Corduroy (book)

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Cover art
Author Don Freeman
Illustrator Don Freeman
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's literature, picture book
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
Media type Hardcover
Pages 32
ISBN 0-590-30907-2
Followed by A Pocket for Corduroy

Corduroy is a 1968 children's book written and illustrated by Don Freeman, and published by Viking Press. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[1] It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.[2]


Don Freeman said that he had an idea of writing a story taking place in a department store, in which a character wanders around after the doors close. He wanted the storyline to portray a difference between the luxury of such department store and the simple life most people live, at the same time highlighting basic values. The bear's name comes from another children's book by Don Freeman, Corduroy, the Inferior Decorator, which tells about a boy driving his parents crazy by painting on their apartment's walls. The book was never published, but Freeman reused the boy's name when writing Corduroy.[3]

The book was rejected when first sent to Freeman's publisher, Viking Press. The writer then sent it to a number of other publishers, who also provided him with negative feedback. Freeman presented the book once again to Viking Press and was finally given a chance.[3]

Don Freeman created a sequel, A Pocket for Corduroy, in 1978. In 2006, a children's book author B. G. Hennessy published Corduroy Lost and Found as a sequel to Don Freeman's original works.[4] A special 40th anniversary edition of Corduroy was released in 2008.[5]


The book tells the story of a teddy bear named Corduroy, displayed on a toy shelf in a department store. One day, a girl named Lisa arrives in the store with her mother and spots the bear. She is willing to buy him, but her mother declines to spend more money and notes that a button is missing from his overalls.

After they leave, Corduroy decides to find the missing button by himself and goes on a trip around the department store after it closes in the evening. He goes upstairs and finds furniture he had never seen before, including beds and mattresses. Thinking that one of the mattress buttons is the one he is missing, he pulls it hard and eventually falls down from the bed, knocking over a lamp. The store guard hears the noise, finds the bear and puts him back in place.

The next day, Lisa comes back with the money she had found in her piggy bank and buys Corduroy. At home, she sews a button on his shoulder strap and the book ends with them saying that they had always wanted a friend and hugging each other.


  • Corduroy was made into a short television movie in 1984.[6]
  • In 1997, an animated series, The Adventures of Corduroy, was produced,[7] which ran until 1999.
  • In 2000, another animated Corduroy TV series was produced, which originally ran in 2000 and 2001.[8]
  • On November 14, 2016, it was announced that Tim Story will direct a film adaptation of the story for CBS Films.[9]


  1. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Don Freeman » The Story Behind Corduroy". Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  4. ^ "B.G. Hennessy". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Corduroy (40th Anniversary Edition) (9780670063369): Don Freeman: Books". Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  6. ^ "Corduroy (TV 1984) - IMDb". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  7. ^ "The Adventures of Corduroy the Bear (1997) - IMDb". Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  8. ^ "Corduroy (TV Series 2000) - IMDb". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  9. ^ "Tim Story to Direct Corduroy Movie". CraveOnline. November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.