Thank you, Jan, for stopping by to share your childhood lovey story this week. The #WhosYourLovey blog series welcomes you and your beloved Teddy Bear Puppet.
And now, here’s Teddy Bear Puppet interviewing his owner, children’s author Jan Godown Annino.
TBP: It’s bearly imaginable that you could cuddle up with this talk if it was not conducted by me, Teddy Bear Puppet. So after a friendly scratch, lets climb a tree for a comfy visit with my owner.
TBP: What do you remember in your child days about me?
Jan: Good question! I always loved you because you were so different from other toy animals. And, you were the only hand puppet in our house.
TBP: How did you get me?
Jan: I remember being told you came from the big forest, which our little red house sat beside, near Quakertown, N.J.
TBP: ‘Only hand puppet’? Were there other kinds of puppets?
Jan: Yes! When I was about eight, at our second house, Dad built a stage in the basement to showcase marionettes. Mom had used marionettes in her publicity work for a toothpaste company & she still liked stringed, puppets, even as a grown-up.
TBP: Next to a marionette, did I seem as dull as moss?
Jan: No! Not at all! You were cuddly. When you talked, I knew Mom or Dad made you move & speak. Then I would grab you from them & hold you tight. I believed you were real. We had imaginary adventures together. Stringed puppets are a different kind of fun. Ours aren’t soft. I never once thought a marionette puppet was real.
TBP: Did you work my arms, like people do with puppets?
Jan: Not at first. I was a toddler when you came out of the forest. My tiny hands couldn’t reach into your arm and head slots. I could only cuddle you. It was later, as a big girl, that I could properly operate you as a puppet. I loved you even more then, because now I was the one who made you talk. I told you my secrets and you told me yours. I feel like I kept you, my Lovey, close by, much longer than other kids I knew.
TBP: Did I get washed?
Jan: You took baths with me sometimes. I thought you should be cleaned up, ’cause I got you so dirty outside in our yard. I scrubbed you good. I think it’s how you began losing threads that defined your face. But you still look wonderful.
TBP: I notice you keep me on a pedestal now. And, I hear there is a new bear puppet around?
Jan: Yes, you seem to like climbing your metal office tree. And Ginger tolerates you. You are too special to take regularly to schools for read-aloud times. I found a smaller puppet bear that has a snug camp-out sleeping bag to share with students.
TBP: A Teddy Bear Puppet Lovey could get jealous.
Jan: You and I have seen the forest and the trees together so many times. You will always be my berry best. And remember, I let you visit students about once a year.
TBP: I do & I like that. It’s all for The Good. Can we climb back here to this blog, to meet other berry good Loveys, like Smelly Baby & her pals as they continue the fun?
Jan: Of course! Thank you, my Teddy Bear Puppet Lovey, with berry many appreciations to author Betsy Devany and Lucy’s Lovey.
Bio note: One of Jan’s joys is photographing bees, birds, manatees, alligators & other wildlife in Florida’s Panhandle, where she lives with her family. Her illustrated biography, She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader is a Scholastic Teachers diversity book, a 2015 Library of Congress Great Read for Kids, an ALA/Amelia Bloomer Top Ten & it won the Florida Book Awards. Jan welcomes Kid Lit visitors @BkSeedStudio and via her writing blog/site, Bookseedstudio.