This is the story of Al, who is also King Alejandro, and his kid brother Teddy. Who is four. Almost five. Every night Al flies to exotic places and meets fantastic beings, and every morning he’s back in his room in their little house. Because Al can draw and paint. And he promises Teddy that some day Teddy can come along. Some day. When Teddy is five. But then things change…
AL and TEDDY is the first picture book published by Dream Yard Press. It is the story of love and friendship between two brothers, and the power of art to transform children’s lives.
This book tells a great story “that you can show to your kids while you read to them, so they can also dream about the moon monster (who isn’t so monstrous, really) and have an example of how siblings (mostly) look out for each other (pretty much).” With small wheels under the cockpit and bursts of energy from jet propulsion, Al flies his blue rocket across the nighttime sky, searching for faraway places,” according to a write-up on Kidlitreviews.
Every parent remembers the moment when siblings first began bonding — the joy, the pain, the rivalry, the struggle.
Each morning by dawn, Al returns home to his younger brother Teddy, and draws pictures of where he went. Teddy wants more; he wants to go with his big brother on these trips, but cannot. He must be five-years-old and he is four. Teddy is not happy, but waits the year out. One year later, Teddy excitedly reminds Al it is time to fly, but Al has bad news. Teddy must wait until he is six-years-old. Teddy reacts furiously.
The words and spreads in Al and Teddy are so tenderly wrought they will bring tears to any parent or child’s eyes. This a compelling story of imagination and young brotherly love. It’s very sweet without ever being sappy or over the top. The book also does a great job of celebrating little boys without being too stereotypical. I’m impressed with how well it is executed.
Al shares his nightly journeys with Teddy—who narrates the story—through his art. Teddy’s adoration of his big brother is obvious. Al enjoys sharing his stories and art with Teddy. Parents with toddlers will identify with Teddy’s mood changes and the love-hate feelings the child displays. The boys accept each other as they are and need no words to convey their contriteness or forgiveness. There is a feeling of magic during Al’s travels and again as he shares them with Teddy. Children of all ages will love the story of brotherly love, forgiveness, and imagination that flows from Al’s creativity to Teddy’s heart.
The author writes:
Hello. I’m Neil Waldman, writer and illustrator of more than fifty books for children. My books have won the Christopher Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the School Library Best Book Award, the American Library Association Notable Award, and many others.
“AL and TEDDY” is my newest picture book. Published by Dream Yard Press, a new not-for-profit publisher of children’s books. All proceeds from sales of “AL and TEDDY” will be used to support the young artists of the Fred Dolan Art Academy, a free Saturday art school designed to help Bronx youngsters go to art college. Founded in 2006, twenty-three students have graduated from the academy, all going on to college with scholarships. They’ve been accepted at Dartmouth, the Chicago Art Institute, USC, NYU, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts. But despite this unprecedented success, the academy’s funding has been slashed. We’re trying to get word out, that every time someone buys a copy of “AL and TEDDY,” we use the money to buy oil paints, watercolors, sketchpads, easels, and healthy lunches for our students. We’re hoping you’ll join us, and help support our kids.
An amazon reviewer said:
Every once in a long while, I open a new picture book that I know is destined to become a classic. Al and Teddy is such a book. The illustrations are remarkable . . . filled with excitement and wonderful color. The technique is reminiscent of Maurice Sendak – exquisite, masterful! . . . and beautifully designed. The story is compelling. It will draw young readers in from the opening page, and take them on a thrilling ride that culminates with a fresh and unexpected ending. And if this wasn’t enough, it’s for a good cause. Profits from book sales go to a free art school in the Bronx that helps young artists go to college. So, this one is a no-brainer . . . . I give Al and Teddy 5 stars!