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The Lives of Toys

Emily Jenkins’ timeless and endearing early chapter book Toys Go Out details the small adventures of three beloved playthings that belong to the Little Girl who sleeps on the high bed with the fluffy pillows.  They are Lumphy, a tough little night-owl buffalo; StingRay, a know-it-all plush stingray; and Plastic, who is not sure what she is.  In six related stories about identity, friendship, and belonging, each toy struggles in its own way to overcome its fears and to find its place in their shared small corner of the world.

When no one is about, the toys venture to other parts of the house.  Plastic searches in books and watches TV for a clue to her identity until TukTuk the yellow towel kindly puts her mind at ease.  Lumphy gets peanut butter on himself and would hide forever to avoid the dark, scary basement with the great big washing machine, except his disappearance has made the Little Girl so sad.  And StingRay, upset that she has to stay home while Plastic gets to go to the beach, tries floating in the bathtub even though her tag clearly says “dry clean only.”  Their separate adventures ultimately bring them together and culminate in what has to be the best birthday party ever.

This perfect little volume, beautifully illustrated by Caldecott medalist Paul O. Zelinsky, will delight children from ages 6 to 10.  Parents will love the gentle lessons and the simple, kid-friendly language which is warm and funny and true to life.  Toys Go Out and the other books in the series, Toy Dance Party and Toys Come Home, make excellent read-alouds for the whole family that parents will enjoy as much as their kids.

Look for this series on the Young Fiction shelf or in the Audiobook section of the Children’s area.

toys 3 books for web











One Comment

  1. Mary Pfister says:

    Paul, I enjoyed reading your review of Toys Go Out. Really cute, I like the few examples like StingRay floating in the bathtub! Must be fun and yet a little challenging explaining a book’s merits and charms, and at the same time keeping the review short and to the point. You use rich descriptions and paint beautiful pictures with just the right words!

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