Today, Kate shares a sweet book that captures the sidekick dynamic:
When my daughter was born, she was gifted with a matching pair of plush toys, a yellow duck and a green hippo. She's never paid much attention to the hippo, but -- about the time she turned two -- she bonded with the duck with a love both passionate and lasting. The duck (now known as Duckie and occasionally Mr. The Duck) has long since turned a gray/green, and has traveled by her side throughout her adventures and experiences of the past three years. It has been fascinating to watch my daughter act out her own growth and evolution through her relationship with Duckie: he is her foil as she learns to navigate the world around her. He is her classmate as she plays school, her fellow student as she teaches him how to swim, and her baby as she swaddles him and gives him a bottle.
Harriet Ziefert's charming picture book Bunny's Lessons captures this dynamic perfectly, told from the point of view of the stuffed animal. Bunny is the faithful companion of Charlie, and Bunny withstands the slings and arrows of such a role: the paint that Charlie spills on him, the prods as Charlie pretends to be his pediatrician, and the loneliness when Charlie has a playdate with a little girl. But Bunny also learns about love, pure and faithful, as Charlie always returns to him for hugs. For anyone who has watched their child with a favorite stuffed animal, or had one themselves -- in other words, all of us -- Bunny's Lessons will ring true and sweet.