Sometimes it takes a while to find a perfect friend or to recognise the greatness in someone who might be your friend.
Sometimes we can overlook someone’s best efforts just because they don’t match our expectations.
Sometimes we might not see the kindnesses we are being offered or the fun that is waiting for us.
All those things happened to Ted.
Ted is a determined and funny little dog who sets out to find a place where he belongs. But he's overlooked. Again and again.
Finally, he gives up on his search for somewhere perfect. And that’s when he meets up with Dot who is searching for a furry friend who:
“enjoys long walks and ball games.”
Dot and Ted become “fabulous friends” and they go home to Dot’s place.
So here’s the brilliant punch line: Ted has:
“finally found somewhere …puuuurrrrfect.” Dot, in addition to being a knitter, is a cat lover and has a house full of cats - but that's still perfect for Ted.
This is a great story about fitting in, finding your place, welcoming differences, and being happy at home: some of the big issues for children, especially in the early years of kindy and school.
The story is so charmingly told and illustrated that it feels reassuring and full of promise, while still maintaining a bit of whimsy. Who wouldn’t want a dog like Ted or a friend like Dot … but they both took a while to find the perfect friend.
It's the sort of book that a young child will ask for again and again, especially if they are dreaming of a pet dog. But because the language is fairly sophisticated and includes a bunch of quick nods to cultural quirks like “poodles with pompoms,” it's also entertaining for somewhat older children.
And there are plenty of phrases and words that will help expand young vocabularies, like:
"he did his best to make a good impression"
"nobody noticed Ted on his popcorn box."
Phrases and words like these are so very helpful in imparting culture and meaning and appreciation for the written and spoken word.