Fluffy, huggable, relentlessly positive, and just a touch goofy, Teddy’s the type of friend every child hopes for. Messenger, who also has type I diabetes, deftly reframes the daily tasks that Emily must perform to stay healthy–such as eating veggies, taking medication, and checking her insulin monitor–as interesting or novel activities by looking at them from the dog’s point of view. The book doesn’t shy away from needles, either: Teddy watches Emily poke herself to “check her scores or when she needs medicine,” and finds inspiration in her bravery. “She is the strongest person I know,” Teddy says, “and when I need a shot at the veterinarian, I think of her and then I feel strong too.”
The text is accompanied by Emma Latham’s smiling, wide-eyed illustrations, which enhance the story’s feel-good vibes. Filled with bright colors, warm sprays of sunshine, and smatterings of flowers blooming in the grass, the pictures mostly show Teddy and Emily having fun together and staying active while demonstrating the closeness of their bond. A helpful glossary explains the terminology of T1D, with Teddy aiming a teacher’s pointer at the definitions. This book will show kids with and without diabetes that love, acceptance, and excitement are possible for everyone–and that health conditions do not have to define anyone’s life.
Takeaway: This charming picture book (and a plucky Pomeranian) remind young readers that conditions like type 1 diabetes don’t define anyone’s life.
Great for fans of: Zippora Karz’s Ballerina Dreams, Mike Suarez’s Year One With Type One.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A