A poorly stitched brown teddy bear sits forgotten on the shelves of a little toy shop. Having no mouth, he is unable to speak. The other toys laugh at him and call him Pauper Bear. All Pauper Bear wants is to find a good home and be loved by his owner.
In contrast, Prince Bear, is well-stitched and has a fine little crown. He is very proud and loves only himself, often boasting how he had been specially made stitch by stitch “until I was perfect”.
A week before Christmas, Prince Bear is chosen off the shelves by a rich little girl who lives in a lovely big house. Pauper Bear looks on sadly. A little boy wanders into the shop, and with his small amount of pocket money, asks the shopkeeper, “Please, this is all I have. Is there anything in this shop I can buy?” Pauper Bear leans so eagerly out from the top of the shelf that he loses his balance and falls to the ground. Noticing him, the shopkeeper says he is a teddy bear nobody wants to buy, and gives him away for free to the little boy.
But more than just a story of a prince and pauper and a twist in their destinies and expectations, this story is inspired by the real life story of Emily Lim, author of the book who was struck with spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological voice disorder, in the prime of her career and her experiences of coping with the disorder.
With her heartwarming stories of love, friendship, compassion, selflessness, grace and restoration, Emily has earned multiple accolades for her work, receiving the Independent Publishers (IPPY) Book Awards in 2008 for Prince Bear and Pauper Bear, in 2009 for Just Teddy and in 2010 for Bunny Finds the Right Stuff. Her book, The Tale of Rusty Horse won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Click here to read more about Emily and her story, and the other books in her series.