The doctor is in. Teddy bear repair specialist Doctor Cavalcade, that is.
That’s mostly a good thing for eight-year-old Dalton and his falling-apart bear, Stormy, who are two of the characters in the just-published children’s book, Dalton and the Teddy Bear Repair.
It’s “mostly” a good thing because Dalton is not at all sure about this so-called doctor. He does have a name tag and a stethoscope, but he also has a bright red clown nose and yellow shoes that look way too long. Can he trust this odd man with Stormy? (Spoiler alert: Yes.)
The 20-page book is an all-local project written by Deborah Greaves, of Gibsons, and illustrated by Halfmoon Bay’s Ruth Rodgers, based on a story inspired by Gibsons publisher, professional clown, and veteran teddy bear repairman Errol Lipschitz.
“We used to have a teddy bear clinic at [the Gibsons summer event] Sea Cavalcade,” said Lipschitz, who occasionally can be found in character as Lippy the clown. “I would be the doctor and we had several volunteers who helped doing repairs to the bears.”
Lipschitz recalled that, like Dalton in the story, kids would sometimes be afraid of him in his clown costume. “There were occasions where a child wouldn’t talk to me at all, and just dealt with one of the nurses.”
But as in the story, everything would work out with gentle good humour and some deft stitching, and the teddy would leave the clinic restored and under the arm of a smiling child.
Lipschitz had originally conceived the project – with financial help from the Sunshine Coast Credit Union – as a fundraiser for Sea Cavalcade. But with that event on indefinite hold, he took writer Greaves’ advice and decided to use the book to raise funds for the Sechelt Hospital Foundation (SHF).
Dalton and the Teddy Bear Repair will be on sale at the SHF’s Art of Healing exhibition at the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden for the Art Crawl (venue #126), from Friday, Oct. 22 to Sunday the 24th. Anyone missing that opportunity to purchase a copy can reach Lipschitz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies will also be donated to local libraries.