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Corduroy goes to the doctor


PreS Don Freeman's Corduroy (Viking, 1968) has always been a welcome figure to children, but these two spinoffs from the classic bear's story are too cutesy and watered down to provoke much interest. Both board books transport Corduroy (with pocket intact) from the realistic world which he normally shares with Lisa to an anthropomorphic suburb, filled with cartoon-like stuffed animals and dolls that could give Strawberry Shortcake a run for her money. Corduroy Goes to the Doctor, the stronger of the two, follows the procedures of a physical exam from beginning to end, and, thus, may be useful for those needing books about doctor visits for the nursery set. Corduroy's Busy Street has no storyline; rather, it's a series of one-page introductions to some of the workers one might meet in a ``typical'' neighborhood. Without any discernible order to guide it, the book seems disjointed, and the characters appear to be quite randomly selected. Neither book captures the endearing qualities of Freeman's ``Corduroy''; both use him only as a vehicle for attracting unsuspecting readers. Rosemary Wells' ``Max'' books (Dial) and Eric Hill's ``Spot'' books (Putnam) are still tops at introducing preschoolers to the everyday facts of life in the grown-up world; these are poor substitutes. Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, Wheeler School, Providence, R.I.

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Tags: Corduroy, doctor, realistic, world, intact