Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Toys Go Out

Yesterday I read Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.

Does it borrow its titling style from Tale of Desperaux? Yes. And the main characters are talking toys -- three highly animated inanimate objects who belong to the Little Girl. In fact, it's not until the second story in the book that you find out what sort of toy Plastic actually is.

Did I say "second story?" Yes, I did. This book is organized into six "chapters" that are actually interlocked, independent stories featuring the same characters. Within each chapter there are scene divisions that are akin to short chapters themselves, readily demarcating places where a young reader going this book alone could stop for the night. But more than anything, this book would make a Most Excellent Story Book for Reading Aloud at Bedtime, particularly with the lovely separate stories and the clearly marked potential stopping points.

The three main characters are a stuffed stingray named StingRay, a stuffed buffalo named Lumphy, and Plastic, a toy that is named Plastic, but who turns out to fit another specific category as well. But hey, no spoilers here. Stingray is an amusing know-it-all who doesn't necessarily have her facts straight. She's fond of lengthy explanations, as in this one from the sixth story:

"You're not a grown-up until you're at least eight. When you're eight, you can drive a limousine," StingRay explains,
"and you brush your teeth without being reminded,
and you can read all the words in the dictionary, no matter how long.
You have lots of money to buy all the chocolate you want,
and poofy dresses and cool soccer shoes,
plus anything blue that strikes your fancy.
But not when you're seven."

Lumphy is more practical and down to earth. He's also more energetic than StingRay most of the time, but gets an upset tummy when he's nervous about things like being "In the Backpack, Where It Is Very Dark" (first story) or "The Terrifying Bigness of the Washing Machine" (story three). Plastic is a generally happy soul who likes to hum, but she has her moments of doubt, as when she cannot figure out what, precisely, she is in "The Serious Problem of Plastic-Ness" (story two), to say nothing of her encounter with "The Possible Shark". Fortunately, there is the kind and wise TucTuc (a yellow bath towel) to offer guidance, and a sometimes helpful one-eared sheep, who is as likely to help because she wants to graze as for any other reason. And then there's the generosity of Frank, but I'll say no more about him here.

A sweet, gentle book full of rollicking adventures and hijinks. These are characters you'll want to cozy up with more than once. I predict you'll be glad you did.

Site Meter


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
I've loved everything I"ve read by Emily Jenkins/elockhart, so I'm looking forward to this. Thanks for the review, Kelly!
Sep. 21st, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
This'll sound corny, but I started reading it in the book store (y'know, to see if it looked good?) and I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to hold it. And maybe even pet it a little bit. It's lovely.
Sep. 21st, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)
WOW!!! That sounds awesome! I will definitely be on the lookout fo that one. What a marvelous angle!
Sep. 21st, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
Zelinsky's illustrations are few and far between, but they are very, very good. They seem primarily to be used to illustrate key points in the text, and in several cases, they are points that wouldn't be clear to a child reader without the illustration. Pretty clever, I'd say. They appear to be done in pencil. Regular lead pencil, that is. Although I can't call the cover, it may be mixed media, but at least some of it looks like colored pencil to me.

The text is really excellent, though.
Sep. 21st, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
I'm hooked!
I'm hooked! I must find this.

After my little trip to the book store yesterday, which was a quickie with K tearing through the aisles--and after reading my first Captain Underpants--I think I have discovered what I must write! (We'll see. I think I went through this a few years ago too...but then I didn't know there was so much out there aside from Junie B, the Magic Treehouse/School Bus, etc.) Some of this stuff is just plain strange--and I think I can do that!

OH, and how cool--she's elockhart? I love her!
Sep. 21st, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
got it!
Okay, I just bought this. And the Boy Book. And...

Oh, I've bought too many books this week. (I also preordered Estelle Takes a Bath, and have Santa Knows on the way!) Is there really any such thing as too many books?
Sep. 21st, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
Ooh--I just read about this one somewhere. Can't wait to get it. Thanks for the review, Kelly!
Sep. 21st, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
You've got me hooked. :)
Sep. 21st, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
It is sitting next to me on my desk, and even now I want to hold the book, just to hold it, because it is so dear.
Sep. 21st, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
Well, is the third book you've recommended I'm going to get? Am I remembering correctly--Dust? Shadow THieves?
Sep. 21st, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
Shadow Thieves maybe. Dust? Yes, everywhere in my house. How did you know?

But I believe I got you hooked on The Wall and the Wing, if you actually got around to getting it. It was fabulous, btw, and I recently read that there will be (duh, duh, duh): a sequel!
Sep. 21st, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
LOL! Ah, The Wall and the Wing, yes! So you weren't the one that mentioned Dust? hmmmm-
Sep. 21st, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
Is it just called Dust?
Or are you subliminally trying to tell me to get up off my butt and clean my house? And, if so, how did you know to do that?
Sep. 21st, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC)
Ha! Yes, it's called Dust and you are obviously not the person to blog about it.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

February 2018


Powered by LiveJournal.com