Viola Davis wrote a follow up to Corduroy and my heart is so full now

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I wrote and then scrapped the intro to this story, because I intended to make this about the fact that Viola Davis said she only lasted two days on a 28 day liquid diet cleanse. This was so honest and relatable to me. Nothing sours me quicker on a celebrity than when they tout some stupid diet that involves drinking weird concoctions, cutting out entire food groups or fasting for long periods of time. (Intermittent fasting sounds ok though, it’s just not for me.) These radical diets, especially when celebrities are endorsing them, play into the mistaken belief that dieting is unsustainable, punishing or involves eating much differently. Viola revealed the issue so many of us have with these diets: we’re hungry and we want to actually eat.

Then I watched the video of Viola Davis on The Tonight Show. She mentioned that she wrote a children’s book, it’s a follow up to Corduroy and I’m crying a little! I loved this book so much when I was a little girl and I just ordered Viola’s version. It’s called Corduroy Takes a Bow. It follows the characters from the 1986 children’s classic by Don Freeman, a heart-warming story about a department store teddy bear who has adventures and ends up largely forgotten before getting a forever home. The illustrations look just like the original.

I read this so often when I was a kid and loved it. Viola did too! She said that she wrote it for her daughter Genesis, 8, and also because she remembers the book so fondly from her childhood. At the age of five Viola would go to the library because the librarian would save half her lunch for her. When she was there she read Corduroy over and over. Viola has been open about growing up in poverty and this was a powerful story about the lasting kindness of strangers. ALSO SHE WROTE A FOLLOW UP TO CORDUROY I AM SO HAPPY! (There was another follow up I’ve never heard of called A Pocket For Corduroy published by Freeman in 1978 and a more recent one called Corduroy Lost and Found by a different author in Freeman’s style.) Viola’s book has been out since September and I’m just hearing about it now.

At age 5 she would wait at the library for half the librarian’s lunch
I would go to the library because the head librarian would save half her lunch for me. I’d go there every single day and wait there like a dog. Wait for that half a tuna fish sandwich and oreo cookie. But I loved Corduroy so I did the book… I like that Lisa is a little black girl like my daughter.

So many celebrity children’s books seem self indulgent, with the exception of those written for charity. Not this one. Viola just honored the book that helped her through childhood by working with the author’s estate to imagine a follow up story for the lead characters. I read the half of the book that’s online but sh-tty Jimmy Fallon just spoiled the rest of it for me. I’m still getting it! I will donate it to the library after I get my kid to read it with me. So if you want to watch the video below, just know that there are spoilers. Also I’m so excited for Widows but Jimmy Fallon spoils parts of that too. More Viola please, less Fallon.

corduroy

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photos credit: Avalon.red and Getty

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20 Responses to “Viola Davis wrote a follow up to Corduroy and my heart is so full now”

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  1. BigGirl says:

    Chocolate Me by Taye Diggs is great too. Sounds like a great buy for Xmas. OT.. WIDOWS was very good.. rewrote the typical Hollywood ending

  2. so says:

    I love that woman.

  3. manda says:

    This is so wonderful! I remember A Pocket for Corduroy! I haven’t thought of Corduroy in years and years

  4. Esmom says:

    Corduroy was after my time but I love that she did this. And I can so relate to sitting at the library and reading a favorite book over and over again. Libraries have always been among my favorite spaces. I go to my own at least twice a month for a pile of books.

    Bless the librarian’s heart for looking after little Viola. And F those who think libraries are less relevant in the digital age. Her story, which I’m sure is not uncommon even today, is a perfect example of why libraries continue to be an important part of society. Librarians rock!

    • BeanieBean says:

      Every time we moved–and we moved a lot–one of the first things my mother would do for me was to take me to the public library so that I could get a library card. Going to the library was a huge part of my childhood & continues to this day. I’d rather go to the library than buy a book.

  5. Mamama says:

    My husband just yesterday was organizing all of our kids’ hundreds of books and said: “Do you realize how many copies of Corduroy we have?? FOUR!”
    I told him they all stay because each has a different inscription from various baby showers and people in our three kids’ lives. We always come back to that book, even if the children get sick of it for a while.
    Ordering Viola’s now!

  6. Jess says:

    Love Viola. Can’t stand Jimmy.

  7. Flying fish says:

    Wonderful, Viola.

  8. Millenial says:

    I loved Corduroy as a little girl and now I read it to my son. He likes it a lot, too :) I can’t wait to buy this!

  9. Tiffany says:

    I saw Widows this weekend CB. It was absolutely fantastic. Not one weak performance or spot in the film.

    Also, the sound mixing and editing was impressive as hell. I went to look it up after I left a theater.

  10. pupax says:

    I love Viola, and I love libraries.
    When I was a kid, I would borrow 10 books a week there, and read them. I wanted to become a librarian, I thought it to be the coolest job in the world. Then came the PC, ah life, the bitter lessons you teach.

    • Shae says:

      Pupae I spent my summers in the library as well. Reading 10-12 per week. Those were the days. The school I attended also had a visit from a bookmobile

  11. CheleBelle says:

    Greetings and Salutations from the public library trenches. This past week marks my 25th year working in a big city public library. Two things are keeping the paper book alive: picture books and Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the mania that followed it for a decade cemented a core group of book readers who may read an ebook from time to time BUT who still prefer a paper copy. Picture books is still making paper books a preferred option…as they learn to enjoy reading.

    And yes in public libraries we see it all…hungry children, lonely children, outcast and basically neglected children. AND we as workers are often called upon to show them care and kindness that they do not get elsewhere.

    P.S. Went to see Widows this past weekend. Enjoyed it immensely.

  12. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    I saw “Widows” this past weekend – -she was fantastic in it!

    • Lynne says:

      I did too…and she was! My favorite was the Alice character (don’t know actress) . She was a scene stealer

  13. DesertReal says:

    Oh man….I freakin love Couduroy.
    I still have my tattered copy.