Lamplighter Publishing is giving me a free copy of Teddy's Button by Amy LeFeuvre for reading it and posting a review on my blog. I read it to Colin (4 years old) during Circle Time in the morning, one chapter a day. We finished it yesterday, because he wanted me to read another chapter before dinner. Who's going to say 'no' when their kid asks them to read to them?!
Although it is a chapter book, Teddy's Button is age-appropriate to read to kids probably about three and up. Brennan (two years old) wasn't very interested, so I let him run off to play when I started reading it to Colin. Reading on their own, it's not a beginning-reader book, but most kids who are proficient at reading would be able to enjoy it, maybe needing some help with the big words. One thing I like about Lamplighter's books is that the harder vocabulary words are defined at the bottom of each page, as are the references to Bible verses mentioned in the text.
As the story begins, Teddy tells the story of his father, who was a soldier and was killed in battle while bravely standing against the enemy. When his body was brought home, there was only one button left on his jacket, which has since become Teddy's prized possession. Teddy is also set on becoming a soldier when he grows up.
A new girl, Nancy, comes to the village, and she doesn't believe the story of the button. Her father is a sailor, and she insists that sailors are better than soldiers. This becomes a source of contention between the two.
Mr. Upton, the rector of the village church, invites Teddy over for tea one Sunday after witnessing an encounter between him and Nancy. Mr. Upton tells Teddy about Christ, who wants him to be a soldier in His army, and tells him what he needs to do to enlist. Teddy goes home to think about it, and later, by himself, accepts Christ as his Saviour. This is a turning point in his life.
Teddy befriends Nancy, starts telling everyone about Christ, and tries to stop playing many of the tricks he used to play. He doesn't always do good, however. His greatest enemy is Bully, the name he has chosen for the bad side of himself. Nancy has not accepted Christ as Saviour, because she wants to be a sailor in God's army, and says she will never be a soldier.
The climax of the story happens because Teddy is fighting with Nancy. Nancy takes his button from him, and he tries yanking it out of her hands. He succeeds, but the button ends up flying into the river. Without a thought, Teddy jumps into the river after it, and hits his head on the bottom. A passing farmer rescues him, and brings him to the doctor, but Teddy hangs between life and death for days.
Does Teddy live? What happens to Nancy? Is the button ever found? Read the story yourself and find out!