Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber, 1972.

Ira, a young boy, is happy when his friend, Reggie, who lives next door, invites him to sleep over at his house. Then, his sister asks him if he’s going to take his teddy bear with him. At first, Ira says no, but his sister points out that he’s never slept without it.

Ira starts to worry about whether he should take the teddy bear with him or not. He worries that Reggie might laugh at him for having a teddy bear. His parents say that he won’t and that Ira should go ahead and take the bear with him. However, his sister says that Reggie probably will laugh.


Ira tries to talk to Reggie and sound him out on the idea of teddy bears to see if Reggie will laugh, but Reggie ignores Ira’s questions. Reggie is excited about all the things that he and Ira can do at the sleepover and eagerly explains his plans. It all sounds like fun, but Ira gets nervous when Reggie mentions ghost stories.


Ira continues to debate about whether or not he should take his bear with him. Before going over to Reggie’s house, he decides to leave his teddy bear at home.

The two boys have a lot of fun playing together at the sleepover. At bedtime, Reggie starts to tell a ghost story, and both of the boys are a little spooked. That’s when Ira discovers that Reggie has a teddy bear of his own.


It’s a nice story about how the things that we worry other people will find ridiculous or embarrassing are often more common and less embarrassing than we think. At first, Ira worries (because of what his sister said) that Reggie will think that his teddy bear, named Tah Tah, is silly and childish, but after discovering that Reggie has a teddy bear named Foo Foo, Ira realizes that Reggie will understand how he feels about his bear and decides to run home and get it.

The book is currently available online through Internet Archive.

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