Emily Jenkins has written many highly acclaimed books for children,
including the popular award-winning chapter books Toys Go Out,
Toy Dance Party, and Toys Come Home, as well as a
picture book that features the same beloved characters, Toys
Meet Snow, which was named a New York Times Notable Book
and a Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of the Year.
She is also the author of A Fine Dessert, a New York
Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year; Water in the
Park, a Booklist Editors' Choice and a Bulletin
Blue Ribbon Book; and Lemonade in Winter, a Publishers
Weekly Best Book of the Year. Visit her at
Paul O. Zelinsky is the illustrator of Dust Devil, a New York Times Notable Book and an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award winner. He received the Caldecott Medal for his retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel, as well as three Caldecott Honors, for Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Swamp Angel. His illustrations for Toy Dance Party were called "superlative" in a starred review by Kirkus Reviews. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more at paulozelinsky.com.
Gr 1-3-Lumphy (a stuffed buffalo), StingRay (a plush stingray), and Plastic (who turns out to be a ball) star in this audio rendition of Emily Jenkins' gentle and charming book (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2006). While narrator Melanie Martinez enunciates each word almost too carefully, making the narration somewhat mechanical, the experiences of these three beloved toys remain lots of fun. Once drawn in by the winsome characters, listeners will enjoy their stories of adventure, devotion, and self-acceptance. Martinez shines brightest when performing as StingRay, a drama queen who claims to be knowledgeable on most subjects, but really only tells fish stories. She voices Lumphy as a gloomy, Eeyore-like buffalo, and lends a joyful feeling to Plastic's bouncily optimistic personality. Frank the washing machine, TukTuk the bath towel, and the toys' owner known only as The Little Girl are also given unique voices. This early chapter book will delight young listeners.-Jennifer Verbrugge, Dakota County Library, Burnhaven Branch, Burnsville, MN Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
As delightfully quirky as its subtitle, "Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic"), this buoyant chapter book relays the adventures (one per chapter) of a trio of toys. As the tale opens, Lumphy (a plush buffalo), StingRay (a stuffed fish) and Plastic (who, in a quasi-mystery plot thread, discovers that she is a rubber ball) thump along in a dark backpack. The three worry about where they might be headed ("The Girl doesn't love us and she's trying to get rid of us!")-perhaps to the vet (who will poke them "over and over with needles the size of carrots") or to the zoo (where they will have to live "each one in a separate cage")-only to find themselves at school as the Little Girl's show-and-tell. Their humorous dialogue may feel to readers much like eavesdropping on the playground (when Plastic says of dental floss, "Maybe it feels nice.... You never know until you try," Lumphy replies, "I know without trying"). The omniscient narrator also chimes in with wry comments (e.g., a description of StingRay, "who sometimes says she knows things when she doesn't"). Supporting characters include a "bumpity washing machine" named Frank, who serenades a fearful peanut-buttery Lumphy through the wash cycle, and kind TukTuk the towel who helps Plastic in his self-discovery. Zelinsky's half-tone illustrations depict the most dramatic moment in each episode from the toy's eye-view. Together, author and artist take an entertaining look at identity, friendship and belonging. Ages 7-11. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Praise for the Toys trilogy:
"This charming book makes ideal bedtime reading." --The Wall
Street Journal "A sure hit for reading aloud and a classic in the
making." --The San Francisco Chronicle "Jenkins deftly penetrates
the natural anxieties of childhood--the phobias, the insecurities,
the self-doubts--without playing them down." --The New York
Times Book Review "Has the nostalgic feel of a children's book from
an earlier time--part Winnie the Pooh, part Hitty and
part bedtime book. A perfect selection for family read-alouds."
--Bookpage "A blend of Toy Story and the stories of Jonny
Gruelle and A.A. Milne. Young readers will enjoy exploring the
warm, secret world of toys." --Kirkus Reviews "There's a heavy
fragrance of A.A. Milne to the narrative, not just in concept but
in style and in details such as Plastic's fondness for Pooh-like
"hums," but the book has a cuddly sturdiness all its own."
"A timeless story of adventure and friendship to treasure aloud or independently. Wholly satisfying, this may well leave readers expecting to see the Velveteen Rabbit peeking in the bedroom window and smiling approvingly." --Booklist, Starred "An utterly delightful peek into the secret lives of toys. Here is a book bound to be a favorite with any child who has ever adored an inanimate object." --School Library Journal, Starred "You'll love Lumphy, and StingRay, and Plastic. You'll laugh over their choice of birthday presents and hold your breath over Plastic's encounter with the Possible Shark. Most of all, you'll never forget these three. I know I won't." --Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author