Episode 107: Little Fur Family

“Little Fur Family”, written by Margaret Wise Brown ( and illustrated by Garth Williams was published in 1946. It follows a little fur child throughout the day and all the sights and sounds he encounters. This is Brown & Williams’ first collaboration. The original book had rabbit fur wrapped all around. But most covers of the books after that only had a patch of fur on the child’s body for the reader to pat.

Garth Williams (1912-1996) was an American artist who is best known for his illustrations of children’s books. He believed books given or read to children can have a profound influence, therefore he used his illustrations to “awaken something of importance… humor, responsibility, respect of others, interest in the world at large”. [New York Times]

I think you’ll like Little Fur Family and the illustrations of Garth Williams as I read it to you.

Please click “HERE” to hear me read Little Fur Family.

Camp HoopLa HooRay 2020

Another successful FUNdraising CAMPaign! Together, with the Instagram Plushie community, we were able to raise a combined total of $872 to send a child to Tx Lions Camp! Plushie Wear sold camp t-shirts and camp care kits. ElleM sold postcards and I had downloadable camp activity packets available for a minimum donation of $10 on Go Fund Me. HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL WHO DONATED AND MADE CAMP A REALITY FOR A CHILD!

And, WE PLUSHIES turned out in droves to camp as well at our annual summer camp, Camp HoopLa HooRay. So many fun activities happened at #campHLHR2020 #camphooplahooray2020 (you can visit those hashtags on Instagram).

We sat around the campfires and sang songs, played instruments and shared stories -some were scary. We had fun planning a little mischief. Cookie Monster gave us some excellent crafting tutorials. The food was superb. The nature hikes were breathtaking (either from the beauty or the physical exertion, hehehe). And, our very skilled medical staff was on hand for a few sprained limbs and a few ouchies.

“Malish Koala” book on Teddybear Tuck-In Time episode 106

Hope reads “Malish Koala” written and illustrated by Malish Koala

This book is my signed copy of “Malish Koala”. My Instagram pal of 3 years Crowd-Funded the publishing of the book that he wrote and illustrated. I’m so proud of Malish and all who contributed to help make this book a reality. You can buy the book here . (If you choose to use the link & purchase the book, I will get a wee portion of sale from Amazon.) CLICK HERE TO WATCH ME READ “MALISH KOALA” AT TEDDY BEAR TUCK-IN TIME.

About a week ago, I was able to catch up with Malish and ask him a few questions. Something you need to know about Malish is before he was a plushie book author, he was and still is a script writer, actor and director. He has made nearly a dozen short films that you can watch by clicking on MALISH MOVIES. AND!! AND, and, and! Malish has his very own website: MalishKoala.com.

Here’s our little conversation we had at Malish’s home in the Hollywood Hills.

HOPE: Have you always dreamed of being a book author, actor and film maker? How did this come about?

MALISH: It all started a few years ago when I was visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. Everyone was coming up to me, telling me that I’m very cute and asking if they can follow me on Instagram. That day I decided to start an Instagram account where I would post pictures of my adventures. After just a couple of weeks, I realized that there is a big plushie community out there. One day I made a short Harry Potter style intro for “Malish Koala and the secret of the missing raspberry” just for fun. I wasn’t actually going to make a movie, but everyone started asking what that movie is about and when it’s coming out. That’s how I got the idea to start making movies. I was never planning on doing it, it happened naturally. When I started getting a lot of comments about my movie posters, I came up with the idea of the picture book. It was also a great way to tell everyone a little bit about my family and our live in Los Angeles.

HOPE: Do you have a large or small family? MALISH: I have a big family, we met on my birthday 5 years ago.

HOPE: Tell us about your writing process: what inspires you? Do you write in morning or at night? Inside or outside? with snacks/drinks? MALISH: My writing process is threefold. First, my crew and I take a nice walk through the Hollywood Hills, discussing potential ideas. Then we come home and start putting our ideas on paper, going through all of them and picking the best one. We always make sure we have some popcorn, dark chocolate, exotic fruits or tropical ice cream, and a bowl of raspberries in our writing room! When we have the plot of the movie we begin the last and the longest step, we write the first chapter, film it, release it, and after that things just start falling into place. We write every next chapter as we go, it’s a flow, and some times even I don’t know what’s gonna happen next! 

HOPE: Congratulations on winning and Oscar- how many have you won and for what? Do you have a favorite character to play? Do you have a personal favorite movie you’ve starred in? MALISH: Another great question. My all-time favorite character is Hercule Koaló! He first appeared as a guest star in my very first Halloween Special “Mystery Dinner” for which by the way I won my first Best Director Academy Award. It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite movie, all of them brought me so much joy. Casting is a very big part of it. Every time we announce an audition hundreds of plushies from around the world send their submissions. I love how those movies bring everyone together. From participating in casting to a lively discussion after the movie is posted. As far as the Academy of Motion Pictures concerned, the Oscars for the Best Picture went to “Mystery Dinner” in 2017, “Ruby Express” in 2018, and “The Temple of Missing Buttons” in 2019. 

HOPE: We know raspberries and icecream are your favorites, but tell us a little more about yourself.

MALISH: I love traveling! My favorite destinations are San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York! I’m not a fan of driving, so we always fly, and my favorite part of flying is when they serve those little Biscoff cookies! Every time we go to San Francisco, we visit a little Biscoff cafe which is located at Pier 39. This is the only place that serves my favorite coffee – Biscoff Latte! HOPE: SHUT THE BACKDOOR!? A BISCOFF LATTE?! MALISH: If you ever go to San Francisco make sure to try it. HOPE: I DEFINITELY will! MALISH: As a professional filmmaker, I spend a lot of my time watching movies.   We have a family tradition to watch a movie on the big projector screen every Friday night. We watch classics and critically acclaimed movies. My 2 favorite genres are Mystery and Musical!I love everything sweet, but a very special place in my heart takes patisserie. And every time we are in Las Vegas, we go to one of the many buffets, they have entire rooms dedicated to desserts. I love discovering new bakeries in town or any place we go to. I’m very fond of different musical instruments. I play xylophone, Banjo, Guitar, and a finger piano.I’m a native Angeleno, so it only makes sense that I love the warm climate. And every time we go someplace cold, I have to put on an extra pair of pants. I’m a memorabilia collector. Vintage movie posters, Disney pins, movie props, books, you name it! 

HOPE: You sure have a great range of interests. And I love your family tradition of watching a Friday night movie. I love musicals too, and sweets which reminds me of Disneyland. I know you go there often for a wrap party with your crew once the filming is done, so with that in mind, can you tell us when visiting Disneyland, what are your MUST rides and MUST eats? Anything you would like for others to know about Disneyland that you think they shouldn’t miss? MALISH: Oh Boy! This is a million dollars question! My favorite area of the park is ADVENTURELAND, it has the best rides and best treats! “Jungle Cruise”, “Tiki Room”, “Indiana Jones Adventure” are my favorite attractions. I’d like to share a little secret with you, after riding the world’s famous Jungle Cruise you can go to one of the skippers and ask for a map of the cruise, they will ask you to do a fun little task and the map is yours. While at Adventureland make sure to go to the “Tropical Hideaway” for a Dole Whip and Sweet Lumpia. After that, we usually head over to New Orleans Square. Here you can ride the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Haunted Mansion”. Not everybody knows but you can find the most delicious Mickey doughnuts at the Mint Julep Bar next to the New Orleans Square train station. And of course, don’t forget about Churros!   On a very hot day, it is really nice to ride “Splash Mountain”, and when you exit it you’ll find yourself at the entrance of another one of my favorites – The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, what a sweet ride that is. I also recommend to stay until the end of the day and catch Fantasmic! It’s a nighttime show featuring fireworks, characters, live actors, water effects, pyrotechnics, lasers, music, audio-animatronics, searchlights, decorated boat floats, and mist screen projections.

HOPE: Thank you Malish for your hospitality. You definitely know where to get the tastiest raspberries I’ve ever tasted. I’m sure the readers will enjoy these tidbits you’ve shared about yourself and some of your favorite places. MALISH: Thank you Hope for stopping by, it’s been a pleasure.

We had a great time visting and snacking over tea and raspberries. I also learned something else I’ll share with you (a little something fun), MALISH HAS KOALAMOJIS! GET THEM HERE: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/malish-koala/id1317652166

TO FOLLOW MALISH, you can click on his Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/malishkoala/ OR FOLLOW MALISH on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/malishkoala/

Camp HoopLaHooRay 2020 FUNdraiser & CAMPaign

Elle and I have been hard at work thinking of fun stuff for the campers at this year’s Camp HoopLaHooRay (#campHLHR2020, #camphooplahooray2020), slated for JULY16-19, 2020 Being that the Covid-19 pandemic is still underway, we needed to offer something for the campers and to still help raise funds for one of our preferred charities Texas Lion’s Camp (a summer camp for special needs, handicapped or chronically ill children). Being the Boss Bear, I figured it out and Elle was agreeable.

A Downloadable Camp Kit

What’s in the Camp Kit? Glad you asked! Artwork by @1ellem includes: A Hope the bear PaperDoll, a Camp HLHR Bingo game, a decorative Bunting to cut out and string together, a Camp HLHR penant design (to color, embroider, iron-on, etc), a Camp Craft with instructions, Camp recipes, a Happy Camper Badge, a Camp themed Word Search and a couple of coloring pages (illustrated by @Kimberlyhowellillustrations and @1ellem ). This Camp Kit (24 pages of activities) will be downloadable for $10 with 60% of the cost going to Texas Lion’s Camp. Go to my GoFundMe to donate.

Featuring Coloring Page by Kimberly Howell
Camp T-shirts available for Hoomans and Plushies

OFFICIAL CAMP T-SHIRTS

ALSO OFFERED: @plushiewear will be offering the official Camp HLHR 2020 t-shirt designed by Mr. Sir. You can purchase your t-shirt by clicking HERE. A portion of the sale of each shirt will go to Texas Lion’s Camp. You can purchase HOOMAN -SIZED all the way to wee PLUSHIE-SIZED t-shirts from the terrific plushiewear team! click here to buy

OFFICIAL CAMP POSTCARD

OH YEAH! I almost forgot, the POSTCARD for this year is offered at Bears Howse Mercantile! It is sold for $3.00. The previous postcards are also offered as a group of 3 for $7. These will be mailed to you and 30% of sales benefit Texas Lion’s Camp.

camp HLHR 2020 postcard

We hope you like our offerings. And whether you donate or not, YOU are WELCOME to join us for CAMP HOOPLAHOORAY!

Episode 105: “Paddington’s Garden”

“Paddington’s Garden”, published in 1972, written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Fred Banbery is my 5th book to read on Teddy Bear Tuck-In Time on my YouToob channel. I love Paddington and the Brown family. They have many adventures living life in London. It’s never boring at their house and this story is no exception. Creating a garden is hard work that can give others joy, and that’s what Paddington learns in this story.

The British author Michael Bond (1926-2017) is best known for his children’s series Paddington Bear. Did you know that originally Mr. Bond wanted Paddington to “have travelled from deepest Africa“? His agent suggested changing that since no bears live in Africa. So Mr. Bond chose Peru, the home of the Spectacled Bear! Here’s a photo of one:

The Spectacled Bear from Peru – what Paddington Bear is. (photo from National Geographic)

Fred Banbery (1913-1999) was a draughtsman/illustrator/cartoonist and is most famous for the illustrated (1970’s) Paddington Bear Picture Books adapted from the children’s “Paddington” stories Michael Bond wrote.

If you would like to purchase this book, you can CLICK HERE. I will make a small amount of change if you do. I will donate a portion to charity, put a little toward a new book and a tasty treat to satisfy my insatiable sweet tooth.

A couple of favorite Paddington quotes: “I’ll never be like other people, but that’s alright because I’m a bear“, and “Things are always happening to me. I’m that sort of bear”.

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Episode 104 of Teddy Bear Tuck-In Time: “My Bear and Me”

My Bear and Me” by Barbara Maitland and pictures by Lisa Flather (published by Magaret K. McElderberry Books in 1999) is a book I have recently discovered. I love the childlike truth of the story as well as how the simple illustrations depict the story. It’s written in large print too, so it is helpful for beginner readers. It’s a short story about a girl and her teddy bear having fun throughout the day (very much like my Elle and I). WATCH ME READ NOW.

Barbara Maitland is a children’s book author best known for her Bookstore Series, a series of books written for early readers. She has many books published for early childhood readers. Lisa Flather is an author and illustrator. She has a book “10 Silly Dogs – a Countdown Book” that she both authored and illustrated.

If you would like to purchase the book “My Bear and Me“, you can click HERE. (by using that link, I get a wee portion of $, which I will use to donate to charity, help purchase a book to read and purchase a crumb of something tasty to satisfy my sweet tooth)

Hope and Beep read “Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?”

“Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?” is written by Martin Waddell (1941- ) and illustrated by Barbara Firth. It’s a story about a little bear who cannot sleep because of the surrounding darkness. Big Bear helps alleviate Little Bear’s fears through various tactics until finally, Big Bear shows Little Bear a sight that brings solace to the little one. Then, the little bear falls asleep.

The story was published in 1988 by Harper & Row, New York and won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. Martin Waddell, an Irish writer, has written over 100 children’s books, and has won the acclaimed Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2004. He has also written under the pseudonym of Catherine Sefton.

The illustrator, Barbara Firth (1928-2013), a native a Cheshire, UK, illustrated the Little Bear series by Waddell and in 1988 was awarded the Library Association’s CILIP Award for her work in “Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?”.

This story,”Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?“, was Son 1’s favorite bedtime stories. Many a times, he and Beep (his teddybear) would cuddle up together to be read to and this was the preferred story for many years. I hope you enjoy it too. Beep has joined me for this reading and together, with love, we offer this story (and a little commentary). *CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO of Teddy Bear Tuck-In Time episode 103*

If you like this story, you can click on THIS LINK to purchase your copy of the story, “Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?”. (I will get a wee portion of the sale after which I donate to charity, buy crayons and give a wee treat to my insatiable sweet tooth)

The Runaway Bunny

“The Runaway Bunny” is written by Margaret Wise Brown. It was originally published in 1942. The Runaway Bunny has never has been in print continuously since it was first published. Interestingly, the book appears in Wise’s “Goodnight Moon” (perhaps a first of it’s kind “Easter Egg” as nerds like to call that sort of thing). The book is seen in the nursery.

Here is the link to the YouTube video TEDDY BEAR TUCK-IN TIME episode 102.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this children’s classic (as every home library should have a copy), you can click here (I get a wee proceed from the sale of this book and I then donate part to charity, give myself a wee bit to purchase a book to read and also allow my sweet tooth a sweet treat).

The Littlest Family’s Big Day

This book was written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin who lives in Portland, Oregon. She is an author and illustrator of several books including “Oddfellows Orphanage” and “Dream Animals”. This particular book was published by Random House in 2016. Here’s a link to a youtube video featuring Ms Emily Winfield Martin and here’s a link to her website for those who would like to see more of her artistic “etceteras” (as she terms them).

Please like my YouTube video and share it. AND Most importantly, SUBSCRIBE to my blog so you can be notified of any news (next reading, new products or events, etc).

Should you like the book and wish to order, you can use my handy dandy Amazon Link (I get a wee commission to help fund a charity, boss bear business and an insatiable sweet tooth).

And now, here is the link to me reading “The Littlest Family’s Big Day”:

TEDDY BEAR TUCK-IN TIME.

September Update

Whew! I battled THE HOT most of the Summer and I think I emerged the victor…AGAIN! (3 cheers for all of us who managed to REVENGE THE HOT)

I have managed to convince Elle to post some downloadable paper dolls of me in the Bears Howse Mercantile (click here) Esty Shop AS WELL AS to allow for FIVE CUSTOM ORDERS of little Hope Ornaments/Figurines. YUP! I try to keep Elle busy, otherwise she would just have her full time job at the library to occupy her time, which I’m sure must be a snooze fest. As a good boss bear, I wouldn’t want her to be bored or lacking in things to do, so I always try to offer creative work/ideas for her. (she IS excited about the opportunity to make little custom Hopes; she told me so!)

Here is a photo of the two poses: One is a stand-alone figurine that is a pencil holder & the other is a hanging ornament that can hang on a wall, hook, knob or tree. The stand alone Hope can be posed to hold a teacup rather than be a pencil holder and the flag can say anything one wants. I’m most excited to offer these for a limited time.

WE DID IT! $610 RAISED!

We did it y’all! Together, we raised $610 to send a chronically ill, special needs or handicapped child to Summer Camp at Texas Lions Camp this summer. In the previous post, you read about my GoFundMe campaign and my Camp Kits I offered for sale. Y’all answered the call by donating or purchasing a Camp Kit. Also, Plushie Wear made the official Camp T-shirts and will donate a portion of their sales to the cause. (Thank you Froggie and Gator and Crew)

Camp Hoop La Hoo Ray postcards

And now, I have souvenir post cards of Camp Hoop La Hoo Ray (by elleM) available in the Esty shop “Bears Howse Mercantile“. A portion of the sales of these professionally printed postcards will be donated to Texas Lions Camp. These cards come 3 in a set for $7 (shipping included) and are representative of the last 3 years of our plushie camp that plushies from all over the world on Instagram attend via a #. We just completed the 2019 camp and I’m already making plans for the 2020 camp.

Go check out Plushie Wear for a Hooman or plushie sized Camp HLHR 2019 Tshirt (sold through end of July) and then get your postcards from Bears Howse Mercantile. All of which are special souvenirs from a fun time at Camp Hoop La Hoo Ray (and most importantly, help a child attend camp and make happy memories as well).

I CREATED A GoFundMe! AND…AND!!….

Hey Y’all! I now have a GoFundMe set up to donate to! Here’s the link: gf.me/u/rid23y The campaign is called “Camp HoopLaHooRay 2019 FUNdraiser”. I’m trying to raise funds to send a child to Summer Camp this summer. I thought since we plushies have attended Camp HoopLaHooRay going on 4 years now, it’s time we give back and help a Special Needs, Chronically Ill or Handicapped child attend camp.

Camp Hoop La Hoo Ray Logo can be seen on GoFundMe Campaign and on
Official Camp Swag

I’m giving money to the Texas Lions Camp who serves these children. The camp DOES NOT CHARGE the families for the week-long camp. So, they need our help to sponsor a kiddo. I’m raising $1000 towards this cause and have til May 15, 2019 to do it. You can help by donating via the above link. No amount is too small to give, because it all adds up and we plushies can do anything together.

ANOTHER FUN THING I’M DOING TO RAISE MONEY IS…. *drum roll please* I’m putting together a CAMP KIT 2019! I will sell it for $50 *plus shipping* ($25 of the sale price will go to Texas Lions Camp). ONLY 30 KITS AVAILABLE UNTIL APRIL 16TH ** SO PRE-ORDER/PRE-PAY BEFORE THEN TO SECURE YOURS** In this CAMP KIT will be: Custom plushie sized (size options) Camp HLHR Sleeping Bag (made by Bears Howse Mercantile) valued at $16, Official Camp plushie sized (size options) HLHR T-shirt (made by Plushiewear ) valued at $18, Official Camp Pennant, Official Camp Postcard created by @1elleM , Texas Lions Camp activity/souvenir, snacks and miscellaneous camp supplies. AND YES! Camp t-shirts will be available solely on Plushiewear website if you just want a tshirt (check back there in mid-April) . Sleeping Bags will be available at Bears Howse Mercantile in mid-April.

WHEW!! I feel a snack attack coming on, so I’ll sign off for now. Thanks again for being terrific friends. Great big Texas sized hugs from me to ya’ll!

Gearing Up For Camp HoopLaHooRay 2019

a lakeside campsite at Camp HoopLaHooRay

The annual plushie community Summer Camp HoopLaHooRay (Camp HLHR) is slated for June 20-23, 2019. It’s an exciting and adventurous time with crafts, activities, campfire stories, camp food and mischief. I’m usually the main Camp Director and there are Camp Counselors who help oversee each hashbrown (#/hashtag). We even have a medic on duty!

This year will be the 4th year I host this event. Last year, there were almost 1000 posts to the #campHLHR2018. WOW!!

THIS YEAR WILL HAS AN ADDED BONUS! I am adding a donation aspect to this year’s camp. WHAT???!! YES!! It’s true. I believe that if we plushies can enjoy summer camp, a child should too. So this year, I am going to put together a CAMP KIT and sell it with most of the proceeds (after covering some of my costs) going to a charity that helps special needs kids, handicapped kiddos and terminally ill children attend camp. I will also have a DONATE button on my FB page and possibly a GOFUNDME set up as well.

All of this is still incubating in my fuzz brain. But I wanted y’all to be the first to know. I will be giving more information in future posts as well as on my two social media accounts: Facebook and Instagram. If you have any suggestions or advice or would like to be a camp counselor, please contact me.