Fuzzy Wuzzy and the natural, untouched woods he lives in with vivid color and remarkable artistry. Very highly recommended.