“This is the story of a very special bear who lives in a little shop in the beautiful, sleepy village of Beaulieu in the New Forest.”
So begins The Beginning by Julie Tatchell, with illustrations by Jill Fry. I mentioned this book in my previous post, here, so decided a reread and review would be worthwhile. I must apologise to interested readers as I have, as yet, been unable to source any outlet with copies to buy.
The author is now a TV personality, one of the teddy bear ladies from the BBC’s The Repair Shop series. Fear not, however, this is not some ghost written tale cashing in on a name. The book was published well before television came calling. It was sold in the shop featured, alongside siblings and cousins of the protagonist bear.
The story being told is of how the special bear got his name. To begin with, you see, he was referred to as ‘Logo’, for reasons obvious when the shop he lived in was visited.
Logo isn’t the best sort of name for a bear, is it? Being referred to in this way sometimes made him feel sad. So his creator, Mrs T, decided her precious bear should be given a proper name. But how to decide what it should be?
The solution drew together a community of bear lovers, and produced a name worthy of this lovable little fellow. The tale being told is short but sweet, just like the bear, now known as (drum roll, please) Bartie Bristle.
Gaining a name, of course, isn’t an ending, although it did make the little bear very happy.
This is a lovely little story that will appeal to adults as much as children. The gorgeous illustrations capture perfectly each of the characters featured.
Although this book may be largely unavailable, I believe Walker Books have plans to release a new book about this bear and his friends, once again written by Julie Tatchell. Perhaps then it will also become possible to purchase the teddy bear’s cousins, as I did in 2013.
Pictured above: Edward meets the original Bartie Bristle, then takes home one of his cousins
The Beginning is a book to enjoy and treasure. I look forward to reading the next instalment when it becomes available, eagerly awaiting Bartie Bristle and Friends.