Corduroy Book Poster Image




Sweet, heartwarming picture-book classic.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Educational value

Shows the basics of a shopping trip -- and a typical scenario where a kid wants something but the parent doesn't buy it on that trip. 

Positive messages

Corduroy makes the bold decision to leave the comforts of his department store shelf in search for the one thing he believes will change his life for the better. Longing to impress a little girl who had stopped by the store and wished to adopt him, Corduroy encourages readers to keep hope alive and not be afraid to advance beyond their comfort zone in pursuit of something they really want. This children’s book also demonstrates the value of unconditional friendship as Corduroy is able to love and be loved despite his flaws.

Positive role models

The relationship between Corduroy and Lisa is an inspiring one. Their friendship encourages readers to look past a person's flaws and appreciate them just the way they are. Corduroy is grateful to Lisa not only for accepting him but also for making him feel comfortable in his green overalls. The two portray a connection between kid and doll that many readers will relate to.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a timeless story about a girl who wants a teddy bear, and a teddy bear who yearns to be chosen by a child. It's well-suited to young children, with bold, bright, and illustrations, appealing characters and easily graspable and relatable plot. The story speaks to many themes, including friendship, courage, and hope. 

What's the story?

Poor Corduroy! Why won't anyone buy him? Could it be because his overalls are missing a button? Late at night the teddy bear searches the store for his button. He never finds it, but he does find a girl who loves him and gives him a home. Heartwarming and humorous, this is a picture-book classic.

Is it any good?


CORDUROY offers children a feel-good storyline, a memorable main character, and charming illustrations. Bright, loosely drawn pictures feature scenes familiar to many children: shelves of toys, department stores, and bedrooms. The characters' facial expressions of sadness, curiosity, and joy are drawn so that even the youngest children can understand much of the story simply by looking at the pictures.

The classic book also offers the added benefit of subtle lessons in good behavior and responsibility. Lisa, the kind little girl who buys and befriends Corduroy, doesn't fuss and cry in the toy department when her mother tells her that she may not buy the bear. When Lisa returns to buy Corduroy the next day, she does so with her mother's blessing and the money from her own piggy bank. Lisa looks past Corduroy's missing button and sees a friend to love.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Corduroy is a special bear. Would you have chosen him at the toy store despite his flaws? Do you have a toy that's very special to you?

  • Have you ever wanted a toy that was a little less than perfect? Do you have toys right now that are missing a part but you still like them and play with them anyway? 

  • Who in your family or among your friends likes you just the way you are? 

Book details

Author:Don Freeman
Illustrator:Don Freeman
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:April 11, 1968
Number of pages:32

This review of Corduroy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 7 year old Written byeswanson April 9, 2008

A classic

The Common Sense review summarizes much of the good stuff abt this book but I wanted to add one more thing - Lisa, the girl who takes Corduroy home, is not white (it looks like she's black or hispanic). It's hard to find good books with minority main characters and this one is so readily available at libraries everywhere.
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 16 years old Written byAmber b February 15, 2011

This book is perfect for any child learning to read also it is very interesting.

i love it!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?