#366 – Al and Teddy by Neil Waldman

al and teddy//

Al and Teddy

by Neil Waldmanlogo_123377_web (1)

Dream Yard Press

6 Stars

/////////// Short Review (click here)

Inside Jacket:  As the sun’s first rays slip through Teddy’s window, he climbs out of bed and finds Al, sitting at his drawing table, conjuring images of an amazing rocket ship. Teddy gazes at his brother’s drawing and smiles.  “Maybe someday,” he muses, “Big Al just might take me flying with him!”

First Sentence:  When everyone’s is sleeping and Saturn circles in the midnight sky, my big brother Al tiptoes out of our house and flies to places faraway.


About the Story:  With small wheels under the cockpit and bursts of energy from jet propulsion, Al flies his blue rocket across the nighttime sky.  Al is soaring through the air to his kingdom, where the subjects call him King Alejandro.  Along the way, Al takes on the Moon Monster and, with one single shot, slays the monster.  Each morning by dawn, King Alejandro returns home to Teddy, and draws pictures of the places he had been that night.  Teddy wants to fly with his big brother Al, but cannot.  The four-years-old is one year shy of the explicit kingdom rules regarding entrance.  Teddy is not happy, but waits the year out.  One year later, Teddy excitedly reminds Al it is time to fly, but Al has bad news.  The kingdom changed some rules.  Teddy must wait one more year—until he is six-years-old—before he may fly with Al or enter his brother’s kingdom.  Teddy reacts furiously.

‘YOU KNOW I’M NOT SIX . . . (you are a) BIG FAT LIAR!”

Al knows he has disappointed his brother terribly.  What happens next . . ..


What I Think:  Al and Teddy is a sweet story of imagination and young brotherly love.  Al shares his nightly journeys with Teddy—who narrates the story—through his art.  The hurt Teddy felt the night before vanished with his brother’s attention.  As Al draws and tells the story of his travels, Teddy holds onto his every word.  Teddy’s adoration of his big brother is obvious.  Al enjoys sharing his stories and art with Teddy, who wants nothing more than to be with his big brother.

Teddy’s reaction, and the illustrations that go with it, is similar to a four-year-old toddler’s anger, and recovery.  Mr. Waldman must have taken all the tantrums from his own childhood and transferred them to Teddy.  The four-year-old quickly throws a tantrum—his knees and elbows all but touching—he stomps out of Al’s bedroom.  Just as quickly, Teddy changes his mind, having thought of something that pleased him.  Sheepishly, Teddy asks Al to draw more pictures.  Al agrees without a word and Teddy once again is enthralled with his brother’s nightly adventures. Parents with toddlers will identify with Teddy’s mood changes and the love-hate feelings the child displays

teddy stomps out

A year later, when Teddy is once again told he must wait a year, he does more than throw a tantrum—he calls his brother a liar; a BIG FAT LIAR!  He does not say the words, but Teddy accuses Al of deliberately keeping him from flying.  Even the Moon Monster looks angry, standing behind Teddy.  Mr. Waldman captures the sting of Teddy’s words in his illustration of Al, head lowered, a single tear shed behind his glasses.  I will not say what happens next, or how the story ends, but I will say both are heartwarming.

Al and Teddy is a  well-written, imaginative story.  Al’s hand flows with creativity to the paper, as he relates his stories of adventure to an enraptured Teddy.  The illustrations are beautiful with swirls of colorful sand and delicious dark blues and oranges.  The rocket on the ground looks much different once in space. The blue body, with a darker blue ring in the back, becomes a light violet body with a light yellow band running the length of the body.  This one detail bugs me in an otherwise fantastic picture book.  There is a feeling of magic in Al’s travels and again when sharing them with Teddy.  Children of all ages will love the story of brotherly love, forgiveness, and imagination that flows from Al’s creative hand to Teddy’s big heart, and I enjoyed reading this delightful book.

Al and Teddy is first book from Dream Yard Press, a not-for-profit publisher of children’s books for the benefit of the Fred Dolan Art Academy.

SHORT REVIEW (click here)


DREAM SCHOOL – The Fred Dolan Art Academy CHECK THIS OUT!

Al and Teddy

by Neil Waldman    website    blog    facebook    twitter     http://alandteddy.com/

Dream Yard Press    website    blog    facebook    twitter

Released August 2, 2013

ISBN:  978-0-615-72969-5

48 Pages

Ages 4 to 8


© 2013 by Dream Yard Press, used with permission

Text & Illustrations:  Copyright © 2031 by Neil Waldman





al and teddy

19 thoughts on “#366 – Al and Teddy by Neil Waldman

  1. I absolutely LOVE the illustrations, I can imagine that this would be a GREAT read aloud 🙂 Thanks for sharing the review on kid lit blog hop!
    -Reshama @StackingBooks.com


    • Dear readingwithrhythm,
      Thanks for the kind words about my artwork. I’ll be happy to send you an autographed copy of AL and TEDDY. Just email your mailing address to me at neilwald@aol.com., and I’ll get it right out. Best, Neil Waldman


    • You might be surprised how this all works out. 😀 I sure was. How it ends is part of the reason the star was increased. Covers are cool. I would collect just the covers, if I could–except for the books I like, I’d collect the entire book so I could read it over and over again.


  2. Ah, brotherly love. A SIX star book! WOW! It’s nice that proceeds benefit kids art development. We all need a little more art in our life, don’t we?


    • Yes, Lobo ❗ a Top 10 Book of the Year! But in what order? Is Al and Teddy number 1 or number 8? You can help decide this December. when everyone can vote for their favorites.


    • I love the twist. It is a big twist that will seem so obvious once you know it, still . . . Oh, and the illustrations are gorgeous and the goals of the group are great (they have no bearing on the star, only text, illustration count).

      I’m a sucker for anyone who helps kids. m mmc dv,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,v ,,s,fn,j e lllllllllllll 3elwllllllle4relfefesefsvq oops, I think got lost in thought. 🙄

      If you really like the book, come back in December and vote for it as your favorite. All 6 star books will rank from one to ten, based on voters choices, to determine the KLR Top 10 Books of the Year.
      yellow star


  3. It’s funny—when I heard the age of allowance started at 5 years old, then went up to 6 just when he thought he was “in,” really irritated me! lol I don’t blame Teddy at ALL! I’m VERY curious how it ends. I can say I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover 🙂 I’m SO into covers and, regardless that it’s said you shouldn’t judge a book by it, I’m not inclined to pick up a book that has what I consider an unappealing or uninteresting cover.

    Thanks for the review, Suzanne 🙂


    • Al does ride in a rocket, but to tell Teddy, “oops the age went to six,” on the day Teddy turns the age he believed he needed to be is mean, I agree!

      Al saying this to his brother was both mean and for a good reason.


    • OH, Erik, if you like the idea now, not knowing the catch, you will love it when you understand something I didn’t tell you.

      I had been letting everyone in on the secrets, but then decided to try the opposite and see if that helped the author sell more books. And even though you are my favorite eleven-year-old on the planet, I can’t tell you what it is, but I think you would get it and enjoy the book. 😀


    • Hi Ann ❗ The book release is available for pre-order now at Amazon, and maybe elsewhere. I’b check the author’s website, the link is by his name. .

      Its nice to see you again so soon.

      I was wondering, the book you sell on your site, is it anything like Blogging for Profits, or Blogging 3.0?


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