Award-winning actress Viola Davis recently wrote Corduroy Takes a Bow in celebration of Don Freeman’s iconic children’s series’ 50th anniversary.
The beloved bear introduced in the series’ premiere book, Corduroy, has won the hearts of generations of readers, including Davis. Davis agreed to write the children’s book in large part for her daughter. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Davis revealed that the series had been a favorite of her daughter’s and she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pen a book in the series.
“That was the story that stuck. It’s just close to my heart. Certain characters stay with you, and that’s Corduroy.”
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While Corduroy was a factor in Davis’ love of reading, it was her adventures to the library that really drew her into the literary world.
“I do remember that book. But when I started reading the book, it was one of several books that I was in love with; it was just the library itself that totally captured me. The smell of the pages. Certainly, Corduroy was a part of that adventure, a bigger part of my escape.”
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Corduroy certainly has his own string of adventures, and Corduroy Takes a Bow sees his newfound adventure with his first trip to the theater, a place Davis knows all too well.
A graduate of Juilliard, Davis found success on stage through her powerful performances, earning her first Tony Award in 2001 for her role in King Hedley II. Davis applied her familiarity and success in theater throughout her process of writing Corduroy.
“I explored every bit of the theater that has left an imprint on me. That’s what I did while I was writing this book. Sometimes you forget that stuff. Sometimes, you need the imagination of a child to come back to life again. To remember why you fell in love with anything.”
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