Lockdown Teddy tales live on


When June Perfect had kids waiting at her garden fence during the Covid-19 lockdown to see the latest antics of her teddies Amber and Archie she new she had created something entertaining.

So, the Tamahere woman photographed the big teddies hiding in trees, sunbathing on loungers, riding bikes, playing cards and chess so she could also share the fun with her grandchildren on the other side of the world.

Now she’s turned the mood raising exercise into a kids’ book whose popularity is raising funds for charity.

June Perfect with Amber and Archie
June Perfect with Amber and Archie and the book they star in

June is a regular compiler of photobooks but had never contemplated writing a book … until inspired by Amber and Archie and feedback from a neighbouring two-year-old.

“She was my test market,” she said of the next door toddler. “I showed it to her and she wouldn’t let it go. She said ‘it’s mine now’. Her older brother read it right through and said he’d happily read it again.”

So many others also liked the book that brings back fond memories of the Great NZ Bear Hunt – teddies placed in windows around New Zealand to entertain kids on daily walks during lockdown – that a print run of eight for the Perfect grandchildren has mushroomed into an order of 160.

Five dollars from the sale of each book, whether soft of hard cover, is being donated to charity, including Kids in Need Waikato, which supports children in foster care.

Amber and Archie’s adventures reflect much of the lockdown days. As well as getting outside they play board games and do jigsaws, make crafts, go fishing, celebrate Easter, do fitness workouts, paint and do their school lessons on laptops.

Importantly, their days include a cuddle at least once a day.

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