This is the sweetest little story.
Nothing by Mick Inkpen is a story about a little cat teddy that thinks he is called ‘Nothing.’ He is called Nothing, because he does not know who he is. (I can see links here with Daley B by Jon Blake). As the story unfolds, we realise Nothing is actually known as Toby and belongs to a lovely little grandpa. Toby was the grandpa’s childhood teddy and over the years has lost his ears, nose, whiskers, stripes and tail.
It has to be said – this book really won me over for its cuteness. Most of them do. I love little Toby and the illustrations that portray his naïve nature. In fact, I prefer Toby as a little tatty old toy instead of how he was bought new. There is often something attractive about imperfection.
In terms of education. I think this could be a great book to ease young children into the issues of bullying. You can explore how Toby feels and why, and what change is made to make him feel a different way. (he makes friends, is helped to find his owner..etc)
At one point in the book, the grandpa shows Toby being held in an old photograph. Toby was brand new and looked very different to how he looks now. You could use this idea as a stimulus to look at black and white photography with children. Ask them about a particular object in a photograph and see if they can either research and follow the story of the object or make up their own story. A good one for History, or simply creative writing.
Do you have a teddy or toy that seems to become more cherished as the years go on and the more bedraggled it gets?